Why dogs are better than … well, everything

I realize this is just middle-class spam, but I enjoyed this email from my mom called “Why some men have dogs and not wives.” It could almost refer to gay men and boyfriends (except, maybe, for Nos. 7 and 11), but I really appreciate it as the proud papa to three canines.

Here’s the list:

1. The later you are, the more excited your dogs are to see you.

2. Don’t don’t notice if you call them by the wrong name.

3. Dogs don’t mind if you leave a lot of things on the floor.

4. A dog’s parents never visit.

5. Dogs agree that you have to raise your voice to get your point across sometimes.

6. You never have to wait for a dog to “get ready” — they are rarin’ to go 24/7.

7. Dogs find you amusing when you’re drunk.

8. Dogs like to go hunting and fishing.

9. A dog will not wake you in the middle of the night to ask, “If I died, would you get another dog?”

10. If a dog has babies, you can put an ad in the paper and give them away.

11. A dog will let you know put a studded collar on it without calling you a pervert.

12. If a dog smells another dog on you, they don’t get mad — they just find it interesting.

13. Dogs like to ride around in the back of a pickup truck.

14. If a dog leaves, it won’t take half your stuff.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Pet of the week • 02.10.12

Gloria

Gloria702701-1

Gloria

Gloria is a precious 5-month-old black kitten with a most unusual marking — a white band around her middle, which gives her a distinct and unique look. Gloria has other great attributes, too. She’s super-friendly, playful and full of fun. This cutie will make a great addition to any family.

Gloria and many other dogs, puppies, cats and kittens are available for adoption from Dallas Animal Services, 1818 N. Westmoreland at I-30, just minutes west of downtown Dallas. The shelter is open Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. and Sundays 12 noon-5 p.m. The regular adoption cost is $85 for dogs and $55 for cats, but discounts are offered for older animals and those in the shelter longer than 45 days and to senior citizens and those who adopt two animals at the same time. All dogs are negative for heartworms, and cats have been tested for FeLV and FIV. For more information, visit www.DallasAnimalServices.org, or call 214-671-0249

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 10, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas

Pet of the week • 01.27.12

Stewie

Pet.Stewie

Stewie

Stewie is a sweet brindle terrier mix who, despite the name, is a girl dog. She’s 11⁄2 years old and full grown at 42 pounds. Stewie is gentle, affectionate and eager to please. And because she’s been at Dallas Animal Services for more than 45 days, her adoption cost is just $42.50.

Stewie and many other dogs, puppies, cats and kittens are available for adoption from Dallas Animal Services, 1818 N. Westmoreland at I-30, just minutes west of downtown Dallas. The shelter is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The regular adoption cost is $85 for dogs and $55 for cats, but discounts are offered for older animals and those in the shelter longer than 45 days, and to senior citizens and those who adopt two animals at the same time. All dogs are negative for heartworms, and cats have been tested for FeLV and FIV.  For more information, visit www.DallasAnimalServices.org, or call 214-671-0249.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 27, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas

Pet of the Week • 01.13.12

Snow

Pet-Snow

Snow

Snow is one of the happiest, friendliest dogs you’ll ever meet. She’s 10 months old and full grown at 46 pounds. Snow loves people and should do fine with other dogs. With her sunny personality and great demeanor, Snow will make a faithful canine companion.

Snow and many other dogs, puppies, cats and kittens are available for adoption from Dallas Animal Services, 1818 N. Westmoreland at I-30, just minutes west of Downtown Dallas. The shelter is open Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. and Sundays noon-5 p.m. The regular adoption cost is $85 for dogs and $55 for cats, but discounts are offered for older animals and those in the shelter longer than 45 days and to senior citizens and those who adopt two animals at the same time. All dogs are negative for heartworms, and cats have been tested for FeLV and FIV. For more information, visit DallasAnimalServices.org, or call 214-671-0249.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 13, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas

Pet of the Week • 12.30.11

Pet-HappyHappy

Happy is an aptly named love bug. She’s a 7-month-old terrier-beagle mix who currently weighs about 28 pounds but, like many of us this time of the year, could stand to lose a few. She’s eager to please, full of energy and loving.  Happy is a friendly girl who’s hoping for a forever home for the New Year.

Happy and many other dogs, puppies, cats and kittens are available for adoption from Dallas Animal Services, 1818 N. Westmoreland at I-30, just minutes west of Downtown Dallas. The shelter is open Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. and Sundays 12 noon-5 p.m. This weekend, the shelter will close at 5 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and be closed on New Year’s Day. The regular adoption cost is $85 for dogs and $55 for cats, but discounts are offered for animals in the shelter longer than 45 days, to senior citizens and to those who adopt two animals at the same time. All dogs are negative for heartworms, and cats have been tested for FeLV and FIV.  For more information, visit www.DallasAnimalServices.org, or call 214-671-0249.

—  Kevin Thomas

Pet of the Week • 12.16.11

Angel

Pet-AngeleAngel is an angelic brown tabby with white markings and enormous gold-green eyes.

She’s just 8 months old and weighs a mere 4 pounds. Angel is sweet, calm, laidback and loving. Why not adopt an Angel of your own this holiday season?

Angel and many other cats, dogs, puppies and kittens are available for adoption from Dallas Animal Services, 1818 N. Westmoreland at I-30, just minutes west of Downtown Dallas. The shelter is open Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. and Sundays noon-5 p.m. The regular adoption cost is $85 for dogs and $55 for cats, but discounts are offered for animals in the shelter longer than 45 days, to senior citizens and to those who adopt two animals at the same time. All dogs are negative for heartworms, and cats have been tested for FeLV and FIV.  For more information, visit DallasAnimalServices.org or call 214-671-0249.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 16, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Pet of the Week • 12.02.11

Mark

Pet-Mark

Mark is an adorable, medium-haired blue tabby with pretty green eyes. He’s very friendly, great with other cats, curious and playful. Mark is 6 months old and just about purrfect in every way!

Mark and many other cats, kitten, puppies and dogs are available for adoption from Dallas Animal Services, 1818 N. Westmoreland at I-30, just minutes west of Downtown Dallas. The shelter is open Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. and Sundays noon-5 p.m. Adoption discounts are also offered to senior citizens and those who adopt two animals at the same time. All dogs are negative for heartworms, and cats have been tested for FeLV and FIV.  For more information, visit DallasAnimalServices.org or call
214-671-0249.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 2, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Pet of the Week • 11.18.11

Lava

Lava is an adorable chocolate-and-red merle heeler mix. He’s 5 months old and currently weighs about 20 pounds, so he won’t be too big when full grown. Lava is super-friendly, affectionate and full of energy. He’s good with other dogs and loves everyone he meets.

Lava and many other dogs, puppies, cats and kittens are available for adoption from Dallas Animal Services, 1818 N. Westmoreland at I-30, just minutes west of Downtown Dallas. The shelter is open Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. and Sundays noon-5 p.m. Since Lava has been at the shelter for more than 45 days, his adoption cost is just $47 (half the usual fee) and includes spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, microchip and more. Adoption discounts are also offered to senior citizens and those who adopt two animals at the same time. All dogs are negative for heartworms, and cats have been tested for FeLV and FIV.  For more information, visit DallasAnimalServices.org or call 214-671-0249.

—  Kevin Thomas

Pet of the week • 10.28.11

Pet-Bambi

Bambi

Bambi

Meet Bambi! She is a very sweet 7-year-old Lhasa Apso Mix that enjoys playing with her toys and cuddling up in your lap. She was brought to Operation Kindness after she was found wondering the streets of Fort Worth. When she arrived, she was extremely matted and dirty after being on the streets for so long. We had her groomed and she has not stopped smiling! She enjoys people and will make a wonderful addition to any family. Please come to Operation Kindness to meet this beautiful blonde lady and consider opening up your heart and giving her a home.

Many other great dogs and cats are available for adoption from Operation Kindness, located at 3201 Earhart Drive, 1 street south of Keller Springs and 2 blocks west of Midway Road, in Carrollton. The no-kill shelter is open 6 days a week: Monday, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.; closed Tuesday; Wednesday, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Thursday, noon to 8 p.m.; Friday, noon to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The cost is $110 for cats, $135 for kittens, $150 dogs over 1 year, and $175 for puppies. The adoption cost includes the spay/neuter surgery, microchipping, vaccinations, heartworm test for dogs, leukemia and FIV test for cats, and more. Those who adopt two pets at the same time receive a $20 discount. For more information, call 972-418-PAWS, or visit OperationKindness.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 28, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

LifeWalk steps off Sunday in Lee Park

Nobles says that park will not be fenced this year but is worried about added cost and barrier affecting next year’s event

KICKING UP THEIR HEELS | The LifeWalk organizing committee gets ready for Sunday.

 

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

New requirements by the city of Dallas could affect proceed totals from this year’s AIDS Arms LifeWalk, and at least one more new requirement is expected to be added to the list next year, according to LifeWalk organizers.

The 21st annual LifeWalk steps off from Lee Park on Oct. 2 at 1 p.m. for the 3.2-mile walk. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. Last year’s event raised $401,000 and this year’s goal is $500,000.

Although thousands of people are expected for the event, Lee Park will remain unfenced this year, even though the city has said such gatherings will require fencing in the future.

Officials with the Dallas Tavern Guild, which stages the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade and the Festival in Lee Park each year as part of Dallas’ annual LGBT Pride celebration, decided to get ahead of the new requirement by fencing in Lee Park this year for the festival, although the city requirement had not yet gone into effect.

Tavern Guild officials also chose to charge a $5 admission fee to the festival this year to help offset expenses and raise extra funds that will be distributed to parade beneficiaries.

The admission fee raised the ire of some in the community, and attendance at the festival was down compared to last year. But Tavern Guild Executive Director Michael Doughman said the drop was not significant, and noted that the admission fee brought in about $25,000 that will be divided among beneficiaries.

But AIDS Arms Executive Director Raeline Nobles said new city requirements have already had an impact on LifeWalk, and she is worried that the new fencing requirements could affect next year’s walk.

“There were a lot more expenses from the city this year,” she said. “It really hits the bottom line.”

The cost of fencing next year will add an additional, unwelcome expense. But Nobles said she isn’t going to worry about that until after this weekend’s event. Right now, her main concern is getting people out to participate in this year’s fundraiser.

“Anyone can participate in LifeWalk,” Nobles said. “You can walk alone or bring friends or join a team. We even have poop-out vans: In case you can’t walk the entire three-mile route, someone will pick you up and bring you back to the park to have a good time.”

She also invited people to just come to the park and cheer.

“We need cheerleaders at the start and finish and at the water stations,” Nobles said. “We have pompoms for anyone who wants to cheer the walkers on.”

Registration for LifeWalk is $40 for people and $10 for dogs participating in LifeBark. People get a T-shirt and dogs get a bandana to show their support for people with HIV.

AIDS Arms is the primary beneficiary of LifeWalk, but other organizations also receive funds from the event, including AIDS Services of Dallas, Legal Hospice of Texas, Turtle Creek Chorale, The Women’s Chorus, Bryan’s House, Resource Center Dallas and the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund.

Money raised goes toward programming rather than capital costs. The chorale uses funds for their HIV fund, including giving tickets to performances through the year to people with AIDS.

Nobles praised that effort, saying that socializing is an important holistic element in treating HIV.

The Women’s Chorus will present a program at AIDS Arms in March on National HIV Women’s Day. Those expenses, Nobles said, should be covered by the group’s LifeWalk proceeds.

Nobles said it would be tempting for AIDS Arms to use the money to finish paying off the agency’s new Trinity Health and Wellness Center in Oak Cliff. She said that the new facility cost more than $2 million, and AIDS Arms needs to raise just $35,000 more to pay off the facility.

Trinity Health and Wellness Center opened in September and will have its formal grand opening in two weeks.

But despite the temptation, AIDS Arms will instead use proceeds from LifeWalk to support programs for clients at Trinity as well as at AIDS Arms’ older clinic, Peabody Health Center in South Dallas.

AIDS Arms also uses the money to administer HIV tests to more than 3,500 people a year and for case management for more than 3,400 people.

LifeWalk began in 1990 as a fundraiser for Oak Lawn Community Services. When that agency closed, management of the event moved to AIDS Arms.

LifeWalk Co-chair Marvin Green noted that his Green Team will mark its 20th year of participation in LifeWalk. He said he put the team together for the first time in the second year of LifeWalk because he had already lost 20 friends to AIDS.

That first year, three team members raised $75. This year, the 32-member Green Team has collected about $22,000.

Co-chair Fred Harris said that there were quite a few new teams this year.

“We’re reaching out to new communities,” Harris said. “There’s new energy. We’re branching outside Oak Lawn.”

He said teams are using creative new ways to raise money and AIDS Arms has actively brought in new sponsors such as Chipotle.

“Stoli is coming with a first-ever LifeWalk drink,” Nobles said. Returning sponsor Caven Enterprises will serve beer and Ben E. Keith donated iced tea.

Harris said planning has gone well, and that “LifeWalk is a well-oiled machine.”

Harris said he has seen more use of social media this year than ever, reaching out to people outside the Metroplex.

“This year Facebook has become a very powerful tool,” he said, not just for fundraising but also for recruiting walkers.

Last year, about 3,500 people walked, and this year, “Registration is ahead of where we were this time last year,” Harris said.

Waterpalooza, another AIDS Arms event, was moved to Pride weekend this year, just two weeks prior to LifeWalk. Harris said they took advantage of that event to sign up teams and walkers and generate excitement for this weekend’s walk.

Among the new teams, Harris said, are the DFW Sisters.

“Their efforts have been tireless,” he said. “They raise the bar.”

Nobles said that WFAA Channel 8 morning anchor Ron Corning will serve as M.C. in Lee Park. Although he’s appeared at several events since arriving in Dallas, this is the first big public event the openly gay television host has emceed.

LifeWalk received the Human Rights Campaign family-friendly designation, and Nobles said there will be bounce houses, clowns and face-painting for children.

Harris said the event is pet-friendly as well, “because pets are our family.”

There will be games and puppy pools for dogs as well as doggie adoptions, Nobles said.

She said the day would be a lot of fun but asked people to participate because the need is greater than ever.

“With the growth in the number of newly-infected people in Dallas County who need help in this economy, we’re seeing people who never would ask but must,” she said.

Next year, Nobles said, she would like to see LifeWalk return to Oak Lawn, but new city regulations for events may change those plans. Among the events changing plans this year because of the city involved Lone Star Ride.

Last year, Lone Star Riders participated in LifeWalk on bike. This year, city regulations banned bikes from walks so LSR riders who participate will have to walk.

Green was thinking about bigger plans for future LifeWalks. Other cities that raise more money stage longer walks. He said he’d love to use the new Downtown Deck Park that should be completed next year and dreamed of seeing LifeWalkers crossing the new suspension bridge that should be open in March 2012.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 30, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens