When someone complains about wearing a mask…

… show them this post from a Facebook breed group:

I am extremely allergic to my golden too. Three or four times a year I was getting sinus infections that turned into pneumonia and kept me sick for MONTHS. We made these changes:

We bought a dyson vacuum and religiously vacuum every other day.

I pull the bed out and vacuum under and behind it because I found her fur actually quickly builds up in those areas “hides” behind places like that and the sofa.

I use a swifter wet jet under the bed and under other surfaces help a LOT because it picks up those micro dust hair particles which affects allergies.

We deep brush her twice a week.

We change the AC filters monthly to the strongest allergic kind.

I’ve not been sick for over a year since we started this routine. (I do still take singulair, levocetrizine and Flonase daily). But this has all really worked. Good luck.

(The gal who posted the above followed up with “I absolutely love love love my dog so much. She’s worth every minute.”)

I feel that this is a contender in the topping competition that one sees regarding coronaplague masks. “Our First Responders do X, Y, and Z, and you can’t simply wear a mask all day?”

Readers: Agree?

Also from this golden retriever group, an owner with a 6-month-old golden and a 2-month old Chihuahua asked how to prevent the two from breeding. I responded

Every Chihuahua should be neutered! No dog should be smaller than a big rat.

The comment attracted 10 positive reactions (like/laugh). I dug into these. All but one reaction was from a Facebook user with a female-associated first name.

Full post, including comments

Togo, the Disney sled dog movie

If there is a dispute in your household regarding whether a big furry dog is allowed to sleep in the bed… Togo is the movie for you! This is a fantastic (in all senses of the word) dramatization of the 1925 dog team relay that brought diphtheria antitoxin serum to Nome.

The best part, from my point of view, is that the growth of a character (and in every Hollywood movie, of course, someone has to grow!) is demonstrated by abandonment of a previous objection to a dog sleeping in the (humans’) bed.

Recommended if you’ve got a Disney+ subscription. (Does it qualify as “the best piece of art in any form that I have ever seen in my life,” as Michelle Obama said of Hamilton? Maybe not, but it has Arctic dogs and, at least when presented on a TV, it holds the viewer’s attention much better than Hamilton.)


Full post, including comments

What to do when a family member is an anti-masker?

She walks by “We Believe… Science is Real” signs every day and yet…

I mentioned the need to follow guidance from Dr. Fauci (not last month’s guidance, of course, but this month’s!):

What to do with this household member who puts herself, her family, and the entire country at risk?

Full post, including comments


Conventional wisdom says “never leave a dog in a car” because he’ll die from the heat.  A modern car, however, has nearly all of the makings of a perfect kennel:  (1) two energy sources:  battery and gas tank/engine, (2) fans that can bring in fresh air, (3) interior temperature sensors (cars where you set “72 degrees” on the dashboard), (4) power windows, (5) clear windows that are coated with high-tech materials that reject IR and UV light.  Plus the car is a familiar place for the dog and most dogs seem to prefer being in their normal car to being tied up somewhere unfamiliar.  With 100 lines of computer programming a car could do the following:

1) blow air in or, ideally, out of the car when the temperature rose above 70 degrees

2) roll down the windows a bit

3) turn the engine on and start the air conditioner, notifying the owner that it was getting a bit roasty out there for Fido [doing this mass-market would require a working wireless Internet infrastructure in the United States, something that has been discussed here earlier but is apparently not a high priority for our politicians]

4) if the gas tank were getting low, roll down all the windows and shut off the engine, notifying the owner that the dog was at risk of escape or theft

The system could be made a bit better if the car had, in addition to the windows, a slideable stainless steel or Kevlar mesh that could roll up and down.  Then the dog and the car could be secure with all the windows up.

Because car makers don’t open their computer systems to programming (I never thought I’d say this but I wish that cars ran Windows XP so that I could add the above features myself in Visual Basic), it isn’t possible to build this right now very easily.  However, I think I have a solution.

Suppose that you don’t really use the back seat of your car.  You can install a stainless steel wire mesh on the inside of the back windows, essentially stapled to the door frame.  Attached to the inside of the mesh on one side put a 12V exhaust blower fan.  You can now roll down the rear windows, put a sunshade across the windshield, and the temperature inside the car should not exceed the temperature outside.  Maybe add a provision for a temporary fine-mesh screen for summer evenings so that mosquitos don’t get into the car.

One issue with the car/kennel idea is that the motor might run the battery down.  However the only time you’d want to use the fan is in the summer when the battery power is at its peak and the power required to start the engine is at its lowest.  You wouldn’t be leaving the dog for more than an hour or two so even the most powerful fans wouldn’t exhaust the battery.

I’m planning to do this with my next car.  I like minivans because it is easy to keep a bicycle in the car (I have trouble walking so like to have a bike available at all times).  There are some new minivans available that have middle windows that roll down, e.g., Toyota Sienna 2004.  Before I trade in my 5-year-old minivan I am hoping that someone will introduce a gas/electric hybrid minivan but if it doesn’t happen by February 2004 I’ll buy a new Sienna and start stapling.

Better ideas anyone?

Full post, including comments