Monday, February 19, 2007

Petitions and Puppies

Today's post is by Janie Sheppard (see my entry about Janie on February 16)

Collecting signatures, I stood in front of Ukiah Natural Foods.

"Could I interest you in signing a petition to the Board of Supervisors asking them to pass a resolution in favor of impeaching Dick Cheney?"

"What about impeaching Bush?"

"Well, the one person who would make a worse president than Bush is Cheney."

"You’ve got a point there."

"I figure that if we could get Cheney out of the way, we could impeach Bush."

"Why the Board of Supervisors?"

"Right now Congress isn’t listening to individuals who are asking for impeachment proceedings. But if Congress heard from fellow elected officials I believe our representatives in Congress would take notice."

"So how would that work?"

"This petition calls on our supervisors to pass a resolution directed to the House of Representatives, asking them to investigate whether Dick Cheney has committed High Crimes and Misdemeanors and, if so, to impeach him."

"Sure, I’ll sign."

That was a typical exchange. But in Ukiah not all exchanges are typical.

"Hi, I’m Spiderman. Have you heard my program on Air America?"

"No, I haven’t."

"I want everyone to have one acre of land. Would you like to read my philosophy?"

"I’d like to, but right now I’m busy getting signatures for my petition to get the supervisors behind a resolution to impeach the vice president. Excuse me, I’m going to see if I can get another signature."


Another signature on the petition. A lull in the people traffic in front of Ukiah Natural Foods.

"Could you help me draft a petition to get everyone an acre of land?"

"Not just now. I need to get some more signatures. I don’t have much time."


A few more signatures and another break in the traffic.

"At three this afternoon there will be a lot of people at Alex Thomas Plaza. You could get a lot of signatures there."

"Thanks. That’s a good idea."

Running out of steam and beginning to garble my message, it’s time to quit. A young man with a huge backpack and an adorable puppy catches my attention. Eager for a diversion I walk over to chat. He says he’s visiting California for the first time, and while visiting a friend in Arcata, met up with the puppy, Roxie. The friend, or someone else, was trying to take care of her, but not doing a good job. The young man couldn’t leave Roxie in that situation even though taking on her care meant bottle feeding for two weeks, night and day. Now, having done that, she was ready to be adopted, he said. Roxie, it turns out, is part Lab and part Rhodesian ridgeback with a bit of Pit bull. She’s going to be a big girl.

I tell him about my two rescued Jack Russells at home, thinking, "that gets me off the hook."

He too has Jack Russells at home, he says.

I wish him well, pet Roxie’s soft fur, tell her she’s beautiful, and leave to do my grocery shopping.

About 30 minutes later, groceries in hand, I emerge from the store.

Spiderman, on his bicycle with Roxie poking her head out from a backpack, stops.

"I’ve adopted a puppy. My wife said it would be good to have a puppy for our baby and I know she’ll love this one."

I smile. How Ukiah. An adorable rescued puppy finds a home with Spiderman. I wish every story had a happy ending.

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