Monday, February 27, 2012

Famous rez dog

We have a famous rez dog named Kiko! In just one and a half days this video has been viewed nearly 13,000 times from YouTube (probably more if you are reading this a few days later). Some people from YouTube contacted us about liscensing it and some people from Fox and the show "Right This Minute" have contacted us wanting to know if they can use this video on their show. You can see it here.

I guess this blog is about Kiko. She does know how to roll over, by the way — and to sit, shake hands and lay down. The kitchen floor was just too small for her to do it in and so she just scoots around.

She is from the Navajo reservation, she's a rez dog from Crownpoint, N.M. She's about 6 years old and really belongs to my sister, Lisha — but she's my dog too. About six years ago she came to our doorstep as a filthy puppy caked in mud. We don't know where she came from or where  her mother or siblings were. She's been with us ever since. 

We don't know what breed of dog she is, but she does look like part rottweiler. She sheds really bad and she doesn't like it when you blow in her face.

That's how all our dogs have come to us (Zoey, Kobie, Spike and Max). They were stray, mix-breed dogs that were forgotten. There are hundreds of these kinds of dogs on Native reservations everywhere. They hang around grocery stores and eat scraps, they attack live stock, they have puppies under public buildings, they starve to death and they are just part of where I live. It's a problem, but it's ignored. 

Last time I did a story on the rez dog problem — because every writer writes one — Navajo animal control euthanizes 80 percent of all animals they catch. Sometimes they use rifles. Recently they cut back on funds for animal control so that leaves about five animal control employees for our whole reservation which is as big as West Virginia. That means Crownpoint doesn't have animal control, only when they do their random dog roundups every couple of months.

I don't know why rez dogs are not respected and treated like dogs that belong to white people. Navajo way says to respect every living and non-living thing, but the dog doesn't get that. They are protectors; they are cute and tolerable when they are puppies; and are forgotten when they are older leaving them to run away, get hurt, die or have puppies every season.

Not all dogs are like this, i.e. Kiko. There are a lot of people like us who love our dogs and put them on YouTube. Many Navajos take good care of their sheep herder dogs and many Navajos treat them like their children and cry when they die. It's just the bad outshines the good here, please don't look down on our nation and people.

Consider getting a pet from the animal shelter.

I hope you enjoyed Kiko's video, we never expected this to get this popular, we just wanted to share it with our friends and family.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Busy, busy

I haven’t written a blog in about a month. I don’t think I had one bored moment in that time though. Shall I take you through a typical day in the life of a writer?
I wake up around 7:30 a.m. If I am out of my room and the bathroom by 8:25 a.m. than that means that I’m doing good time and I can have breakfast. I never leave the house without breakfast anyways. This morning Dave warmed up a hot plate of leftover enchiladas for us.
Dave is my boyfriend by the way.
By 9 a.m. I’m out the door and at the office by 9:05 a.m. From there I make my way to my cubicle in the back of the newsroom where the coldest corner is. I pick up a copy of the Sun-News and read as much as I can. I check my email and get on Facebook and the Sun-News website and fill my head with current events and news from all over the world. Facebook is not banned from my workplace, it's encouraged.
I don’t like my cubicle walls. I have decorated them with an ugly black and white checkerboard paper and photos of a sheep, my Kitty, a roadrunner, a photo of a painting that I have made no connections with and another photo of my Kitty. It looks kind of childish. I wish I could find new art for that, otherwise the cubicle is gray. The only things I do like are the two thank you cards I got from readers that are hanging on those walls.
Throughout the day I talk to people. I visit with them and they tell me all about their businesses, where they learned how to cook and why they started that particular restaurant. I talk to people who take care of injured turtles, I talk to people who make business of colorful popcorn, I talk to cigar connoisseurs, I talk to people who give babies massages, I talk to people who have defeated the odds and keep fighting the good fight against diabetes, I talk to 4-year-old mountain climbers, I talk to musicians, I talk to citizens of this awesome city and I write their stories.
All of these stories are so fulfilling -- some more than others, I say. Normally I'm shy and I keep to myself most of the time. But this job allows me to meet so many people, hundreds of people. They tell me so many things about themselves, I love to hear it. Don't get me wrong though, there are some stories I would rather pass by, but they have to be done.
Deadline day is on Wednesday. All stories, each 20-inches long, or longer, have to be done and their photos sent in by the photographer or me sometimes. Often, Wednesday has been extremely busy and a little stressful. But darn it, I have been getting things in and on time.
Sometimes I have deadlines on Tuesday and Friday for other sections of the newspaper too. These, depending on the Wednesday load, make it busier or a little more stressful.
Usually around 6 p.m. I’m done – sort of – with what I needed to do and I have a definite plan of what I need to do the next day. I leave for home.
At home I change into my gym clothes and Dave and I head off to the gym. I walk a half mile on the treadmill and get on the elliptical thing for about 10 minutes. Afterwards I can bench about 75 pounds and do other weightlifting things. Then we play volleyball in one of the racquetball rooms for a good 30 minutes to an hour. Dave is getting better and I feel like I’m a much better ball handler than I was when I played in high school.
Then it’s home for some culinary genius – sort of. I make my own dough for pizzas. We make soup from scratch. I make some tasty Middle Eastern dish we simply call “shola.” We make giant lasagnas. We make salads. We make green chile “encharritos,” a cross between a burrito and an enchilada. I make stirfry. I make alfredo. We grill salmon…
By the time dinner is ready it’s probably 8:30 p.m. By 9 p.m. it’s to the couch for rest, digestion and TV time. One hour to sit and hurry up and find a good program to watch. Sometimes we even have time for a movie.
By 10 p.m. it’s time for bed – sort of. Most times I’m still watching TV and am in bed by 11 p.m.
As I have grown up and I have a grown up person’s job I have learned that lunch breaks and my time at home is precious for me. Weekends are a blessing.
It’s the weekend now and I’m going to Albuquerque with my sister and Dave to see my mom and dad. We’ll probably do some shopping, do some eating and have a whole lotta laughs. Enjoy your weekend.