The Trash Man Cometh Not

Cairn terrier turns his head away from the camera.

Phew!  I am turning my head away from that smell.

It seems that every day there is another story on the news about bear sightings.  At the close of each one, the helpful reporter reminds people not to leave food outdoors and to keep their trash cans secured.

Last year a new sanitation company put in a bid to take over services for our area.   The municipality declared that all residents now must use this particular company.  They provide recycling and trash collection for a good price, so it seemed like a win/win situation….except for holidays as it turns out.

For some reason, this company cannot keep to its schedule if there is a holiday.  If they know they cannot pick up on trash day during a holiday week, you would think they would notify everyone of a policy of putting their cans out X number of days later.  Instead we have tons of cans and trash bags sitting on the curb for four to five days until the collection company comes around. It was over 90 degrees last week.  You can imagine how ripe that smell must be for animals with acute senses of smell.

In the mornings now, I am worried about walking my dogs.  I don’t know if I am going to find a bear going through the trash or coyotes or raccoons or any one of a number of other dangerous animals.

Notice I didn’t name any names or call anyone out.  I don’t want to find a horse’s head in my bed.  However, if you run a sanitation company, please set a schedule and keep to it.  It will keep everyone safer including your employees.

Theology of the Body with Father Man-Bun

Recently my Mom wanted to attend some lectures held by the parish, but she didn’t want to go alone.  I agreed to go with her to keep her company.

One particularly…odd?  bizarre?  frustrating?…lecture series was on The Theology of the Body – a collection of talks given by the late Pope John Paul II.  I could probably fill a month’s worth of posts about all of the “Huh?” moments I had, but this particular item stood out to several people who were there.

In the talks, Fr. Man-Bun told everyone that animals have no inner lives. That they don’t think.  That they can’t understand symbols or representations.  I couldn’t help but think, “Has this man never met an animal before?”  Shortly before this talk, I happened to read an article about what has been termed “Dog Sudoku” which resembles video games for dogs.  (Click here to read more about Dog Sudoku.)  Pups love these things!

I’ve watched my boys lost in thought or studying photos.  I’ve seen pups rat on a sibling who gets in trouble.  I’ve seen dogs move chairs around in order to climb up on to reach something the want.  I’ve even known dogs who loved to hide and then jump out and scare whoever was walking past.  In these I see planning and thinking and even tool use.

And what about crows?!?  Have you ever seen a documentary about how intelligent they are?  Researchers have identified a vocabulary of nearly 300 words in crow.  The birds can plan 5 steps ahead in solving a problem.  They can pass information to at least two generations of offspring.  Just because someone hasn’t thought to look for inner lives in other species doesn’t mean they don’t have them.

Sorry, Father Man-Bun.  I simply cannot agree.

Yes? Can we help you?

Seriously, is there any doubt about what these two are thinking?


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