Latest from The Spokesman-Review
WINTER SPORTS — Sled dog racing hits high gear in the Inland Northwest starting this week — and skiers should note that skijoring is a category insome sled dog racing events nowadays.
The Eagle Cap Extreme Sled Dog Race starts today (Jan. 23) and runs through Jan. 26 in the Wallowa Mountains based out of Joseph, Ore. Known for its challenging elevation gain, the event includes a full-scale 200-mile race for teams of 12 dogs — a Yukon Quest qualifying race. Also scheduled is a 100-mile race for 8-dog teams, a new 62-mile, 2-day mid-distance "pot" race.
The Cascade Quest Sled Dog Race runs Feb. 1-3 based out of Lake Wenatchee. It includes four events: an 8-12 dog 100-mile stage race, a 6-dog 75-mile stage race, a 2 to 6-dog 24-mile recreation-class race and a purebred race.
WINTER SPORTS — Learn to ski with dog power in a skijoring clinic Sunday (Jan. 27), 2 p.m., at Mount Spokane State Park.
The Mt. Spokane Skijor Group will teach basic skills and etiquette for the trails that are open to skijorers at designated times twice a week.
Cost: $10, due by Thursday (Jan. 24).
Preregister: Diana Roberts, email email@example.com or call (509)570-8242.
PREDATORS — A 20-year-old Stevensville hunter thought he'd done everything right before he let his three mountain lion dogs go on a set of fresh tracks Sunday afternoon.
He'd been hunting with others in the Ninemile drainage north of Missoula since Sept. 3. In all that time, they had not seen any sign of wolves in the area. He saw no wolf tracks in the snow heading up to his hunting area last weekend.
This day wasn’t any different than the rest of the season — until his GPS unit indicated his dogs had stopped.
BIRD DOGGING — A Facebook friend recently sent me several poignant quotations regarding dogs, which made me think fondly back over the German shorthairs, Brittanys and English setters I've been privileged to own, know, love and hunt.
But honestly, I couldn't help but make a few reality checks after thinking about these Dog Wisdoms for a moment. I've added my two cents from decades of experience in bold face.
*Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful. Indeed, the tail wagging may be a devious attempt to delay you from discovering the chewed up bamboo fly rod. - Ann Landers
*If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went, unless it's into the barnyard to roll in cow pies. - Will Rogers
*There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face, and that's a good thing because a psychiatrist is much more likely than a puppy to have been licking something icky before it licked you. - Ben Williams
*A neutered dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down. - Robert Benchley
*If your dog is fat, you aren't getting enough exercise and you clearly aren't a chukar hunter. - Unknown
Nikki Sauser was in the Kinko's on the South Hill when this guy came in and started making photocopies.
He hadn't been at it all that long before a loud car horn sounded from outside. The guy's face scrunched into an exasperated look and he scurried toward the door.
Sauser noticed that several people near the front windows were chuckling. Then she saw why.
Inside the guy's pickup truck was a big dog with a paw on the horn.
"You could see this was no accident," said Sauser. "The dog knew what it was doing. And you knew from the way the guy acted that this wasn't the first time."
Sauser got a kick out of the scene. But she said she hopes her dog, Eddie, doesn't learn that trick. "My life would never be the same."
FISHING/HUNTING — Having trouble finding birds to shoot during the upland bird hunting season?
No worries. Put that bird dog to use retrieving a fish dinner. Video shows how easy it is.
Some people are scared of this breed, but I've always found them to be pretty reasonable. Don't try anything funny and there's usually no trouble.
I had an elderly neighbor whose shep would jump over the fence while his owner was away. But this dog always let me return him to his yard without incident.
HUNTING — Two men, on opposite sides of the world, have been shot by their alleged best friends, reports News.com.au.
One man's shooting trip in Utah, US took a surprise turn when he was shot in the buttocks - by his own dog.
Meanwhile in France, a 55-year-old hunter had to have his right hand amputated after his dog accidentally shot him has said he doesn't blame the pet, which he still considers "adorable".
HUNTING — A nice, easy, fulfilling start to the hunting seasons.
Scout and I have three and a half months to go!
When do you consider them to be upon us?
I always think of August. Can you believe that starts tomorrow?
A Spokane woman who had 50 dogs and cats packed into a squalid bungalow in Hillyard has been charged with animal cruelty.
Laneva Marsha Erskine, 57, faces nine misdemeanor charges stemming from a February raid at her home at 3622 E. Crown Ave. in which workers wore hazardous material suits and respirators to combat the heavy stench.
During a demonstration Tuesday, SCRAPS animal protection Officer Francie Rapier monitors a thermometer placed inside a parked car. Even with four windows cracked open, the temperature hit 109 degrees in 25 minutes.
Animal protection Officer Francie Rapier last week responded to a complaint of two dogs left inside a parked car at Spokane Valley Mall.
When she arrived, the outside temperature was 75, but the inside temperature was 100 degrees even though the car’s windows were left partly open, she said.
She seized the dogs and left a notice of violation on the windshield. The owner was cited for unsafe confinement, a misdemeanor. Mike Prager, SR Read more.
This happens every summer. Why do people leave their dogs or even worse their kids inside parked cars?
I'll open the nominations with the collie.
TRAILS — Spokane County officials announced today they will begin addressing the issue of unleashed dogs — a long-simmering aggravation that's been been stoked in recent years by the purchase of county conservation lands, which many pet owners wrongly assume to be dog parks.
An emphasis patrol to enforce dog leash laws on 12,000 acres of Spokane County park and conservation lands is being launched later this week. The effort is fueled by a $140,000 grant.
Patrols are scheduled for six weeks. The funding also provides for additional patrols by off-duty County Sheriffs officers to deal with issues such as off-leash dogs, shooting and off-road vehicles through June 30, 2013, said Paul Knowles, Spokane Count Parks planner.
The project will start this weekend at Antoine Peak Conservation Area just north of East Valley High School.
Spokane County Park Ranger Bryant Robinson said dogs running off leash is the top complaint from the public, ahead of the No. 2 complaint of off-road vehicles going onto park land.
The breaking point may have come recently when Spokane County Commissioner Mark Richard endured the abuse that's been fetching more and more complaints throughout the county.
During a commission briefing today, Richard said his dogs were attacked by three off-leash dogs and when he confronted the owner of the off-leash dogs, he was threatened himself.
"Some people don't take kindly to telling them how to manage their pets," noted Nicole Montano, animal protection manager for SCRAPS.
S-R reporter Mike Prager was at the briefing and filed this detailed report on the enforcement effort.
Other emphasis patrols currently scheduled include:
- Sunday at Liberty Lake Regional Park,
- June 23 at Dishman Hills Natural Area,
- June 24 at Liberty Lake and Saltese Uplands Conservation Areas,
- June 30 at Slavin Conservation Area,
- July 7 at Bear Lake Regional Park,
- July 8 at Iller Creek Conservation Area.
During the leash emphasis, authorities will be issuing citations for other violations, including not having a license, which carries a $200 fine, or going onto park land with a motorized vehicle.
Violations of letting a dog run at large, failure to have a current rabies vaccination or having a threatening dog all carry $87 fines.
The $140,000 in funding is coming from a Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office NOVA Education and Enforcement grant.
A Post Falls man who beat his dog with a hammer as his neighbor watched in horror has been sentenced to six months in jail.
Calvin Franklin Palmer, 53, who served 33 years in prison in Arizona for murder, apologized at his sentencing Friday and said the death of his Akita-pit bull even "traumatized him," according to court records.
"I was the only one who treated her nicely," Palmer said.
He told police he killed the dog after she attacked a cat and he feared she would attack him.
"I'm sorry that someone saw me do that," he said in court Friday, according to a transcript. Palmer was booked into the Kootenai County Jail that day to begin his sentence.
Palmer's neighbors in the 300 block of North Columbia Street in Post Falls called police Dec. 10 and reported the horrific attack.
Tammi Nichols, 40, said her 18-year-old daughter, Carmen Murphy, told her she'd seen Palmer beating the dog with the hammer.
Nichols said she told Palmer "You just traumatized my child," but Palmer "looked at her with a blank look on his face, then swung the hammer at the dog four more times, striking it in the head," according to court documents.
Post Falls police arrived to find the dog dead in a trash can, badly beaten with its throat slit.
Palmer initially lied to police and said he didn't own a dog, according to court documents. When they asked him about dog food at the home, he said he fed it to his cats because he can't afford cat food.
Palmer has been out of prison for about three years after being convicted of robbery and murder in Arizona, according to court records. He works at the Sweetgrass Cafe in Worley, Idaho, according to testimony at his sentencing.
His public defender, Megan Marshall, called for him to serve no jail time for the animal cruelty conviction, saying he'll lose his trailer if he can't work. She said his murder conviction "is following him for the rest of his life," according to court records.
Judge Penny Friedlander instead sentenced him to 180 days in jail but allowed for work release. Friedlander said it was "stunning to the court how anyone could do an act like that to an animal."
WILDLIFE — Coyotes defending a den of pups are not tolerating dogs coming through their territory between High Drive and Hangman Creek.
After my story about a Thursday attack on a dog was published today, The Spokesman-Review has learned of at least three coyote attacks this week on dogs up to 80 pounds.
Coyotes generally weigh 30-45 pounds.
If you hike in the area above Qualchan Golf Course, keep your dog on a lease for awhile.
Read on for details.
What do you think when you see that?
A) "How cute." B) "Isn't that actually illegal in Washington?" C) "It's probably not all that safe but I know the dogs love it." D) "The driver must not be especially familiar with the concept of sudden stops and the laws of physics." E) "Freedom, freedom, freedom, blah, blah, blah." F) "Last time I expressed reservations about that practice and noted the unenforced statute prohibiting it, the person to whom I was speaking got all up in arms about how there's no law saying kids can't ride back there. I didn't bother to mention that most children don't see a squirrel in the distance and bolt out of the truck while it's zipping down the road." G) "I have been doing that with our dogs for years and nothing bad has ever happened." H) "It's the spirit of the West." I) "Don't really approve of that in city traffic. Out in the country, OK." J) "Im sure those people really love their dogs. I hope they don't have to learn the hard way that there are big risks for the pets." K) Other.
HIKING — A trio of aggressive coyotes took on two Labrador retrievers running loose with their owner on the South Hill bluff trails Thursday, sending one dog to the vet for a chest full of stitches.
He wanted to warn other people who take their dogs to the bluffs. Keeping dogs on leashes could help prevent similar encounters.
OK, so the argument over whether Mitt Romney is less dog friendly for strapping a canine cage to his car roof than Barack Obama is for eating dog meat when he was a child in Indonesia is admittedly the stupidest conversation of the Presidential campaign thus far.
But this video is still pretty funny.
TRAILS — Last Saturday a hard-working group of 20 turned out to work on Bluff trails.
The many, many more people who use the trails owe them a tip of the hat.
They did trail maintenance and prepared to re-align a trail that is steep and highly erosive. The new route will be more stable and user-friendly for hikers and mt bikers.
To complete the task, the Friends of the Bluffs are encouraging more people to join some evening work parties.
The first two will be Tuesday April 24 and Wednesday May 2.
Join the group from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to work off the stress of the day (and perhaps adjourn to the Rocket Market afterwards).
Meet at the Bernard/High Dr trail head and bring/wear hiking boots, work clothes, work gloves, and bring water.
Someone has been taking liberties with pet-control signage at Corbin Park on Spokane's North Side.
Photos courtesy of John Blanchette
Police said a Coeur d'Alene woman was arrested with methamphetamine inside her vaginal cavity this morning, but they later said the woman only said meth was located there, and none was found.
Detectives with the North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force located Christine R. Davis-Jasinki, 35, at the Coeur d'Alene Casino and searched her home at 114 Borah Ave. in Coeur d'Alene about 5:30 a.m. today, where they found a surveillence system and other drugs.
Davis-Jasinki was booked into jail for drug charges for meth and drug paraphernalia found in the home. A SWAT team used an armored vehicle to approach the home.
Police used the extreme measures because of "information about several weapons inside the residence as well as four pit bull dogs," according to a news release by Coeur d'Alene police Sgt. Christie Wood.
A SWAT member used a dog snare to control "a large, vicious pit bull," but the other dogs were cooperative and none were injured, Wood said. The dogs were seized by animal control officers.
Police found what they described as a sophisticated video surveillance inside the home that monitored the street and included audio capabilities and a view of the home's entrance. They also found a large amount of suspected stolen property, including jewelry and power tools. Police are working to identify the owners.
Arrested at the home were Coeur d'Alene residents Chase A. Nutting, 21, on a failure to appear warrant for attempted robbery, and a warrant out of Kitsap County, Wash., and Stevan E. Hemming, 25, on a warrant for violating his probation and parole for aggravated assaulted.
Davis-Jasinki has been booked into the Kootenai County Jail 30 times since 1996, said Major Ben Wolfinger.
TRAILS — In the photo above, volunteers pose with the metal-recyclable garbage they picked up today from the South Hill Bluff below High Drive.
TRAILS — Join the fun as the 'Friends of the Bluff' are having a trash cleanup day Saturday (March 24), 9am - Noon.
Meet at the main trail head just south of the Bernard and High intersection. Be prepared for the weather and to hike to our two focused sites which are 1/4 and 3/4 mile down the slope.
Volunteers are encouraged to:
- -Wear heavy duty clothing, leather gloves, and hiking footwear
- Bring wheelbarrows/dollys with ratchet straps and ropes as tie downs
- Bring several sturdy cloth bags (think reusable grocery bags) for the smaller stuff
Bring plenty of water to drink
Post event cool down at the Rocket Market (0.8 miles east at the corner of High Dr/Hatch).
Jim Schrock of Earthworks Recycling www.earthworksrecycling.com is donating the metals disposal bin.
We're used to the notion of dogs barking at mail carriers.
But this seemed ridiculous.
An occupied postal service van was parked on a South Hill street. And a dog that looked like a schnauzer stood in the adjacent yard barking at it.
Talk about holding a grudge. The mail carrier can't even get out of the vehicle before the dog starts in?
Eventually the dog put its front paws up on the white van and continued speaking out.
Sometimes, though, things aren't always as they appear. After a moment, the woman taking the dog for a walk came over and picked it up. It seemed she was going to have to haul it away from the van and the female mail carrier inside.
But no. This hadn't been canine hostility. It had been a greeting. Or maybe a request.
The woman held the dog up and leaned the front half of it in through the open passenger's side window. Maybe there was a cookie or dog biscuit presented. I couldn't see.
In any case, it was a reminder. There is barking and then there is barking. The two are quite different.
Here's some spill-over from a theme addressed in today's print column.
"Libby, our black Lab, has been faithfully bringing us our paper for eight years," wrote Carol Bending. "She listens at the front door for the delivery car and the plop of the paper in the driveway. If she's slow to return, we know it's icy and her coat tells us if it's rainy or snowing. Then she drops it inside the front door for the young Lab in-training to carry it to the treat bowl where they both sit pretty for their reward. It's all about the food, you know."
Then there was this from Cheri Knox.
"Our loyal Labrador, Maizey, knows that her job every morning is to retrieve the newspaper from our driveway. She always brings it to the front door and waits patiently, newspaper in mouth, for someone to open the door. From time to time, we have forgotten to let her back in, so she carries the newspaper to the back kitchen door and peers through the glass, newspaper in mouth, until someone notices. We have sometimes failed her, but she has never failed us."
He’s mostly just a pile of wrinkles,
this canine heap of folds and crinkles;
a Size M skin would fit him well,
instead he’s wearing X-X-L.
The Bard of Sherman Avenue (Wikipedia photo)
For most of my work-from-home career, we’ve shared an office and a routine. As soon as the door closes behind the rest of the family, we go to work.
I have a tendency to fuss and fidget, jumping up from my computer to answer the phone or scan a document or make another cup of tea. He is more quiet. More content. He makes himself comfortable nearby, watching me move around, paying attention to what I’m doing, especially when I wander into the kitchen. He’s always willing to join me in a snack. Occasionally he gets restless and asks to go outside, but for the most part, he’s happy to simply share the space with me
Actually, that’s the way we used to spend our days. Things are changing now. At 14, he’s an old dog. He no longer sits and watches me work. Now, as soon as we’re alone for the day, he is instantly asleep. He sleeps deeply and quietly, seldom “chasing rabbits” in his dreams the way he used to. I can step over him, open the refrigerator and even crunch into a carrot, his favorite treat, without waking him.
And when he is awake, he doesn’t move a lot. Moving hurts, I can tell. He rarely climbs the stairs to my daughter’s room and even the two short steps leading from the kitchen to the back yard are sometimes difficult. Sometimes, as he sleeps, he groans softly, forgetting to hide the aches and pains.
The other day, on deadline and stuck for the right word, I pushed away from the computer and my restless eyes wandered away from my keyboard and chased ideas around the room, gazing out the window, over the newspaper on the floor beside my chair, before settling on him.
For a while I watched him as he lay there, remembering the day I brought him home. At just over a year old, he was a big, strong, sensitive puppy with a tendency to worry. But he had the soul of a rambler, which is exactly how he came to be with us; a stray who’d been picked up and taken to the Humane Society. And for the last 13 years I’ve had to keep my eye on him because he still likes nothing better than a solitary walkabout. Even now, on a bad day as stiff and slow as a mechanical toy, when I let him out the back door I have to watch him or he’ll slip away and stroll down to the park on his own.
The saddest thing is that he can no longer drop and have a good roll in the snow. That was always his favorite thing to do on a winter day, to roll back and forth, scrubbing his coat in the fresh powder. I used to laugh at him when occasionally he would stop rolling and, relaxed and content, his feet still in the air, he would lie there for a few minutes gazing up at the sky like a child. Now he just stands and looks down at the snow for a moment and then moves on.
I thought about all of this as I watched him and my throat tightened. I just don’t know how much more time we have together.
Pushing my computer aside, I dropped down onto the floor beside him. He didn’t move. Stretching out, I lay beside my old dog and draped my arm over him, pressing my face into the rough fur of his back. He woke up enough to lift his head and look back over his shoulder at me as his tail thumped the floor a few times, but if he was surprised to find me lying on the floor next to him, he didn’t give any sign. He just stretched a bit, sighed deeply and went back to sleep.
I lay there a few more minutes, taking and giving comfort, thinking about time and how it always slips away from us in the end, and then got up and went back to my desk. Back to my computer. Back to work in the company of my tired and true companion.
Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance writer based in Spokane, Washington. In addition to her Home Planet , Treasure Hunting and CAMera: Travel and Photo blogs, her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The televised dog show in New York always reminds me of my close encounter with greyhounds.
About 20 years ago, I was down in Pullman spending time with a WSU vet student who commuted from the South Hill every day. This was for a story.
The school operated some sort of blood bank for greyhounds. And at one point during the day, the student I was following and one of her classmates walked a couple of the resident greyhounds over to a big fence-enclosed ball field/park nearby.
Once safely inside the fence, the two women unleashed the dogs. And the greyhounds took off with a speed that was utterly astounding.
One moment, they had been right next to us. And then, in the next, they were way, way over on the other side of the park. It was as if they had made the jump to warp 9.
It was thrilling to witness. And what made it even better was sharing in the unbridled joy the dogs seemed to experience when getting to do what comes naturally to them.
I knew that breed was fast. Everybody does. But until you see them move up close, it is impossible to appreciate how truly blazing their speed is.