Hoffman's Houston
Pethouse Pet of the Week

Schultz blows the whistle on Houston's finest, barnyard animals for adoption, clay court tennis, and more

Schultz blows whistle on Houston's finest, barnyard animals and more

Astros World Series victory parade and rally, George Springer
Estimates vary on the number of people who were downtown for the Astros victory parade. Photo by F. Carter Smith
Houston, Pethouse Pet Schultze, November 2017
Schultze is available for adoption at Citizens for Animal Protection. Courtesy photo
Pickle the Quarterhorse  Houston SPCA Hoffman column
Pickle the Quarterhorse is among the barnyard animals that can be yours at the Houston SPCA.   Photo courtesy of Houston SPCA
Astros World Series victory parade and rally, George Springer
Houston, Pethouse Pet Schultze, November 2017
Pickle the Quarterhorse  Houston SPCA Hoffman column

This week's Pethouse Pet of the Week offers his take on everything from clay court tennis to copper pans to barnyard animals for adoption. 

Pethouse Pet of the Week

Name: Schultz. Television trivia buffs will remember that “Shultz,” played by Ann B. Davis, was the name of Bob Cummings’ assistant on the Love That Bob sitcom. Other famous people named Schultz: Dutch Schultz the noted mobster, Ed Schultz the radio talk host, Dave Schultz the hockey badboy, and Sgt. Schultz, the lovable “I know nothing” Nazi on Hogan’s Heroes. Times have changed. Don’t think you’d see Hollywood make a comedy about Allied soldiers trapped in a Nazi war camp these days. Only the TV news shows Nazis today.
Ethnicity: I’m an Australian Cattle and Terrier combo platter, so you know I've got smart genes.
Birthdate: April 11, 2017, so I’m still a puppy. I’m sweet, sweet, sweet and playful with other pups at CAP. Just remember, I’m a young’n, so I’ll require some patience and understanding before I learn the ropes of your house. But everybody loves me here at CAP, so get ready for me to weasel myself into your heart, too.
Come and get me: I'm available for adoption at 11 am Friday at Citizens for Animal Protection (17555 Katy Freeway; 281-497-0591). Tell them, "Ken sent me."

Schultz is just sayin’

Got an email from Julie Kuenstle, spokesperson for Houston SPCA. Last time I saw her, it was 20-something years ago when she was a publicist for AstroWorld. I thought she was returning a baseball cap that blew off my head on a rollercoaster.

She said, “You know, we have lots of animals in addition to dogs and cats here at the Houston SPCA. Why don’t you come take a look?” Okay, sure. Drove out to the facility at 900 Portway Drive, off Old Katy Road. Julie showed me around. I saw rabbits, chickens, pot-bellied pigs, birds. They have cows and sheep, too. A few years ago, they had a bear. It was like a zoo out there, except you can’t adopt the animals in the Houston Zoo and take them home. I asked Julie, how much to adopt these critters?

She gave me a menu almost as long as the menu at Kenny & Ziggy’s deli.

Horses: $400 to $1,000, depending on age and training.
Miniature horses: $100 to $150.
Cows and donkeys: $100.
Goats and sheep: $20.
Chickens and roosters: $5.
Ferrets: $75.
Rabbits: $30.
Guinea pigs: $15
Small rodents: $3
Pet Birds: fees vary by species.

The Houston SPCA is open seven days a week. For details on how to adopt, and the rules and regs, click here.

Now here’s where my visit turned weird. Julie had arranged for me to meet one of the Houston SPCA veterinarians. We went into the horse stable, where I met Stanley, a white boy horse. The vet was standing nearby, filling a syringe. I asked, “Is that a vaccination or something?” No, it was a tranquilizer. “We’re going to castrate this horse. Do you want to watch?”

"Seriously? Do you think I woke up this morning and thought, 'You know what I’d like to do today? I’d like to see a horse get whacked.' I look the other way when I get a flu shot. Get me out of here!

No Rotten Tomatoes for these movies

Do you click on Rotten Tomatoes for movie reviews? It’s actually a pretty reliable site for movie takes. A new film called Lady Bird just broke the Rotten Tomatoes record for favorable reviews: 170 comments and all of them 100 percent positive. The previous champ was Toy Story 2, which had perfect scores from its first 163 reviews. Here’s the difference. Lady Bird will do okay at the box office, which is no measure of its quality. I haven’t seen it. Toy Story 2 was one of the highest-grossing animated comedies of all time, grossing half a billion dollars at the box office. Like many parents with bossy children, I saw Toy Story 2 about 1,000 times.

More parade estimates

I once took a journalism course. One day, the professor was yakking away about something, when a man ran through the class. He was being chased by two women and another man. They were yelling crazy nonsense at each other before they bolted out the door. The professor said, “Okay, write a news story about what you just saw.” It was an assignment. Pretty clever. A test of our reporting skills.

The next day, the professor read some of our stories. It was amazing how different the students’ accounts were, from what the intruders were wearing, who was chasing whom, what they were yelling.

Which brings us to news accounts of last week's Thanksgiving Parade in downtown Houston. Channel 11 said there were “tens of thousands of spectators.” The Houston Chronicle said “thousands of people” watched. Channel 2 said “hundreds of people.” That's a pretty wide discrepancy in attendance.

My vote: somewhere between Channel 2 and the Houston Chronicle. If “tens of thousands” means 20,000 minimum … no way. In the parade’s defense, there were reasons for the low turnout: it was a chilly morning (about 48 degrees), hundreds of thousands of people were downtown only a few weeks before for the Astros victory parade, and some people are still reeling from Hurricane Harvey floods.

Random thoughts

You know those copper pans advertised night and day on TV? I have one, and true, it’s amazing. Cost me $29 at Bed Bath and Beyond. Last week, I saw a similar copper pan at the 99 Cents Store. I’m guessing it’s not the same quality as the “As Seen on TV” version, but the color was identical.

Personal note: Last week, I went to the Rockets game and parked in the Toyota Center garage on Leeland. Like an idiot, I left my car lights on, and when the game was over (Rockets crushed the Knicks by 15 points), my battery was dead. A friendly HPD officer jumped my car and I was on my way. I wanted to thank the officer, but like the Lone Ranger, he was gone before I had a chance.

Tickets for the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship, April 7-15 at River Oaks Country Club, go on sale December 1. Three Top 20 players (so far) have committed to playing: Americans John Isner and Sam Querrey and South African Kevin Anderson. They are among the tallest players on the ATP tour, and Anderson was a finalist in the 2017 U.S. Open. So expect a lot of booming serves and aces. Last year’s Clay Court Championship winner Steve Johnson previously announced he’s in for 2018, as well as Bob and Mike Bryan, the most heralded doubles team in tennis history.