Saturday, August 29, 2009

Gibson Honoured In Western Australia

Honouring a Gibson who walked so tall was no mean feat. Aside from all the usual logistics involved in our challenges, I knew that plant, toy and location selection would be paramount. Thankfully, plant selection was carried out by my mother - Leptospermum scoparium 'An evergreen, medium sized shrub with [fittingly] an upright habit.'

An ideal location was found in the form of a little native garden adjoined Robertson Park in Northbridge, W.A. - a popular dog walking thoroughfare - where I undertook planting just before 0100 GMT (0900 Perth time).

The ball selected for the job cost a princely $2 from one of those stores where everything's from China. It features images of tasty bones and dogs of all varieties, which are raised from the ball in relief. This not only adds aesthetic value, but also ensures that an owner's hand may remain relatively slobber free after an extensive fetch session. The squeak was a little shrill, but satisfactory.

At the prescribed hour, I stood on my toes and gave 3 squeaks in Gibson's honour. As I had no photographic assistant, I had to take the photo myself during the first squeak, so you'll just have to trust that I was on my toes (note the legs bent at the knees to compensate for camera weight). A passing dog walker stopped to give me a strange look, but her pooch seemed to sense what was going on and lingered to add some fertilizer to a nearby plant. Following the event, a strange old lady asked from over her fence what I was doing. I replied 'I'm just doing it for Gibson.' She stared at me.

Owing to the harsh light, this photo of the plant in situ is a little unclear. However, it does give you an idea of the marvelous environs in which the event took place. I left the ball for a passing pooch and set out for home.

Gibson was a giant amongst giants. His passing is a blow to Gibsons everywhere and he will be missed. Hopefully his Australian plant will flourish. Next time I'm back in Western Australia, I will post a special update on its progress.

What A Squeak It Was

Under threatening skies on this warm late summer evening my wife/photographer, my 8 year old lab/shepherd mix, and I marched to the park about a half block away carrying a spade, a Blue Holly bush and a white bucket full of water. We found a perfect spot for the holly in a secluded area of the park that is landscaped with lots of native trees and perennials. After planting and watering the bush we had time to spare and milled about trying not to look suspicious.

As the first sprinkles of rain began to fall I raised the squeak toy to the sky and at precisely 18:08 PST went onto my tiptoes next to the holly and sent a piercing squeak up to the heavens. Surely some of the children and parents at the park wondered what we were doing tucked away in the bushes squeaking a dog toy and taking pictures, but to hell with them! This was for Gibson, Gibson and Gibson. This was for all Gibsons who are not lame. This was for tall dogs and tall people and the environment. This was for air — sweet, sweet air like the stuff that we breathe.

And then, in a flash, we were gone leaving the bright plastic squeaky toy next to the newly planted holly.
Somewhere a gigantic Great Dane is slobbering.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Fallen Comrade

Greetings, friends, followers and cyber-stalkers,

As you may have guessed, our last challenge successfully extinguished the Supervolcano which has most certainly resulted in a profound improvement in your day to day life. But before you get too comfortable, allow us to direct your attention to an unfortunate event that set off alarms in both hemispheres. We're sad to report that Gibson, the world's tallest dog, has passed on.

Needless to say, this is a blow to the Gibson dynamic. While the two of us have done our part for mankind, Gibson the hound was doing his part for both man and man's best friend. So, in the spirit of this great Gibson, it is our privilege and duty to execute this tribute/challenge.

Here are the details:

1. Purchase a cheap plastic squeaking dog toy and a native sapling or small bush.
2. Plant the bush or sapling in a public area.
3. At precisely 1:08 GMT on Saturday, August 29th squeak the dog toy three times while standing on tiptoes next to the plant.
4. Leave the toy next to the plant.
5. Record the event with a photograph taken during the first squeak.

If all goes according to plan this will not only be a fitting tribute to our houndly namesake, but a vital adjustment to oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the Earth's atmosphere.

RIP Gibson. It was an honor to share a name with you.