First thing I noticed was the seagulls.

Fatter, stronger, etc., than any seagull I’m used to!

You’d think they get self-conscious or cocky about it or something, but then you remember that they’re just seagulls, so they probably don’t think about these things too much.

It also rains a lot. I also noticed that. I think the seagulls notice it too since they fly around and kind of hide in window ledges looking inside with cocked heads to see what we’re up to, like “what are you doing in there?”

When the sun comes out, the sky is gold and red and rainbows from all of the rain. I also think the seagulls notice this. They start hopping around on the edges of buildings more and flying and peeking in windows less. They probably figure it’s going to rain any minute, so I had better get my hops in while I can.

Dispatch from Yap: Nightfishing and the Rule of Threes (2)

Continued from Part 1.

My mind alternated between stoic acceptance of my (presumably inevitable) fate and disbelief. Sog was a nice enough guy, he wouldn’t avenge my disrespect by engineering my death from beyond the grave, would he? The rule of three had been satisfied, right? Well-loved dogs have to count. How did all of these deaths happen? I concentrated on the road for the rest of the drive to change the subject.

Things grew calm as I drove into Ron’s driveway, Tomil’s red clay dirt blanketing the ground. His younger brother, Sean, greeted me and offered a betel nut. I accepted and we had a chew in Ron’s outdoor living room.

Read the rest of this entry »

Animal Planet

I spent my subway ride home yesterday reading this 2008 piece from GQ, Violence of the Lambs, in which “John Jeremiah Sullivan contemplates the coming battle between man and beast.” Exactly as the tagline suggests, the article spends a few thousand words describing how new technologies, human encroachment on animal habitats, global warming, and accelerated evolution have driven animals insane and led to an unprecedented surge in animal attacks. Read the rest of this entry »

Interludes from Yap: A Dog Owner’s Dilemma


A Dog Owner’s Dilemma

My Lemon is an island mutt.

Platonic form of dog, sure, but

Accustomed to the Yap milieu,

I worry I can’t bring her to

A city in a colder clime

Where she won’t have as good a time
Read the rest of this entry »

Dog Shows and the Illusion of Order

I spent two nights last week watching the Westminster Dog Show with several other contributors to this blog. There were a few conversations about how immoral and sometimes cruel dog-breeding can be and about all the other ways in which this spectacle might be offensive: You have to be a certain kind of rich to even partake. And it’s a kind of objectification that most of its viewers would find objectionable in any other context. The most analogous “sport” or contest I can think of has to be the child beauty pageant. But I won’t go into that or into the ethics of the breeding.

What I really want to write about is how this contest purports to sort and rank among the thousands of dogs that are escorted around that stage every year.

Read the rest of this entry »