— Daily Mail Femail (@Femail) August 28, 2015
For Shona Sibary, cuddly appears to have an expiration date
Like milk, yogurt and Shia LaBeouf’s career, puppies stay fresh for only a set period. Such is the case for this intrepid columnist for the U.K.’s Daily Mail, who has admitted to giving away puppies on multiple occasions because they became too dog-like. Damn you puppies for growing old.
The reporter’s Twitter account is on lock-down, and she’s been roundly heckled over the past month or so. From the bits that folks have been able to connect, she apparently has a credibility problem as well, with issues about her story timelines. So… is she the British Jayson Blair with sociopathic contempt for canines, or is she simply a misunderstood, over-sharing op-ed writer who’s confessed to a very odd compulsion?
I’ll let you judge from her post:
I have loved, for a while at least, each and every one of my dogs. But there is no doubt that I have clearly failed on every occasion to wholly embrace a long-term relationship with them and all that this entails — tolerance, patience, time and effort.
What’s worse is that I dread to think of the kind of message all this has sent out to my long- suffering children. Just the other day, Dolly said to me: ‘If I’m naughty, Mummy, will you re-home me, too?’
Her children have not reacted well to being forced to separate from dogs they’ve grown to love. Her posts go in to great detail about what affect this has on her family, too. I’ll let The Dodo pick up the story from there, where Sibary describes her flirtation with compassion:
With little regret or remorse, Sibary described giving up her family’s husky puppy, Juno. “Juno was looking up at me so beseechingly I almost changed my mind. Almost. But as she and her new owners drove away that afternoon in June 2012, with Juno staring accusingly out of the back window, I felt nothing but relief,” she wrote. “You see, I already had my eye on another puppy … “
I don’t want to tug at all the threads on this sweater (I’ve reached out to her for comment and will report back) because there’s a lot to unpack here. Instead, let’s focus on the well-being of dogs, and how we as two-leggeds are the guardians of their lives. We give them hope. We reprimand them when they step out of line. They get treats, walks, love and food and then we do it all over again the next day.
To Sibary’s credit, she’s microtagging and overseeing the shots for all her puppies, so it’s not as if she’s keeping them without some practice or semblance of responsibility.
I’ve been in the agonizing situation of having to give back a dog. I brought Cooper, my pit bull mix, back to the Atlanta Humane Society after he became too sick for me to continue caring for him. I adopted him in January 2006 with Kennel Cough, which escalated in a few days to bronchial pneumonia—including repeated vomiting, voiding bowels and other symptoms. I still wrestle with the ethics around the decision to return him; I spent many thousands of dollars trying to heal him and make him well. It was truly heartbreaking.
Having experienced that pain and grief, I have a hard time empathizing with Shona Sibary’s idea of puppies losing their appeal. Puppies maturing in to fully formed furry people is precisely the point of parenting them. Ironically, caring for puppies is the hard part, where they don’t know their place in the world yet. Later, we get to revel in all our hard work once puppies mature—the same practice as with human kids.
Here’s another affect of her actions:
The reality is that dogs are pack animals who form strong attachments, and leaving the home they’ve known since they were very little can be scary, even traumatic. “Moving to a brand new home can be very stressful for a dog,” according to the ASPCA, which urges dog owners to “thoroughly consider alternatives” before re-homing a pet.
When I got her she was a skittish, frantic little pup; today, she’s a grand dame who’s loves just about any human she sees. I have a hard time leaving her— so much so I wrote a book about it. Triscuit is everything to me, and I keep discovering new ways she’s cuddly and cute after 10 years and counting.
I remain hopeful that this gal will eventually be able to see the beauty in a non-puppy dog face.
While Shona has earned some scorn, I shouldn’t harsh on Shia. I actually quite fancy him as an actor; he’s handsome, talented and should never, EVER put a bag over his head again.
I’m an avowed independent voter who “caucuses” with policymakers who actually want to go to Washington, D.C. to get work done. Given the tenor and insanity of this year’s 2016 presidential, I’ve grown accustomed to candidates on the GOP throwing rhetorical H-bombs at each other.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 3, 2016
Ted Cruz didn't win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2016
I’m continually surprised to see deeply seeded acrimony on the progressive side of things. My sampling comes from the folks I follow on Twitter—some are bunkered down in one camp, fully embracing one candidate and working hard to impugn the character of the other. Here’s a sampling:
— Victoria Brownworth #MasksSaveLives (@VABVOX) February 3, 2016
Calling Gabby Giffords—permanently disabled after being shot in the head in Arizona—”addle-brained” is a low I’d ascribe to the smarmiest of voter. But there it is.
“Politics in America is ugly, Will. wake up!” I can hear you muttering that to yourself, and you’re right. The thing I don’t get, though, is that there’s not much space between those particular candidates. Sure, Bernie has taken more liberal positions, particularly early on; and Hillary has some close ties with hedge-fund managers and for-profit-prison bundlers (the latter of which I find particularly gross.)
— William Barr's Annoyed Waiter @ Cheesecake Factory (@bywillpollock) February 3, 2016
When it comes down to it, both Clinton and Sanders have been fighting their whole lives for progress, both with results in some cases. All candidates—all people—are flawed. My thought is if you’re fighting and insulting anonymous people on Twitter and Facebook then you’re part of the problem—not the solution.
No matter what side of the aisle you’re on, push for change and be a disrupter. Push inside your party like Donald Trump has, to expose and bust up complacency and indifference. While I don’t agree with some of his politics, John Kasik has broken the mold of Angry White Guy, giving voice to optimism and pragmatism.
Don’t tear people down so that you can feel superior. You end up diminishing yourself and your ideas, and we get no progress at all.
— MsPaint (@GraceMolteni) February 5, 2016
Smirking jerkoff-shitbird Martin Shkreli appeared before a congressional committee and pleaded the fifth; Twitter issues a guilty verdict on him being a sociopathic opportunistic douchebag… in 2015, Shkreli ballooned prices of critical-care drugs—some as much as 500%… Astoundingly, the committee chairman has declined to cite him in contempt; Shkreli’s tweet should spur him to change his mind.
— dusty gedge (@greenroofsuk) February 3, 2016
Did GM mosquitos cause the Zika outbreak? It’s an interesting theory.
— Joe Rayment (@Joerayment) February 2, 2016
“To sit here almost 15 years later, knowing that another woman of color has not walked through that door is heartbreaking,” Berry said. “It’s heartbreaking, because I thought that moment was bigger than me. It’s heartbreaking to start to think maybe it wasn’t bigger than me. Maybe it wasn’t. And I so desperately felt like it was.”
Also in Variety, Lupita N’yongo said she’s more looking to the future and how to change it for the better. From the article:
“I’m more interested in what is possible than what is not happening. It’s also about recognizing the world as we see it today and what role I can play to change the world that is there tomorrow, in the kinds of stories that I’m involved in.”
“Inclusion only happens when
we’re aware it needs to happen.”
The piece continues: “She’s embracing her role in Hollywood’s current dialogue about diversity. ‘I’m happy that this conversation is happening, because inclusion only happens when we’re all aware that it needs to happen,’ she said. ‘Otherwise things cannot change, if they’re not brought to the fore. This is a conversation that has been happening for a long time, and right now it has a fuel that I hope can only result in an expansion of the imagination when it comes to what stories are viable to be told.'”
— ELLEUK (@ELLEUK) January 2, 2016
This week in accidental huge retail news: we learned that sometimes-obnoxious corporate elephant Amazon.com is contemplating brick-and-mortar stores sometime in the future.
The news leaked when Sandeep Mathrani, CEO of General Growth Properties, speculated to the Wall Street Journal that Amazon was about to make a big move. “You’ve got Amazon opening brick-and-mortar bookstores and their goal is to open, as I understand, 300 to 400,” he said while on an earnings call. He’s since walked those statements back, indicating he was not speaking on behalf of Amazon.
I forgive him for being excited. GGP and other shopping center owners are likely enthused by the prospect of a new and vibrant tenant. Amazon could reinvigorate a sector that has seen its fair share of troubled times.
I reached out to GGP to ask what a company like Amazon would do for mall properties, and a GGP spokesman declined to speculate since it’s a hypothetical. At least for now.
Like with Apple (I was a Mac Head way before it was cool), I am a conscientious Amazon objector in that I’m often frustrated by how big-for-its-britches the company is sometimes. I have two books on Amazon, one a direct-Kindle title. They take an adversarial position with authors, and don’t always treat workers the way they should.
And also like Apple—perhaps with the company’s many retail stores as a template—Amazon will be opening some unknown number of stores in the future. Amazon itself did not respond to an e-mail request for more information. I’ll keep you posted.
That’s it from me this week, Cranker Darlings. See you right back here next Thursday at 2.
Will Pollock is a crabby New York City escapee living in Atlanta. He’s a freelance multimedia journalist and author of two books (Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way. Sign up for the mailing list, follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram—and check out the book links below.
Don’t forget to comment below. Cranky loves company.