Tuesday, August 15, 2006

On helmets, pit bulls, feet, and age

First: If you ride a motorcycle, please, please, please always wear a helmet. A friend of mine just lost her brother-in-law (whom I'd met and liked a lot) to a bike crash last weekend, and a couple summers ago, my sister-in-law lost a dear friend who was riding to Sturgis. It might be fun to ride without a helmet sometimes, but you never know when you'll hit a rock or a patch of oil, or when a car will come out of nowhere and collide with you. It is never fun to plan a young person's funeral or help someone cope with traumatic brain damage. Don't wear the helmet for yourself or for the law—wear it for the people who love you. They'll be heartbroken if you crash without a helmet.

Second: A lot of folks object strenuously when the subject of banning pit bulls is raised. If you're one of them, please read the Chicago Tribune series (free registration required) about a boy who was mauled by three neighborhood pit bulls he'd played with. The dogs in question were family pets, not fighting dogs, and yet they turned on their owner, innocent children, and the neighbors who came to their aid. The first part of the series is where the attack is detailed—it's gruesome, so don't read it if you're too squeamish. It's a tremendously moving and terrifying series of articles, and now that I've read it, I do support a ban on the breed.

Third: My feet hurt. Especially when I'm trying to sleep at night. (You'd think one V1codin would be enough, but no.) I know only one other person who's had sesamoiditis, and—what are the odds of this?—it's Mr. Tangerine. I feel terrible for having minimized his complaints in the past, because crikey! It really does hurt. And since he knows what it feels like, he's been incredibly helpful in fetching me ice packs, painkillers, and food and drink. He really is a sweetheart in so many ways. I do believe I'll keep him. (And no, he's not available on loan. Mine, mine! All mine!)

Fourth: Sesamoiditis is mucking up my birthday plans. Yes, today is my birthday, and one might say it's a milestone if one were not in a fair degree of denial. I may have just turned [that number], but dang it, I feel 80 instead! And that's not a good thing.


DoctorMama said...

Aw, Happy Birthday!! Take two V1codan!
[That number] is way less icky than I once thought. I've never liked round numbers, but this one is kind of, I don't know, cozy.

Re: helmets. Don't just wear a helmet, get off the freakin' motorcycle, unless you're over 70 and have your will done up. (Or are a misanthropic orphan, as Jul once suggested.) My father was wearing a helmet and driving "responsibly" when he was killed on a motorcycle, so it's a touchy subject for me.

Itchy said...

Happy Birthday Orange!!!

I hate to do this on your birthday, but I still have to disagree with banning pit bulls. Because where would it end? It's a slippery slope. You ban one breed and before you know it other breeds are on the list. And it's unwarranted.

When you acquire a dog (any dog - I have a Beagle that I've had to do special training with due to poor temperament) from unknown sources you can't ever be sure of it's temperament. That's why regulations need to be put in place on breeding and breeders. Don't let neighbors breed their dogs "for extra cash." Real breeders that do the temperament testing, genetic testing, and prove their dogs to be to the standard put forth do not make any money on the sale of their puppies. They break even. Some even go into the hole! Those tests are expensive. The travel and entry fees for showing is expensive. But it's necessary to ensure the integrity of the breeds.

Another point against banning "pit bulls" - too many people cannot accurately identify what a pit bull is. Too many dogs fall under that generic classification.

It's the immorale breeders and "ignorant" owners of this breed that have been its downfall. ANY dog with the wrong temperament can attack "unprovoked." That is why the right regulations need to be put into place to put an end to puppy mills, backyard breeders and the like.

Sergei C. said...

happy birthday, orange! we were in chicago last weekend, but were unable to break away from our appointed tasks. perhaps next time.

Mona Buonanotte said...

Happy Birthday, Beautiful! Hug yourself, then spank your ass, then get drunk, and that's your present from me...!

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to debate the breed ban issue here in your comments box, especially since I'm just a lowly lurker, but I also disagree.

Here is an interesting link that speaks to one of itchy's points:

Hope you have a nice birthday, even if you are spending it on the couch.


Orange said...

Thanks for the birthday felicitations, all!

Sergei and Mona: Aw, sorry to miss you! Didja get to see Dr. B, who's in the area?

DoctorMama, actually, I agree with you about motorcycles. My husband occasionally expresses an interest in getting one, and my answer is always a flat-out, no-compromises, no-way-in-hell "no." I know a guy who's a paraplegic from a bicycle crash, helmet and all (would he even have survived without the helmet?)—life is dangerous, and people with loved ones should do what they can to keep themselves safe(r). Those who ride need to give themselves a better chance with a helmet—and if they insist on riding, I hope they've let their loved ones know they'd like to donate their organs.

Itchy, no matter how poorly trained a beagle is, it's far less likely to be able to kill or maim people than a large, muscular, strong-jawed pit bull. Did you read the first article in the Trib series, outlining the relentless savagery of the attack? The boy, Nick, was lucky in that the dogs didn't manage to tear out his throat, sever a main artery, or disembowel him. If he didn't have a 320-pound man using his body as a shield, the boy would be dead. Might not be a popular opinion, supporting a ban, but it's my opinion. Better regulation of breeders is needed, yes, but while we work on eliminating puppy mills and unscrupulous amateur breeders, let's make neighborhoods safer, too.

Anonymous said...

A thought-
Try icing at night, whether in just cool water and some epsom salts or full-on ice water. Get the day's inflammation down before sleeping.
In the morning, before jumping outta bed, spend a couple minutes with you and your feet. Rubbing them can help the circulation and to stretch out the scar tissue that inevitably forms at night in stressed tissues.

I reversed about 90% of my own foot pain with this method. Vicodin is nice, but only masks what is going on with your feet structurally. AND it interferes with the drinking normally associated with birthdays. I went to a podiatrist who claimed I would always have foot pain. THEN I learned to rub my own feet and understand the anatomy/physiology of what was going on. Such a relief.

JT said...

Agh! I did not mean to miss yet another 38th birthday and here, I did. Ever so sorry but I know I didn't miss a party since you refused to make a fuss.

Instead, my belated birthday gift to you is a wish for lots of orgasms and no pit bulls. I'm totally with you on that one -- they've been overbred for fighting for too long.

No Nym said...

I consider owning a pit bull to be a shooting offense. Either the dog or the owner, I don't care which.

Itchy said...

Yes I did read the article. And yes I was horrified. But I still cannot support breed specific bans. I just can't.

Under the wrong circumstances any dog can attack and kill, unfortunately.

"The most horrifying example of the lack of breed predictability is the October 2000 death of a 6-week-old baby, which was killed by her family's Pomeranian dog. The average weight of a Pomeranian is about 4 pounds, and they are not thought of as a dangerous breed. Note, however, that they were bred to be watchdogs! The baby's uncle left the infant and the dog on a bed while the uncle prepared her bottle in the kitchen. Upon his return, the dog was mauling the baby, who died shortly afterwards. ("Baby Girl Killed by Family Dog," Los Angeles Times, Monday, October 9, 2000, Home Edition, Metro Section, Page B-5.)"

Unfortunately I don't have a link to this information but a Golden Retriever, known to be the most family oriented dog out there, has killed a child due to an ear infection. The child was pulling on the dog's ears and the dog reacted. That's why training, treatment, and not leaving children alone with dogs are so very important.

That is why ANY breed ban is a bad idea. Get rid of Pit Bulls, then what's next? Dobermans? Rotties? Goldens? Labs? It's too slippery of a slope for me to be in agreement with.

It goes back to owner education and breeder regulations.

Orange said...

Kelly, I don't know who you are, but you make a helluva lot of sense. I will ice before bed, and after several days of hobbling around on the side of my foot, I'm sure my feet would benefit from some rubbing and stretching and whatnot. Thanks!

Jeff Janusch said...

Motorcycles. Ugh. AKA "donor cycles". I learned years ago at work that in most cases, wearing a helmet merely allows you to have an open casket.

Anonymous said...

Aw man, I missed your birthday! (But I am not feeling guilty about that, oh no.)

Happy, happy [that number]th.

Flannery O'Clobber said...

Weighing in on the breed ban concept: it's a bad idea. For sooooo many reasons.

flea said...

Happy Belated Birthday! Or Happy Very Early Birthday for your next 38th birthday.

I read that article about the pit bulls, too (and saw the unbelievably horrific photos on the Trib's web site). The thing that got me about this article is that there's no villian in this tragedy. The owners of the pit bull had taken the problematic dog to two different trainers and had been working with him and were considering putting him down - they'd only gotten that recommendation to destroy the dog from the trainer the previous week, and that's a difficult decision to make. The parents of the boy knew he was going over to a neighbor's house that they knew, and the neighbor had dogs that the boy had been playing with since they were puppies. The mother of the boy said that night was like she'd been dropped into a horror movie, and that seems pretty accurate.

Lisa said...
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