My name is Stonewall Kelly. I am a great fan of Midtown Memphis and its wonderful park. My employee, Ernest Kelly, takes me for a run or a walk there almost every day. I get to visit nice families as we pass the zoo, then I see my buddies: Duval and Daisy and Hugh and Cody—and of course Merlin the Great (dane). On really special days, I go out to my farm and run for miles. There is nothing like a trip to the farm, especially when Ernest gets on a horse so he can keep me company while I run.
As you can see from my picture, I am the handsome and endearing product of ten thousand years of partnership between dogs and humans. Why we were just a bunch of scrawny wolves when we started hanging around your campfires. And frankly your ancestors didn’t look so great either, but we’ve come a long way together. The wolves have turned into magnificent animals headed by the noble Doberman breed. And you humans—well you’ve done the best you can.
There’s no denying that you have made some improvements. You’ve been especially good at inventing things to brighten a dog’s life.
Warm houses and comfortable sofas are deeply appreciated.
There is one area, however, where you've done some backsliding. I’m sure if I call it to your attention, you’ll start to improve. Ernest tells me that in the old days he could take a dog into almost any store or office and not be hassled about it. Now the manufacture of “no pets” signs is a growth industry.
A few people actually get rude when someone walks into a shop with a tail-wagging friend. I can’t even go to Ernest’s office anymore, although I went there for six months and was polite to everybody. I really miss all the sweet secretaries.
Now here’s the truly weird part: people run off the dogs that have protected them and their families for hundreds of generations, then they act surprised when thugs and thieves start hanging around. Hey guys, we’re all in this evolution thing together. Aren’t you supposed to be getting smarter too?
Well Ernest and I are working for change, and we'd like your help. We are voting with our feet and paws--and our dollars. When our former bank suddenly went dog-hostile, we were gone in twenty four hours and so were our accounts. And we let them know why. We'd like to share our favorite dog-friendly places with you and hear back so we can develop a community-wide list.
I may be prejudiced, but I have this idea that people who like dogs are nice about other things too. I'll patronize them even if they don't pass out doggie treats, though if they do that works for me. The main thing is to support businesses that remember who their best friends are--and give the others a clue that being anti-dog means being anti-dog owner, and that may not be as smart for business as they think it is.
|ABSOLUTELY NOTHING BEATS A DAY AT THE FARM|
20 September 2009: It's good to be blogging again after almost a year off. Last Oct. 31st, AOL played the worst Halloween trick of the year by dropping its web hosting service and knocking all our web pages out of cyberspace. Now we're back and hoping to stir up more interest in the dog world.
17 October 2009: This is a good day because my people are home. Joan and Ernest got in last night from almost two weeks away--something about Grease and Turkey--and they didn't even bring me any of the Turkey! But at least they're home and life can get back to normal. Fred takes care of me when they're gone. He's a great guy and he keeps me out of the kennel, but he doesn't take me to the farm.
2 November 2009: What a great day! Ernest and I got in a trip to the farm and spent all day with walks and horseback rides and bushhogging the pastures and we had perfect fall weather But the best thing of all was running after a deer. He burst out of a clump of trees and lit out across the field with me coming along behind at high speed. Of course it wasn't fair. The beans haven't been harvested, so he just sailed over the stalks with his white tail in the air while I struggled along below. I sure see where the phrase "high tailing it" comes from. But it was a satisfying experience.
7 November 2009: Wow, I thought the rain was never going to end, but today was beautiful and we went to the farm. Joan came along, and we managed a good walk followed by grilling salmon on the deck and enjoying the dark night. My favorite kind of meal, too, because I get the yummy skin.
28 November 2009: I had a new experience today. Ernest and his nice friend Robert took me to Arkansas for a fishing trip. I was there last week and saw a bunch of deer plus some blue herons. But this time they went in a boat to fish and they took me along. Ernest sort of expected the worst from me, and I'll admit that I was tempted to jump overboard when we got to the spot where I had seen the deer; but I stayed in the boat and behaved myself all afternoon. Toward sunset a couple of eagles flew in so it was a pretty exciting day. I now qualify as seadog first class, so if anybody is looking for a ship's dog--well I wouldn't really leave Ernest, but you've got my email.
6 October 2010: We have a new thing in town, an official fenced dog romping area on Avery justwest of the Parks Division office. I admit it's a little spartan just now with not even a tree in the bg dog area, but it's a start. We checked it out today on our way back from therapy dog rounds. I hope others will come along.
12 November 2010: The early darkness has come, and Ernest and I are doing a lot of running in the pitch black. Tonight we ran over to Hollywood Feeds for treats and a bath then back through the Park. Ernest produced a dog collar with powerful headlights so we could see and be seen by the traffic. It's not as much fun though as daylight jogging. I love our runs along the Old Forest Trail.
July 2011: My first really long road trip. We drove about 1,000 miles to Ocracoke Island, and I saw the ocean. I wasn't so keen on all the crashing waves, but Ernest and Marian took me out between them in a double kayak. That was really fun and i sat quietly without upsetting ythe boat. I also saw the great peoplein the Molasses Creek band--the ones that stayed with us in Memphis last February and were so good to me.