The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (06/24/17)

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Written by my lovely wife, Jennifer and me.  It opens with the weekend dog walking forecast followed by the main blog from dog lover, Jennifer. Then it’s DOGS IN THE NEWS and our close. Enjoy!

THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.

TODAY:    Partly cloudy. High of 70. “A”

SUNDAY:  Sunny in the morning. Partly cloudy in the afternoon. High of 66. “A”

Here’s my lovely wife, Jennifer with this week’s main blog.

Regular readers of The Barking Lot know that every summer without fail, I write about a topic that in no uncertain terms INFURIATES me.  You guessed it:  I write about the irresponsibility and stupidity of dog owners who leave their pets in a hot car.  I know you can’t fix stupid.  Still, I try to do my part by educating readers and reminding them of what should be obvious… dogs and cars don’t mix well in the summer months.

I can’t tolerate the lack of brains in an average dog owner.  What about dog “handlers” that should know above-and-beyond better than anyone about the dangers leaving their OWN dogs in cars?  Dog “handlers” as in K9 police officers.

Before I go any further I need to state that I am a proud and staunch supporter of our law enforcement officials.  I think that what has happened to the men & women in blue these past few years is a disgrace, and I wholeheartedly thank them for risking their lives for our safety and well-being.

Generally speaking, I know that K9 officers regard their four-legged partners as just that:  a partner.  They are far more than a piece of disposable equipment.  I’ve read many stories about officers adopting their dogs for home pets after they’ve retired.  There can be a bond between an officer and dog like none other.  Their relationships equal those of soldiers and war dogs.

So if that is how K9 units are supposed to function how on earth could police officers, of all people, leave their dog in a hot car?  Not just for minutes while they perform some task in the line of duty but for HOURS?  How can they forget their other half and return several hours later to find that poor defenseless animal dead from heat-related injuries?

I don’t have any sort of solution for this predicament.  If the average citizen is supposed to call 9-1-1 and then shatter a window to save a dog in visible distress what is an OFFICER supposed to do when he or she comes to their squad car to find their own partner down?  How does this happen even once, but how on earth can it escalate?  I wish I had an answer.

And to repeat, Wisconsin law provides that a person is immune from civil liability for property damage or injury that results from his or her forcible entry into a vehicle if a person or domestic animal was present in the vehicle and the actor had a good faith belief that the person or animal was in imminent danger of suffering bodily harm unless he or she exited or was removed from the vehicle.

Under Wisconsin law, the immunity applies if the actor: (1) determined that the vehicle was locked and that forcible entry was necessary to enable the actor to enter the vehicle or to enable the person or animal to be removed from or exit the vehicle; (2) dialed “911” or otherwise contacted law enforcement, emergency medical services (EMS), or animal control before he or she forcibly entered the vehicle; (3) remained with the person or animal until a law enforcement officer, EMS provider, animal control officer, or other first responder arrived at the scene; (4) used no more force than he or she reasonably believed necessary to enter the vehicle; and (5) placed a notice with certain information on the vehicle’s windshield if the actor left the scene before the vehicle’s owner or operator returned to the scene.
—Jennifer Fischer

Thanks, Jennifer!

Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

He shot a dog while campaigning for his wife and now he gets to face a judge.

Veteran travels cross country to get service dog medical procedure.

Hounding someone with a service dog? There could soon be a fine for that in NJ.

Funeral homes turning to therapy dogs to comfort mourners.

Fort Atkinson memorializes war dogs and one of its own.

Service dogs that help veterans with PTSD inspire book, ‘A Dog Like Daisy.’

10-years after Trooper saved dog, it’s still part of the family.

Your dog could call 911 in an emergency: Here’s how.

In the event a marriage needs some spark

This dog is hard of hearing, but easy to love.

Remember Eclipse from Seattle? We’ve got an update.

Why can’t more dogs go to…the beach?

Friday was TYDTW Day.



Read about a firefighter and Buddy.

These are great.  There were 10,000 entries from 74 countries. The Kennel Club’s 2017 Dog Photographer of the Year Awards. Click on each photo for more information.

We close as we always do with our closing video.

Check out the video in this story from Phoenix that has been hit with a brutal heat wave.

Next. This one’s for you Mrs. Reeves…

And finally, Ariel Rosso posted this security video on You Tube with this note:

“If you are going to pick your dog’s toy in the dark, make sure it’s not a live rattlesnake! Thankfully my wife Carla was not bit, but she needs to work on running away skills!”

That’s it for this week.

Thanks for stopping by.

Please forward this to other dog lovers you know. We’d appreciate it.

See ya, BARK, next Saturday morning!

Image may contain: one or more people and dog

Best Cartoons of the Week (06/24/17)


Steve Kelley

Rick McKee

Bob Englehart

Michael Ramirez

David Horsey

A.F. Branco


A. F. Branco

Glenn McCoy

Bob Gorrell

Glenn McCoy again

Rick McKee


Henry Payne

Chip Bok


Michael Ramirez

Chip Bok

Milt Priggee


Michael Ramirez

Michael Ramirez again


Mike Lester


Mike Lester

Mike Lester again


Joe Heller


Rick McKee


Randy Bish


Dave Granlund

Steve Breen

Goodnight everyone, and have a super powerful weekend!

Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.

January 12, 1966.

This highly anticipated date was the talk of my neighborhood.

We could not wait.

There was an excitement level that drove me and my grade school classmates crazy.

And so the Fischer living room was packed with family and friends of my older brother, Greg.

The hero in our comic books was about to come to life on TV.

No exaggeration.

It was electric.

The splashy colors, the costuming, the unusual camera angles, the dramatic narrator, the gadgets and gimmicks, the Batmobile, the Bat Cave, the Bat Signal.

We were in awe.

Save my dad.

Not sure if it was during the program or later, but my recollection is he did remark it was all kinda silly.

Didn’t matter.

This was incredibly cool.

And now came the bottom of the hour. In this case, the very first episode was about to run out, and Robin was in trouble, big trouble.

Suddenly, the program was over, with no resolution to Robin’s fate.


Viewers were told to tune in tomorrow for ANOTHER  Batman episode.


Too amazing!

I attended a Catholic grade school at the time that required attendance at daily Mass for students. On our walk back to the school building we couldn’t contain ourselves with talk about that super show the night before.

Not only that. How, how, how in the world could Robin possibly escape?

The following morning’s procession back to school brought more jaw-dropping conversation, fueled by the promo at the end of the program about next week’s villian.

Are you kidding me? week, music of the superheroes.

We begin by paying tribute to Adam West with this video clip from 1966 that I absolutely love.

The dancers from the variety TV show Hullabaloo perform to an extended original soundtrack version of Neal Hefti’s theme from the Batman TV series.

Batman in the 1960’s paved the way for the explosion of comic book movies and accompanying blockbuster soundtracks we enjoy today.

The 60’s pop music that was so fun and cool is now overwhelmingly majestic and heart pounding in our superhero flicks.

Wonder Woman has been a dominant force at the box office as of late. She actually debuted a few years ago in a film that she did not grab first billing.

The composer is Hans Zimmer who has written about 200 pieces for the cinema including The Dark Knight, Gladiator, The Lion King, Inception, Man of Steel, and Pirates of the Caribbean.

In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, when the audience gets its first look at Wonder Woman in her familiar battle armor, Zimmer along with Junkie XL created this powerful track. World-class cellist Tina Guo is on the electric cello, a nice addition to the symphonic orchestra.

Next, an Academy Award winner.

Hiro Hamada discovers an inflatable health care robot Baymax that was by his brother, Tedashi. After a terrible accident, Hiro and Baymax team up with four other nerds and save San Fransokyo from an evil super villain trying to take over with Hiro’s invention.

In “First Flight” classically-trained Henry Jackman captures the perfect sound for the exciting first time Hiro gets to fly around San Fransoyko on Baymax’s back.

Now we change flight patterns, slowing down the pace as we head back to the 1970’s.

Some critics believe “Superman” was the pioneer of the modern superhero movie.

Promotional materials proclaimed “You’ll believe a man can fly.” Though primitive today, the special effects in 1978 were definitely believable.

Christopher Reeve is the Man of Steel. Margot Kidder is Lois Lane. John Williams composed the score.

In 1995 Reeve became paralyzed from the neck down following a horse-riding accident. He founded the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation in 1998 to promote research on spinal cord injuries. He died of cardiac arrest in 2004.

In 1996, as Kidder was preparing to write her autobiography, she began to become more and more paranoid, and sank into bipolar disorder. She panicked, fantasized that her first husband was going to kill her, left her home and faked her death, and physically changed. Kidder managed to fight back and started a mental wellness campaign. Since then she has sustained her career with appearance in film, television, and theater.

That’s it for this week.


Sleep well.

Have a super weekend.

We close with the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and Alan Silvestri’s composition that, not surprisingly, if you close your eyes, will make you feel you’re at an Independence Day concert.



Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: The Summer of Love

Beginning tonight and periodically over the next several weeks our oldie will focus on the summer of 1967.

Fifty years ago, thousands of young Americans descended on San Francisco to join a cultural revolution known as the Summer of Love. It marked a fusion of political protest, art and music and introduced the world to groundbreaking local bands that hadn’t yet made it big, like the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and Jefferson Airplane…

Young people from all over America flocked to the City by the Bay, and major motivation was supplied by Scott McKenzie who had a hit recording at the time, advising the hippies to wear a flower in their hair if they were headed west.

San Francisco’s Haight/Ashbury district soon became bursting at the seams with hordes of homeless, drug-dazed teens. McKenzie sang of “gentle people with flowers in their hair” when that wasn’t even close to being an appropriate description.

He also sang “There’s a whole generation with a new explanation,” and “people in motion.” Far better assessments, or at least sentiments that people wanted to feel about that summer’s San Francisco atmosphere.

June of 1967 featured the Monterey International Pop Festival highlighted by the San Francisco explosion. Performing at the festival were the Who, Big Brother and the Holding Company (featuring Janis Joplin), Jefferson Airplane and, in their US debut, the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

McKenzie’s biggest hit was released one month before the festival, written by the Mamas & the Papas’ John Phillips. It would go to #1 in August.

“Scott sang like an angel. He had one of the most beautiful voices that ever had a rock ‘n’ roll hit,” said Phillips.

Lou Adler produced the festival.

“He (McKenzie) was comfortable with the success of the record, but not what it made him, sort of iconic to that movement,” said Adler.

McKenzie and the Mamas & the Papas would go on a world tour when the song was at its peak, and he dressed the part of the flower-power time with robes. When their plane landed at a stop in Amsterdam, everyone got off except McKenzie.

“It took him awhile, and when he got off he was dressed as a cowboy,” said Adler. “He was never willing to accept the role as the leader of that movement. He was a very gentle soul.”

McKenzie died in August of 2012 at the age of 73. He had been ill with Guillain Barre syndrome, a disease affecting the nervous system.

Here he is, singing at the Monterey festival during the Mamas and Papas set, introduced by Mama Cass Elliot.

The race in Franklin will be on very soon

Don’t look now, but the 4th of July is less than two weeks away.

Here in Franklin that doesn’t mean an Independence Day celebration, which is what it should be called. No, we call it a politically correct Civic Celebration. Don’t want to offend anyone.

The Civic Celebration, of course, includes the Civic Celebration Parade.

Franklin has a very good one that draws a great crowd. It’s not perfect by a longshot. Residents have made it clear what’s all missing and what they’d like to see. In Franklin that means thanks for suggesting, but no thanks.

Even so the neighborly throngs turn out to display their community pride, God bless ‘em.

Leading up to the parade is a mad (okay, it’s not all that mad) scurry by Franklinites to secure a good seat. To ensure such accommodations the folks head out and rope off or drop off lawn chairs to “reserve” their viewing spot.

Understand, folks, this is Franklin we’re talking about. Obscene, crippling taxes yield a yawn at best.

But section off some sidewalk for the parade and let the hornets loose! Pandemonium! Chaos! Torches and Pitchforks outside City Hall where phones are ringing off the hook.

So here’s a look at what to expect over the next 10 days or so.

TODAY, LATE JUNE: In households all over Franklin a spouse mentions to the other spouse that the 4th of July is fast approaching. Previous studies indicate that primarily in the past the wife brings this up to the husband.

LATE JUNE: One of the spouses suggests going out and establishing the family territory. The other spouse, to avoid WWIII, concurs.

THE WEEKEND OF JUNE 24-25: Franklin families start mapping out their parade strategies.

JUNE 26:  Slowly but surely yellow tape and lawn chairs start popping up along the parade route.

JUNE 26: Franklin residents, many of which are first now learning the Twist are oblivious to the addition of furniture on neighborhood streets until…

JUNE 27: One week before the parade and the pot has boiled over. Folks are steaming mad. They flock to social media to moan and bitch. It’s worth a bowl or two of popcorn.
Several days later the same bunch will call the Franklin PD to wail and gnash their teeth over fireworks being launched in nearby back yards.

JUNE 28-JULY 3: The chairs keep piling up. More people are upset than actually go to vote in a school board election.

JUNE 28-JULY 3: Someone in Franklin dramatically requests that the Franklin Police stop enforcing traffic laws and stop pursuing bad guys and round up and confiscate and dispose of all those chairs.

JUNE 28-JULY 3: Residents living near the site of the proposed Ballpark Commons claim the noise of people dropping off chairs is disturbing.

JUNE 28-JULY 3: Mayor Olson announces the police will not be patrolling and picking up chairs.

JUNE 28-JULY 3: Mayor Olson’s opponents will accuse the mayor of being uncaring to his constituents.

THE MORNING OF JULY 4: Not a single lawn chair has been stolen.

JULY 4, 11:00 AM: Anyone that wanted to find a spot to watch the parade, even if they didn’t put down chairs, has successfully found one. Many Franklin parade-watchers have made room for them.

JULY 4, 11:12 AM: The 11:00 Franklin Civic Celebration Parade officially begins.

JULY 4, 11:22 AM: The first of MANY gaps takes place. Ever notice that there are never any gaps when the dignitaries head down the street?

JULY 4, 12:10 PM: The first set of parade-watchers impatient because of the gaps decide to up and leave.

HOURS AFTER THE PARADE: A parade official takes to social media asking what changes/improvements should be made. Suggestions flow in.

JULY 4, 2018 AND THE WEEKS BEFORE: Everything stays the same.

Today’s highly interesting read (06/22/17): No Connection Between Spending and Best Local Roads in State

The biggest bone of contention in the state Legislature this session isn’t the state budget, but a rather key component.

Transportation has state Republicans who are in control of both legislative houses at an impasse. The consensus seems to be that we need to fund lots of roads and construction, but there’s no agreement on how to pay for it all.

We’ve actually come to the point where toll roads have been floated as a serious option. There used to be a time when such a notion was associated with lunacy.

Legislative surveys resulted in 90% or more of constituents responding they hated the idea. The mere suggestion was DOA in a matter of seconds. Now it’s on the table.

This transportation squabble is a perfect example of elected officials who are simply incapable of acting responsibly with other people’s money. Families struggling with stagnant incomes get it. If you don’t have the cash for a high falootin’ summer vacation, you don’t go. The same thought process should flow through the halls of the state Capitol. However, the thinking seems to be that we’re doomed if we don’t pave everything in sight.

It’s stunning that some in the GOP want increased taxes and fees, to which state Senator Duey Stroebel (R-Cedarburg) has responded:

“I, and many other conservative legislators, did not go to Madison to raise taxes.  Before conservatives even consider any increased transportation funding, every last efficiency at the DOT must be identified and implemented and for no reason should we increase the overall tax burden on the taxpayers of Wisconsin.”


That brings us to today’s read. We opened with a discussion about state money. What about local dollars?

Bill Osmulski committed a flagrant act of journalism that you probably won’t see on your 10:00 TV news:

Public officials in Marquette County apparently know how to get the biggest bang for their buck when it comes to transportation. They have the best roads in the state, while receiving almost the smallest amount of state aid per mile.

Read Osmulski’s complete article here.

Ron Johnson then and now

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) called Obamacare the “greatest assault on freedom in our lifetime” in an interview with the Atlas Society.

“I think Americans are a little bit like frogs in that pot of water,” he said. “The water’s being brought up to boil.” He said he ran for Senate in 2010 because of President Barack Obama’s health care law, which he called “greatest assault on freedom in our lifetime.”
The Huffington Post, 01/28/2013

“I would not call this ObamaCare repeal. It’s definitely not repealing ObamaCare,” he said.

“I don’t think there’s enough, probably, in there to bring down those premiums, which I think is a problem with both the House and maybe the Senate bill now,” he said, expressing doubt that he will have a firm grasp by next week of how the legislation will affect rising premiums.

“I have a hard time believing I’ll have that information prior to when leadership may want to vote on this,” he added.
The Hill, 6/22/17

While I understand the concern, I would not want to be one of a handful of Senators that blew a chance to get rid of ObamaCare.

Still, if he can help negotiate a better bill, great. But the Senate is running out of time.

And here’s the problem with a splintered GOP. Conservatives like Johnson want to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to move the bill further to the right. Centrists are applying pressure of their own. If McConnell moves one way he takes a big chance he’ll lose support from the other side.




Today’s highly interesting read (06/21/17): Just get rid of Illinois

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The above is from 2013.

There’s been no improvement.

Illinois is nearly $15 billion behind on its bills with no method to pay up. It has the lowest credit rating of any state. It might very well become the first state ever to get a “junk” rating on its debt. That would make borrowing next to impossible.  The deficit is $6 billion and the pension liability has skyrocketed to $130 billion.

Democrats in the state Legislature want to tax their way out of the crisis. The Republican governor wants meaningful reform measures.

Some foolishly suggest a federal bailout (Please God, no).

Columnist John Kass of the Chicago Tribune has a plan:

Dissolve Illinois. Decommission the state, tear up the charter, whatever the legal mumbo-jumbo, just end the whole dang thing.

We just disappear. With no pain. That’s right. You heard me.

The best thing to do is to break Illinois into pieces right now. Just wipe us off the map. Cut us out of America’s heartland and let neighboring states carve us up and take the best chunks for themselves.

What would Wisconsin get?

Read Kass’ column here.