Monday, December 04, 2006


A flock of wild Monk Parakeets in New Jersey living in groups of their own kind, as they were evolved to do.
Courtesy of Steve Baldwin,

Betty Jo, a long time reader of Pale Male's exploits, sent in a note regarding an earlier entry,
Here's what she had to say-

RE Dogs--how many small animals killed or harassed by dogs in parks in 05?Years ago, the State of California, took land in Topanga (a beat-turned hippie turned yuppie enclave north of LA for a wonderful state park.

Naturally the people who lived on the edge of this land thought it was more their park than strangers park, so they did sort of what they wanted there. One of my friends let her very small dog off leash and she was cited by the ranger. When he saw the dog off leash a third time, he confronted Kia and said, your dog harasses and kills animals. She replied "Never!" At that moment, by her own admission, her dog killed a ground squirrel, proving the ranger right, she embarrassed, the dog happy and the poor squirrel dead.

I vote for dogs on leads and cats in the house and no wild animals as pets. (except for re-habs of course--AND Silver makes me lust for a parrot!)Thanks for your wonderful blog--I look at it every day.

Betty Jo McDonald (CAmarillo, CA)

Gulp. :-) In my own defense, concerning Silver: I'd always wanted a parrot. Ever since I read Treasure Island I was dying for a parrot, but never got one once I was old enough to get my own, because there was a principle involved. I realized that they aren't domesticated species but more or less tame members of wild ones. But then I ran across a three month old African Grey with malnutrition, sorely in need of rescue. Hand raised, imprinted on humans, he was never going to go to Africa. He didn't know the customs or the language. Besides it was unlikely he'd ever be able to give up whipped cream or pork chops, let alone chewing pincushions.

This was and is a companion bird, born and raised. So we all became companions, along with the eight other rescued birds (No other exotics mind you, in fact mostly persecuted pigeons) and the three rescued cats. The cats, you'll be glad to know, happily reside full time indoors.

So for those who wish to have a life long companion, who is very much like a brilliant toddler with wings and a very sharp beak, who will bring joy and laughter into your life with a measure of despair when he decides to renovate the antique furniture, there are many parrots out there sorely in need of adoption. You'll never be bored. Hysterical with laughter, bleeding on the carpet, or nearly ready to kill when he won't stop beeping like the microwave or imitating the fire alarm, yes--but you'll never be bored.

Donegal Browne

P.S. To Betty Jo, I still get Mailer-Daimoned when I try to email you. Is my address in your address book? Perhaps that would help.


Ed D. said...

Is it just New Yorkers who insist on letting their dogs off the leash even when it's against the posted rules or do people everywhere flaunt regulations concerning dogs?

Donegal Browne said...

Hi Ed,

I'm clueless as to the statistics but anecdotally, I know that when a poop pick up law was passed in Paris is was utterly ignored originally, no matter the fine.

On the other hand, my parent's property borders a park in Wisconsin. In the park is a walking track and people often walk their dogs when they walk themselves round the mile circle.

There is a very small sign asking for dogs to please be kept on a leash. I've watched people going round that circle for some years now and I have never seen a dog off the lead. And I'm talking ANY TIME of the day or night or in any weather, they follow the rules.

Different communities have different mores. Some are more attuned to the common purpose as opposed to the personal preference.

Besides in the little town of Milton where my parents live, a place where practically everyone knows every one else or at least knows who your mother is, if you let your dog off the leash, people would talk about you.

Community pressure in a town that size can be a very strong force.

And as a sidelight, they don't litter either. Even if they wanted to, someone would see them from a window and make a quick call to the culprit's parents...even if the culprit is 50.