In My Space – Technology, Pets, and Community by Peggy Gandy

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In My Space – Technology, Pets, and Community

by Peggy Gandy

Will wonders never cease when it comes to technology? Take the computerized check-out equipment the discount stores use. Their electronic cash registers are so sophisticated they can compute purchases, make change, give the date and temperature and ring out the correct time before a customer gets through unloading his basket. So why has some ambitious store greeter not figured out how to keep the check- out lines moving faster? We’re talking long lines, like customers backed up into ‘Housewares’, and snaked through ‘Garden Supplies’, ‘Computers’ and ‘Cosmetics’. If you choose the ‘Express Lane, 6 Items or Less,’ there’s either a customer questioning an outdated coupon or a woman complaining about a chicken with a strong odor. She’s been waiting 20 minutes for the manager to return after he disappeared out the back door to check the poultry truck’s tag number. In the ‘Cash Only’ line, the check-out clerk never has change for anything over a ten and if you hand her a twenty, she has to call her supervisor. The slowest moving lane is the one that accepts ‘Checks and Credit Cards’. The customer in front of you will write a check for $3.29, the person who approves the checks will be on a lunch break, or, someone will set off the store alarm when he tries to charge his purchases on a Starbucks gift card. The ‘do it yourself ’ checkout lane has a very short line. I visited it once. It took two clerks and a bag boy to help me scan three lemons and a jar of pickles.

Pet lovers are humans with strange behavioral patterns. Beth, my dear little Bichon Frise, is a rescue dog found wandering the streets of Chicago. Small Paws Rescue Inc., a national organization of Bichon lovers, rescued her. When I learned of this organization, I decided to adopt one of these little victims in memory of Meg, my Bichon who had just passed away. After three telephone interviews and shelling out a considerable amount of money for her air travel, I made the cut and was qualified to become Beth’s owner. Days later, after a layover in Atlanta, Beth arrived at Will Rogers Airport. She refused to step out of her crate at first, but after thinking it over decided to take her chances on me rather than fly back to Chicago. It took her a few days, or maybe it happened on the way home from the airport, to figure out I was a pushover. (Street-wise dogs know these things). I can’t begin to guess the things she learned while wandering around Chicago. Walking on a leash was not one of them. When we go for a walk Beth will follow the scent of another dog, or rabbit, for three blocks, towing me along on the leash with frequent abrupt stops to check out spots of ‘bird doo’. I haven’t sailed over her yet, but I’m working on it. She’s big on squirrel patrol as well as Fed Ex delivery trucks, mailmen, rabbits or anything else that moves on our street. Most dogs love to ride in a car and go ballistic when you mention going for a ride, barking, running in circles and hyperventilating. Beth goes through all the jubilant motions but when the door is opened she jumps into the foot of the car. Don’t ask me why that’s her preferred spot. Maybe it’s the scent of old French fries dropped from the drive thru, a safe place to hide from the vet (which is usually where we’re headed) or it’s just where dogs ride in Chicago when they don’t want to look at the scenery. Actually this is a good thing. At least she’s not standing up in the seat barking in my ear when she spots a passing motorcycle, another car or a dead opossum in the road. Statistics show that in 2014 American pet owners spent $58 billion on their pets. This includes $4.8 billion on an ‘other services’ category – grooming, boarding, walking, training, day care and trips to the spa for facials and massages. Adorable designer dogs could be the ones demanding this service…Pomskys, Goldendoddles, Labradoodles, Maltipoos and Morkeys. Maybe they go in with their owners on two-for-one days.

Some brief community facts: 1. Former Gov. George Nigh was recently awarded the 2015 Global Vision award, recognizing his more than 40 years of developing international partnerships between the state of Oklahoma and foreign countries. 2. John Wayne’s sons Patrick and Ethan Wayne emceed the prestigious Western Heritage Wrangler Awards presented by The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. 3. The 12th Annual Purple Sash gala is planned for June 6 at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Center. All proceeds benefit the YWCA Oklahoma City, the only certified shelter for violence, sexual assault and stalking in Oklahoma County.

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