Stockton has a lot of people who are in love with the American Pitbull as a breed, but my insurance agent doesn't want me to have one. Below is a very popular You Tube video of my Miniature Schnauzer (same as in my member photo) wrestling with a Pitbull pup. At the time, watching them play was great fun, but as the pitbull grew it became difficult to predict and harder to socialize. Given it's greater size and strength, we decided that the pitbull had to go, and since the neighbor was irresponsible, that's what animal control officers did one day. I haven't seen the dog since. Stockton animal control deals with so many stray dogs that their policy is not to adopt out certain dangerous breeds like the pitbull. So, pitbulls make up a large portion of animals executed each week. Not long ago, two pitbulls from a neighbor's property came and attacked our dog. Fortunately, I heard Dali's squeals, but the pitbulls would not let go when my wife tried to separate Dali from them. I had to kick one, and pick the other up and drop it on its head. My neighbor was later angry because the dog required stitches to its head. I told him the next time the dog comes on the attack, I'll be sure to use a baseball bat so that stitches won't be necessary. Given the extra homeowners insurance premium, it's hard for me to imagine why this breed is so popular. They don't detect burglars very well, and don't bark. They just bite and hold on to the death. I guess in the end, dog owners do reflect the image of their pets. I prefer the alert and loving style pooch that doesn't shed hair and likes to ride in the boat.
For those of us living in Stockton, who are concerned about global warming, urban sprawl, and the environment in general, know that we face a majority of ignorance about such issues. Along the Smith Canal, garbage is dumped regularly, and though the city has raised fines and devoted more police to investigate such dumping, the litter continues to be pushed over the edge of the levee roads into the water. However, even along my conservative block of waterfront property owners, there was a collective sigh today as a Andre, my neighbor, cut down two Coastal Redwood trees with trunk diameters greater than 30 inches. "Those California Pines are dying", a wood cutter with chainsaw in hand remarked. I took exception to the judgement as the trees were clearly healthy given the green spring growth on the ends of the branches. "Where's your license, I asked". He said, "I have one but I don't carry it with me". Fat chance, I thought to myself, "Well, you're supposed to by law". But, it was Saturday, code enforcement offices were closed, and the tree climber was already busy climbing and cutting the branches off one of the 100 foot tall trees. Old Joe, ordinarily a strident property rights advocate reminisced about the 45 year old trees. "I loved those trees", he said, "but a person has a right to do whatever they want with their property." I asked Andre why he wanted to cut the trees. He said, "I need more parking and place to put that dumpster". I wondered when the old Bull pine in his backyard would be cut down. It is unstable and part of it fell down two years ago. That 120 foot tall tree has had a nesting pair of hawks in it for many years. But, in Stockton, a person has the right to do with their property as they like. I for one think my neighbor is a fool who just devalued his property though, and there wasn't a person on the block who didn't question in judgement about that. His humble little home would be worth little if it weren't for its waterfront and shade giving trees.