Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Blog Sharks! part three

(that poor tree hanging over the studio is mostly gone now, due to the ice storm)

Bill arrived for good, two months later. Those two months were challenging. A very young man arrived to install a land line after about three weeks. Oh! phone and Internet!

"Bless his heart," as we say here, he worked from 8 AM to 5 PM. Then he knocked on the door. "I feel really bad," he shared. "I know they charge you $80 an hour, but I just couldn't figure how to get this to work. I called my boss and they're going to send someone who's done it before. Might be a couple of days."

I loaded the dogs into the van and drove out to the county where my cell phone would work. I needed to tell Bill "never mind"; I wouldn't have a phone after all.

I walked and walked and walked the dogs. And I picked up mountains of poop. Not many people in my new town knew to pick up after their dogs. So, I figured while I was at it... I would end up with grocery bags full of the stuff. It was my own Neighborhood Beautification Program. One time a fellow in a pick up truck pulled over to ask if the dogs were rescued Greyhounds. "Man," he said, looking at my huge bulging bags of community crap. "Them skinny dogs sure do produce a lot of ****!"

I was appointed by the Mayor to serve on a Dog Ordinance Committee. When we were thinking about moving here, we met with the Mayor and two City Council members, and were guaranteed that there were no ordinances limiting the number of dogs in Paducah. Two weeks before we arrived, an emergency measure had passed, limiting the number of dogs per household to three. Of course there was a huge public outcry so the City Council decided to appoint a committee to work it all out.

I met good people on that committee. Wonderful people.

And that's the thing about Paducah. It is full of warm, friendly, supportive, energetic, socially responsible, bright people. Getting to know them has been a joy. A privilege. More artists did move to the Lowertown Arts District, as part of the city's Artist Relocation Program. The city won many national awards as the neighborhood transformed.

And then local people, non artists, started rehabbing homes and building in Lowertown. The good folks who had lived in the neighborhood all along were genuinely happy with the miracle that was happening all around them. The slumlords who wouldn't get their buildings up to code - not so much. Although even they didn't mind the increase in their property's value.

When I was alone here, feeling so out of place and so far from everyone I loved, someone knocked on the gallery's glass door. It was one of those good people who had been living in Lowertown in a gorgeous home they had rehabbed long before there was any Artist Relocation Program

"Hi," she said, handing me a Gerber daisy in a pot. Her smile was so warm. And honest. "Welcome to the neighborhood. We're so glad you are here. If you ever need anything, you just ask. I live in that white house, in the middle of the next block."

And that is how we've been treated, warmly, with a genuine mutual respect and mutual gratitude. So the Blog Shark comment took me aback.

I have since heard by email from the man who made the original statement on the conservative website. He assured me that someone else copied his words and posted them here anonymously.

It was very gracious of him to reach out and let me know that.

The conservative website is one where insults and name-calling are the rule, rather than the exception, so the comments weren't unusual, there.

I am so grateful for my wonderful dear readers and my talented fellow dog bloggers. A civilized discourse, a caring community, a laugh or a tear. A safe place.

Thank you.


Hug your hounds


  1. And we are so grateful for YOU, my dear. Let me know if you want me to sic Maisie on anyone!;) xox

  2. Patience, you are such a nice person (and Bill and the doggies are nice people, too), that when that anonymous jerk said unkind things, I just had to bite him. I apologize to you, but since you're such a nice person, I was sure that his comment hurt your feelings, and I just wasn't going to put up with that. Thank you for the cool pictures - you have both done an amazing job with the renovation and becoming a valued member of your community.

  3. Dear Waggle and Servants: Whew. People say terriers are tenacious, we have nothing on you! And if you ever need enforcers, me and Teka are available (and we don't charge 80 per hour) [well, not dollars, maybe biscuits]


  4. What an intriguing story of residential renewal. I love your documentary photos and knowing the "end" of the story makes it all the better to read the "beginning ..." That is so funny about "them skinny dogs make a lot of *&^%!"

  5. You have such a wonderful job in your new community. Focus on all the good that has happened. There is always someone out there who is not as happy as you and thinks everyone needs to be at their level of discomfort. NOT!

  6. I enjoyed the entire saga! Thanks for sharing, and also love how your house turned out!! Thanks for being a good example of scooping the poop too! This is a huge issue in Anchorage..... we admire those who pick up the deposits of their beloveds....

  7. And this, dear readers, is just one reason why I am so proud of my dear wife.

  8. Oh jeez! What a silly blog shark. (Sort of mean to sharks, eh? They usually mind their own business.:) ) But I'm glad you told this whole story. The Artist Relocation program is really interesting--and what a GREAT idea. I'm sure the folks of Paducah realize they are as lucky to have you in their community as we dog bloggers are to have you as a part of ours!

    wally t.

  9. Patience, you are in the right place at the right time. All that depression? And questioning? The right and wrong is not yours to choose. And it's your move.

  10. I can't believe someone would do that, people are wacky for sure. The house looks utterly amazing, you guys did something fabulous in what sounds to be a wonderful place!

  11. I'm glad you persevered in his whole situation of relocating - I admire a pioneer spirit like you have! By the way, thank you for following my blog and I left you a comment there :)

  12. Well, if it took that comment on your blog to have you tell the whole story in your inimitable Patience way -- with laugh-out-loud images -- then I for one forgive the misguided soul.

    Hounds have been hugged. Happy Valentine's Day to the waggle and their servants.

    Jake and Just Harry

  13. well, i don't think sharks get adequate sleep...don't most of them keep swimming all of the time? i know i get crabby if i don't get enough sleep. you were both very brave to start over like that, and with such a huge remodeling job! wow! i could not stand our construction project while living on the property...i am further impressed with you!!

  14. Great job on your house! We had a good laugh reading about the skinny dogs producing a lot of poop ;-)

    There are a plenty of unpleasant people out there. Just don't let their unpleasantness gets to you!

  15. I think your hard work has paid off. You are now living in a very wonderful neighbourhood.



  16. Happy Valentine's Day!


  17. Love your blog- I'm adding it to my favorites list!! I used to own a petsitting service in N. Va for 15 years, and one of my clients was a woman who did greyhound rescue- I believe she had 8 or so, and a tiny chinese crested who ruled them all!!! I had 4 clients who had rescue g'hounds! Altho I don't have any(we have rescue bullys) I absolutely love them!!!


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