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October 14, 1973 - Image 5

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Michigan Daily, 1973-10-14

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Sunday, October 14, 1973

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page-Five

Su.-, cxbe:1, -3.HEMIHIAND-L

-1-

perspective:

me

and

my

dog

By TONY SCHWARTZ
The Story
STELLA CAME over to visit
last night. She wandered over
and showed up, panting and smil-
ing, at my back door. At first I
thought Marta had brought her
over for a visit, and would ap-
pear herself moments later. And
then I realized that Stella had
been out chasing squirrels. any-
way, and just decided to drop in.
Marta found the dog in the Arb.
Stella had just been thrown out
of a car, along with two brothers
and a sister, abandoned. Marta
gave the brothers and sisters
away, tried in halfhearted fash-
ion to give Stella away, and
finally brought her back "to the
dormitory,
I was reasoned and pragmatic
and said keeping her was out of
the q u e s t i o n. Responsibility.
Dorm is too small. On and on.
And so we kept her, papered
our rooms, stocked up on Lysol,
cleaned up after her, assuaged
angers of hallmates when.Stella
shat in front of. their doors. The
name "Stella" came to Marta
after an acting-class-brush with
Streetcar Named Desire. It was
perfect: distinctive, gentle yet
individual, speaking at once to
her dependence and her free-
dom.
Once we lost her during a class
at East Quad. We looked high
and low for a couple of days
and had about given up when we
decided to put an ad in the Daily
lost-andsfound. The next day, un-
der our 'lost' plea, there was an
a l m o s t identically matching
'found' ad. It was poetic. The
people who found her were a
bit sad; they wanted to keep her.

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Directed by Ted Heusel
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Daily Photo by KAREN KASMAUSKI

But determined Stella had wan-
dered eight blocks back to the
dorm, and was found looking
puzzled just outside its front door.
STELLA DOES everything in
excess.She shivered when we
walked to winter classes, and I
put her under my coat. When
she was tired, 'she literally fell
out. Sprawled on a bed, often
falling off but never waking up.'
When she was awake, it was as
if she'd been shot full of adre-
nalin, could run circles around
dogs far bigger and stronger
even when she was tiny. And
she was loving, would lick you
into oblivion and.was particularly
fond of hand cream, devoured
it after Marta's showers.
We never knew what breed
Stella was. Part beagle, whippet,
german shepard markings, a
pointer's paws. She was skinny

and long and some said ugly.
Marta and I could never under-
stand that last one. To us she
was the aesthetic ultimate: beau-
ty, grace and style.
When we moved into a house,
Stella adapted quickly. At first
we let her run free, and occa-
sionally we'd see her at midday
on theydiag, seven blocks and at
least two major thoroughfares
away. Always, for weeks, she'd
return.
And then once she didn't. A
week went by, the Daily ad was
ignored. She had no tag, but we
left her description at the Hu-
mane Society. Still nothing, but
one day, at Marta's insistence,
we went out just to look. And
there, amazingly, half-dead, all
skin and bones, was Stella. Right
in the front cage. She was dirty
and tired and beat, but when

she saw us she became delirious,
hysterical, frothy.-After that, she
slept for three days and from
then on we stopped letting her
out alone.
The Appreciation
STELLA DIDN'T care. She sim-
ply demanded longer and
longer walks, at least three a
day. She knew what she was en-
titled to, and when we opened
the door in the morning, she'd
trot out to the front step, sit
down quietly, and wait, even if it
meant waiting a half-hour.
It was on the walks that we
got to know her best. Stella is
wise and she conceptualizes. She
would run off, but she always
kept an eye out for us and each
walked mixed surprise and tra-
dition. Along the various routes

lookisng htack:s
the week as ]it was

we chose, Stella picked out cer-
tain things To Do. What yard to
run a circle in, what fence to
jump, what porch to sniff, where
to relieve herself. Squirrels were
one element of surprise; Stella
broke stride for them, and each
resulting contest was fascinat-
ing: stalking, deathly quiet and
then she'd pounce. Almost al-
ways she lost, but occasionally
she scored and then, with not a
tiny trace of smile, I'd have
to yell at her to drop it.
She understands: At the most
basic, it is commands. Stella re-
sponds to voice, whistles, snaps
of the fingers, even slight eye
movements. And she does so
many things. Stops on a dime,
understands sit, come, lie down,
get in the back of the car, see
you later, bad, no, yes, go, wait,
stop, stay.
B3UT IT IS more than that.
Stella even wants to under-
stand sentences. Tell her some-
thing close-up and she cocks her
head, astute, concentrating, star-
ing with her liquidy, soulful
brown eyes, and tries with all
her might to figure it out. Some-
times I think she does. But al-
ways she listens.
And finally, Stella can guage
moods as well as anyone I know.
I've never seen her mad, except
the couple of times she was
really provoked. But when I've
been sad, when things weren't
going well, when Marta and I
were down, Stella knew. She
stayed off to the side, moped
about. Get high and Stella starts
cocking her head, baffled and
fascinated by the changes she
detects. In a good mood, Stella
is all play, jumping and licking
and nipping.
The Confession
STELLA WAS always partly a
child, of course. And from that
vantage I didn't do my part,
didn't walk her enough or pat
her stomach enough and wasn't

the one who fed her. Mostly
though, I just wasn't -willing to
take responsibility. Stella de-
manded a lot, but gave a lot in
return. Often I wanted to take,
but .didn't want to give in re-
turn. Now I see her a day or
two out of every week. Some-
times I still fail. I oftgen wanted
to show Stella's talents off more
than to just quietly appreciate
them-and her; I couldn't ever
communicate with her implicitly
the way Marta did. I'm still not
ready for a dog of my own. I'm
too restless now. But I've learn-
ed a lot from Stella, and I'm
still learning.
1*

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SGC?
Last week's SGC elections had
three dubious distinctions: They
were the most complicated, most
confusing and elicited the low-
est voter turnout of any in SGC
history. Less than 3000 students,
a paltry ten per cent of the stu-
dent population, bothered to go
to the polls at all.
Non-voters and voters alike
complained about the complicat-
ed voting procedure (three
form and twenty minutes to fill
out), the lack of information pro-
vided'about candidates and the
general ineffectiveness of student
government. "It's like high
school student government," one
non-voter said.
But the problems transcended
the voters. Due, in part, to the
vastly expanded size of the coun-
cil, not enough candidates were
on the ballot to fill the seats,and
some positions will either remain
open or be filled by appoint-
ment.
Meanwhile, SGC President Lee
Gill was accused of embezzling
SGC funds, stealing SGC fur-
niture, "subverting" the SGC
constitution and other heinous
crimes by Robert Matthews, an
SGC candidate.
Matthews branded Gill as "the
most corrupt president in t h e
history of student government."
He also admitted he couldn't
prove his accustions, comment-
ing, "Where did we ever say we
had ,the evidence?"
As the polls closed Friday at
noon, Elections Director R o n
Strauss said that in the event
of an abnormally low turnout the
Council might void the election
and "just start appointing peo-
ple." He later rescinded t h a t
warning and the counting began.
Unfortunately, counting p r o -
cedures are so complicated that
results won't be announced until
tomorrow - three full days after
the last ballot was cast. If it
takes half a week to count 3000
votes, think what would happen

if voters turned out in force.
Mideast ially
News of.the Yom Kippur war
in the Mideast spurred local or-
ganizations to organize support
for both sides of the conflict.
Tuesday, a crowd of 7000 ga-
thered on the Diag to express
solidarity with Israel. T h e y
sang songs and listened to

houn handed in his walking pap-
ers, he did so because he w a s
tired.
Not so in the case of Mr. Ag-
new. The vice president pleaded
no contest to a charge of' tax
evasion and left the second high-
est ofice in the land as a con-
victed criminal.
Some reacted with a smile,
("One down, one to go"); some
said it was sad for the man and

After Agnew
The wait for the President to
name Agnew's successor didn't
last long. The new vice-president
is none other than University
Alumnus (Class of '35) and form-
er Wolverine center ('32, '33,
'34), Gerald Ford. Ford, who has
served in the U.S. House of Re-
presentatives for 25 years and
is now House minority leader,
said he was "deeply honored,
extremely grateful, and terribly
humble."
Lyndon Johnson, who never
laid claim to humility, once
used these words to describe
Spiro Agnew's replacement:
"Gerald Ford," he said, "is a
man who has played football one
too many times with his hel-
met off."

ri

1

Bringing the war home

speeches by Psychology profes-
sor Alexander Giuord and His-
tory Prof. Arthur Mendel.
"If you're just here for a
cheap thrill or a tingle running
up and down your spine, it would
be better if you stayed home,"
Mendel told the crowd.
A peaceful counter-demonstra-
tion organized by the Arab Stu-
dent Organization circled silently
around the Israel demonstrtion
carrying signs. Ahmad Beharer,
president of the organization, put
his group's position tersely: "We
are not aggressors, we're attack-
ing our own land."
Veep quits
Ordinarily this column reviews
only local events, but the r e a 1
news this week was Spiro Agnew.
Only one other vice president in
the nation's history has ever re-
signed, and when John C. Cal-

his country. For a government in
which skull-and-bones politics has
overshadowed any semblance of
ideology or program, the fall of
the Veep made no real differ-
ence.
But for the students and re-
porters and anti-war activists, it
was a moment of truth. After
all of Agnew's righteous ravings
about law and order and
"the nattering nabobs of nega-
tivism", it was the unbiased vig-
ilance of the press and the
courts that hung him on his own
actions. For the people, the fall
of Agnew was a reaffirmation of
faith.

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Tryouts for
Ionesco's
THE BALD SOPRANO
3 male parts
3 female parts
Tuesday, Oct. 16-2-4 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 17-8-10 p.m.
Thurcdav Ort 1R-R-10 n m.

LSA
COFFEE. HOUR
TUESDAY
3:00-4:30
October 16
PHYSICS DEPT.
. NE

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