the last few days i've been busy with community stuff. on thursday night, i attended the ethnic communities listening forum that is organised annually by the ethnic communities liaison staff of hamilton city council. it's quite a useful event, in that there is an opportunity to provide feedback on a majority of issues. the mayor was in attendance as well as a few city councillors, although the former did look quite bored with the whole thing.
i don't know that i gave any particularly useful feedback, other than wanting something to be done to stop sky city casino being open all night, and asking for the council to have 2 funding rounds during the year instead of only 1. as to the former, it appears sky city already have consents for opening all night - these were obtained quite some time back. so i'm not sure that the council can do anything much about it. and the latter was brought about by the fact that the funding applications have to be in by march, so i didn't get an application in this year for the next national interfaith forum because we weren't anywhere near organised by then, and next year's round will be too late given the event is in february 2012.
today was the workshop i'd organised for muslim women, as part of my taku manawa commitment. we had someone from the human rights commission & a police officer both there to talk to the women about how to access support from those organisations if they were harassed or abused in public. i thought it went well, there was a lot of positive feedback.
but the day didn't end so well. as i was driving home on a dark and rainy night, a black dog jumped in front of my car & i hit it. it was awful, the poor thing was yelping in such an awful way. luckily someone else driving past stopped to help out, and someone living nearby came to help. we couldn't locate the owner for a bit, until an old lady driving past stopped to see what happened. turned out it was her daughter's dog, so she took him in her car to visit the vet.
i'm personally not a fan of pets, never having had one. and i'm not good with animals generally. i can understand why people would want one (well theoretically i can understand, emotionally i just can't connect with the idea), but one thing i feel strongly about is dogs. i just don't think it's fair to keep dogs in a city. they aren't city animals - unless it's those little ones that look more like guinea pigs than wolves - because they need space and the freedom to run around.
i hate to see dogs tied up or fenced in, in the sense that it's unfair to the dog. of course i'm glad to see them tied up or fenced in regards my own personal safety, because i really do hate to be anywhere near them. and it really angers me that this particular dog wasn't tied up or fenced in. there is no way it should have been free to randomly run across the street, for me to hit it at 50kms. it was so truly awful.
the poor old lady kept apologising to me. even as i was driving off (once the dog had been settled in her back seat), she came back to me saying she hoped i wasn't upset. at that point, i just wanted her to get back in the damn car and hurry to the vet. she said a couple of times that the dog had been very naughty, which is sheer nonsense. the dog just did what dogs do: bound around. it's the owner who has been naughty by not securing it properly.
i'm sure the animal is going to be ok. i wish i'd taken her number so i could ring to be sure, but i was too shaken at the time and i wanted her to hurry. but if anyone is remotely interested in taking advice from me, it would be this: if you must have a pet, get a goldfish and put it in a LARGE aquarium with a lid on it, inside your house. animals shouldn't be caged up or fenced in. dogs should be on farms. if you're keeping one for security reasons, an alarm is much cheaper and just as effective.