Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v06n23)
Howling at the Moon by Susan Smith
posted: Nov. 13, 2009
So, again I ask, could anything be more fun that a beauty contest for Bulldogs? Possibly a "Westie Walk", taking place as I write this on October 24th. Imagine thirty or more cute little white West Highland Terriers going down the canal and the avenues led by a bag piper. There will be more on that in another article. Yes indeed, pets make you smile.
I have two follow-ups here from past columns. Recently, I howled about my frustration with the graffiti in this city. I kind of had my own "let it out" column. This week and today (Nov. 7th) The Indianapolis Star had its own reports on the topic. Today's newspaper report states that the graffitist arrested November 5th has caused an estimated $100,000 in property damage. He told police that he was an artist, the walls were his canvas and this was a form of expression. Also mentioned was our good neighbor, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Henry Castor. Remember, you read it first in The Broad Ripple Gazette how he has taken it upon himself to be the crusader against graffiti by carrying solvents, rags and paint to undo what he comes across while on duty. I do not understand property owners who allow it to remain. It appears that may no longer be allowed under the new proposed ordinance coming from the Office of Code Enforcement being introduced to the Indianapolis City Council. Properties that are overgrown with weeds and strewn with trash get fined $301.00 if they are not cleaned up after being cited. This graffiti ordinance is designed with similar cleanup in mind. Sadly we have become too complacent and have to be told to clean up. If we have a sign or utility box in front of our business or home, how hard is it to spray over it and make it go away? I am deeply disappointed that the utility boxes in front of school #55 at 54th and Haverford (my Alma mater) have been allowed to be shrouded in someone's "artistic expression". School officials, by ignoring this blight, are passing on their complacency to their students. Students could learn a valuable lesson from this. By not talking about it or cleaning it up I see a missed learning opportunity here to teach good citizenship.
Last issue I asked what could be more fun than a beauty contest for Bull Dogs when writing about Butler University. I suggested a Westie Walk and said I would write about it in a future column. On Saturday, October 24th, my out-of-their-minds-over-their- West Highland White Terrier- neighbors, Sarah and Bill Brown, hosted the first Westie Walk in Indianapolis. No question, these dogs are adorable (their's in particular, I agree). This event started at 56th & Illinois led by a bagpiper past all the shops to the canal path and beyond (not to be confused with the Pied Piper leading the Rat Terriers out of town). Sarah filled me in, saying walks are held all over the US and Canada. Several of the walks have over 150 dogs show up for a day of fun and games. She said 23 Westies attended this first walk. And she thought next year's walk will be bigger and better. She mentioned the serious side of the walk is to raise money for Westie Rescue, stating that The Westie Club of Indiana recently received 25 dogs from a puppy mill in Missouri. She told me that The West Highland White Terrier Club of Indiana provides Westie Rescue assistance to a large region of the central Midwest, including southern Ohio, all of Indiana and the northern and western sections of Kentucky. Sue Durcan and Carol Sanger are the Westie Rescue representatives for this region, and both are located in Cincinnati, with a network of dedicated volunteers in all three states to assist in fostering, transport and rescue.
This had to be the cutest spectacle with the white doggies, some wearing scarves and some wearing coats. It was a cold day. I always say, pets make you smile.
image courtesy of 3
Susan Smith is a life-long area resident and is the owner of City Dogs Grocery located at 52nd and College. Send your pet related questions/comments to susan@BroadRippleGazette.com