Posts Tagged ‘animals’

dead dog found on beach

Thursday, May 14th, 2009
eyes without a face (or eyes for that matter)

eyes without a face (or eyes for that matter)

Reports are pouring in about a new Montauk monster. I was excited last year when the original MM (OMM) showed up, as I am usually excited by the term “monster” (who isn’t?). I even sojourned to Montauk itself this February, not so much to see or hopefully see the MM, more out of an inborn instinct to travel to the very tip of things:

Montauk is the tip of the lower pennisula on the far right

Montauk is the tip of the lower pennisula on the far right. Brooklyn is in the lower left.

Montauk was very cool (and cold, as it was February) and very lovely. Devo and I spent an extended Presidentine’s Day weekend at Daunt’s Albatross, which was quaint if backbreaking, and took in a pancake breakfast at the fire station and walked the pristine beaches and forests. We watched a solitary seal lay curved to the sky on a solitary rock until the lapping waves of a stiff wind and rising tide rudely tossed him into the sea and overwhelmed his perch. We saw and a dried-up-and-split-into-pieces carcass of what appeared to be a long-legged starfish (or, you know, a monster). But we saw none of this:

OMM

OMMMG

But still, the very notion of a monster, and one so conveniently located, had me hooked. I’ve long been a fan of Bigfoot/Yeti/Sasquatch, the Loch Nech Monster (got to like it when they put “monster” right in the name), Ogopogo, Chupacabra, the Hairy Half-man from Hinkley, dragons, ghosts, aliens, three-card monty and the smile on a dog’s face, so I still carry an affinity for MM, even as it was been explained to me by strangers over coincidental beers that Montauk isn’t far from an animal testing facility and, in all likelihood, MM is just a water-logged pug with it’s face peeled back like a hoodie. So when my friend Lesley said she was selling handmade clay animal heads and would make them by request, I didn’t hesitate to request a bust of the Montauk Monster:

so full of life

so full of life

a twinkle in the eye

a twinkle in the eye

Very cool. I can totally see “Monty” hanging out with Glomer:

But during the design phase of the MM bust, I saw an image, an angle on the beast, that changed everything:

full frontal

full frontal

Sure, I had been told that MM was just a dog with a ruined face, but now it was clear what I had taken for a turtle beak was just a side view of snout-bone. It’s that angle that had people hooked. Hell, if it had a turtle beak, then anything was possible:

Gojira!

Gojira!

But instead, it’s just some dog gone to pot. Which is the same case with this new photo. Anyone with a casual knowledge of what animal skulls look like (which is maybe less than I imagine, but there are museums full of this stuff) should note the snout-bone jutting from these “monsters” faces. A good axiom for Montauk-monster-hunting: “The snout points it out!”

I think the real question is why are Long Islanders throwing so many dogs into the ocean?

New York helps those with someone to help them and leaves the rest to rot

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009
bottom of the mustard, third from the top, on the left

bottom of the mustard, third from the top, on the left

On my morning walk along the Red Hook waterfront today, I was a bit alarmed to see a large bird standing dumbly on the walkway before me. In my morning stupor I actually took it to be a bald eagle due to coloration and size, but then I realized it was a seagull that just appeared considerably more massive than usual due to the open wing hanging simply along its right size, dragging on the ground. Oh, shit, I thought, this bird is fucked.

not looking good

not looking good

I had that sick feeling that you get when you see a dog get hit by car. I didn’t have my cell phone on me as I wanted to maintain the serenity of my morning walk to the water (though it was less about being disturbed by calls than about ditching the clock, which functions as my watch). So I kept walking to the end of the peninsula behind Fairway and turned to gaze out at the harbor, looking at the Statue of Liberty head-on (Red Hook is the only place in New York where she’ll look you in the eye). It’s very calming to listen to the lapping of the waves and watch the slow progress of the boats and see the distant industry ringing the harbor. There were also half a dozen black, loon-like ducks feeding just down the rocks from me. And there was that other bird…

trying to see eye to eye

trying to see eye to eye

I looked back the way I’d come and no longer saw the seagull. Maybe the injury wasn’t so debilitating. But there were a string of planters and pylons between the two of us now. And, sure, enough, first I spotted a guy coming my way, then I saw the seagull hobbling into view. How the hell had he gotten so messed up. Botched landing? Botched take-off? Hooligans? Dog attack? Brittle bones due to pollution? Lack of pre-flight stretching? On my way back down the walkway, I mumbled, I’ll call somebody, gull, as I walked past and off to Fairway.

After I unloaded the groceries, I found New York Animal Care & Control on the web. A recorded message told me to either call another number or call city services at 311. I wasn’t sure that NYACC was really the one to help, as they seemed more of an animal adoption agency, so I called 311. After a number of recorded messages (swine flu, alternate-side parking restrictions, subway info) I got through to an operator and explained, sort of sheepishly, that, well, there was a seagull with a broken wing and, I don’t know, do you guys do anything about that? The woman, in the lovely lilt of a Caribbean accent, repeated what I had told her and then said, hold on, yes, there was someone who could help. Then she connected me to… New York Animal Care & Control. After ten or fifteen minutes on hold, someone answered and I, again, explained the situation. Hmm, he said, we really only handle dogs and cats. But he gave me another number to call. And who is this? I asked as I wrote the number down. The Department of Environmental Conservation. Now we’re getting somewhere.

I called the DEC. The phone was answered within a few rings, which seemed like a good sign. I explained the injured gull situation again and, yes, the guy said they did assist birds. They were only two people in the city who would tend to injured birds, he informed me, and they did it on a voluntary basis. That’s commendable, I thought. Then he explained that, what usually happened was the person calling to report the injured bird would actually go pick up the bird and transport it to one of the two volunteers. You want me to pick up the seagull? I asked. Well, no, that is a really big bird, he admitted. These people were usually dealing with sparrows or the like. Well, I don’t know who is going to let me carry a seagull on a bus or the subway. No, no, it’s usually done in a car, the guy admitted. Granted, I have access to a car, but during the day my girlfriend uses it to drive to work way up in Westchester. So am I just supposed to leave it to die? I asked. Well, no, people bring in big birds all the time. Somebody brought in a swan. Somebody else brought in a red-tailed hawk. Guess those birds are just much prettier, I said. No response. So the city doesn’t have anybody to come and help? I asked. No, he said. Well, I just think that’s kind of bullshit. I’m just a phone operator, he said. So the city doesn’t do anything? Well, that would require an ambulance, he said. Well, it could just be a car, I offered. A car is an ambulance, he countered. And then we’d also have to train the responders on how to handle an injured bird. But instead you expect the public to handle the injured bird? I demanded. I’m just a phone operator, he repeated. And I’m just going to go to the next call. Thanks. Click.

Sorry, gul. I’ll check in on you when the car gets home tonight. And I’ve completed my seagull-handling course.

All I know is that in L.A., they’ll come move a skunk for you. WTF, NYC?

YouTube Preview Image