Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

My thanks to all of you who served our nation in the Armed Forces, especially to those who served in combat or time of war. And I'd like to acknowledge our great debt to my father's generation. Thank you, Tech Sergeant Shelby Riggs, for your combat service in the US Army in World War 2 in the fields and hedgerows of Europe, and your time as a POW at the war's end. Our nation's character is built of the fiber and toughness of these men and women.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Long time, no postee...

It's been a busy summer. I'm working 50+ hours a week, all of it on nights and all of it 12 hour shifts, picking up overtime. It means a lot of time away from the house and the dogs, and precious little for the chore of blogging.

Lots has changed here. We have a new dog living with us as a foster child who was pulled from a pound where he was slated for death, now named Rudy - Rudy the Red, Rudy the Rude Boy - a young brash lively (and how!) bird dog mix of some sort who never slows down and never stops checking out things. He managed to get himself into something that tore a hole in his chest a couple of weeks ago and cost me $400 for that, but he's healing well and we'll be trying to find a home for him. I like him, but he's just too lively for this group and for me with all that I have going on right now and I don't have the time for him that I should. He deserves someone who's going to take him out and run him ragged and put him to bed at night worn out and dreaming of critters to pursue.

And at the end of May we lost Fooss, my grand old man of a dog. After ten wonderful years with this special handsome beast , he reached the end of his run. I still haven't put up a tribute to him because the wound is too deep, too painful and I don't want to skimp on his story, of what a great friend he was and how much he taught me about dogs and love and devotion. It'll come, but when I slow down enough to do him justice and I can stand to open that wound again.
Things change - life goes on, sometimes bittersweet, sometimes happy, often deeply sad - but there's no choice about it. Work to do, critters to care for, causes to defend - and more to say about it all in the weeks ahead, when I get my breath.
If you're interested I'm posting now on FaceBook, more often than here because it's easy to post blurbs and URLs. The blog is for more thoughtful things.
Bis spater.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Note to myself ....

.... put feather pillows where TeeTee the young girl mastiff won't find them.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Amazing what dedication and love can do with a dog

This little guy had aggression and fear problems so his owner spent a lot of time teaching him tricks so she could get him to focus on those and turn him away from his aggression. She certainly did a great job with him, he has quite a repertoire now!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Helmet-cam video of Dutch commandos storming a cargo ship

They are NOT messin' 'round and those are NOT blanks they're shootin'!
This is the only way to deal with hijackers and pirates - SURRENDER OR DIE!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Demo of pic thumbnail for a friend

A fellow Raven is helping a friend who's putting some of her art on a new blog and wants to see how to make thumbnails that open to larger images.

So as a demo, click on the thumbnail below to open the full sized file. This is a photo of two of my big girls chewing on bones. The file is 1.7MB and is opened via this small thumbnail -

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

On The Rocks - Bad Romance - 4/23/10

Great version of the Lady Gaga song - these guys are da bomb!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Original story about the Iranian moron who blames seismic activity on women

Is there a reason why we just don't bomb them now? I mean, they're ALREADY in the Stone Age with this kind of thinking!!!

Iranian cleric blames women's immodest dress, promiscuity for earthquakes, urges repentance -

Posted using


American blogress makes a response to these bozos who think that immodesty in women causes earthquakes - see it at this link -

Head of Iran's Guardian Council supports Sedighi's earthquake hypothesis

Posted using

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Obama zombies

There's a new book out about them, but I liked this graphic better

You can find the book, by Jason Mattera, on Amazon and an excellent video about his work on Pajamas Media TV - See it HERE

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Study: Networks snub, malign 'tea party' - Washington Times

Study: Networks snub, malign 'tea party' - Washington Times

Democrats want anti-Bush loyalist for GAO director - Washington Times

Democrats want anti-Bush loyalist for GAO director - Washington Times

From the WSJ about how you CAN cut taxes and costs!

This article raises some points and shows some ideas that other cities have used. Private sector money does things public tax money can't. If they run a civic center, then they can DEMAND good behavior from those who go there, something state-run centers can't or won't do. The less affluent don't have to be left out, but they DO have to toe the line of good conduct, something sadly lacking in most tax-funded venues. If citizens are paying for it out of their pockets, instead of indirectly through taxes, they're going to be more involved in making sure it'd done RIGHT and that people don't abuse it - Charles

Strapped City Cuts and Cuts and Cuts

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—Like many American cities, this one is strapped for cash. Tax collections here have fallen so far that the city has turned off one-third of its 24,512 street lights.

But unlike many cities, this one is full of people who are eager for more government cutbacks.

The town council has been bombarded with emails telling it to close community centers. Letters to the local newspaper call for shrinking the police department and putting the city-owned utility up for sale. A commission is studying whether to sell the municipal hospital. Another, made up of local businessmen, will opine on whether to slash the salaries and benefits of city employees.

"Let's start cutting stupid programs that cost taxpayers a pot of money," says Tim Austin, a 48-year-old former home builder now looking for a new line of work. "It's so bullying and disrespectful to take money from one man's pocket and put it in another's."

Almost a decade ago, voters imposed strict limits on how much the city government can spend. Last November they turned thumbs down on a property-tax increase, despite warnings from city officials about a projected $28 million shortfall requiring at least a 10% cut in an already shrunken budget.Such sentiments, which might draw cheers at a tea-party rally, are pretty much a mainstream view here in the state's second-largest city, the birthplace of Colorado's small-government movement.

And so, faced with dwindling revenues, intransigent voters and widespread distrust of government, this city of 400,000 has embarked on a grand experiment: It is trying to get volunteers and the private sector to provide services the city can no longer afford.

Taxi drivers have been recruited to serve as a second set of eyes for stretched police patrols. Residents can pay $100 a year to adopt a street light. Volunteers are organizing to empty the garbage cans in 128 neighborhood parks. The city is asking private swimming programs to operate its pools, and one of the city's four community centers soon will be run by a church.

Other cities are making similar efforts to harness community spirit to provide or pay for services, albeit on a smaller scale. Duluth, Minn., last year relied on the YMCA to pay for life guards at its city beach. Phoenix trains volunteers to remove graffiti that city workers used to erase. Many public libraries are asking donors who used to finance special programs to pay for basic operations.

As cities around the country try to find new ways to deliver services, Colorado Springs could be an interesting model, says Christopher Hoene, research director at the National League of Cities in Washington. "It raises the question of what the contribution of residents will be, time or tax dollars?"

Most of Colorado Springs's efforts are so new no one knows if they will work. There have been short-term successes. The Pioneers Museum, city-run since 1937, has raised enough money to keep its doors open this year and to hire consultants to develop a plan for it to go private.

But some efforts already are stumbling. Poor neighborhoods, it turns out, have trouble raising enough money to cover the costs of popular municipal programs like after-school child care.

Some skeptics say it is unfair and ultimately impractical to expect a few volunteers to shoulder burdens while everyone gets the benefits of their work—what economists call the free-rider problem. "If people are not contributing their part, there needs to be a broad community-wide solution," says Richard Skorman, a prominent local businessman who for many years was the sole liberal on the city council.

Boosters think the moves by Colorado Springs will be adopted elsewhere. "We're a model of how cities can creatively adapt to budget adversity," says Sean Paige, a self-described libertarian on the city council. "You can have great quality of life without a great big government at the heart of it."

Many people here say the proper role of government should be limited to paving streets, paying police and firefighters and, if there's money left over, frills like parks. Those are, in fact, the only projects for which Colorado Springs voters have been willing to approve tax increases in recent years.

Mr. Hoene of the National League of Cities says there are plenty of potential pitfalls to relying on the community to provide services. Programs that might work for small, homogeneous towns, he says, may falter in big, fast-growing cities like Colorado Springs, where an increasingly diverse population tends to have varying wants and needs. Low-wage workers and the businesses that employ them may rely on a transit system, for example, while wealthier residents see no need to pay for a service they do not use.

But residents say the city is more diverse than it first appears. It has an unusually high percentage of veterans, and also is home to a big branch of the University of Colorado. The U.S. Olympic Training Center attracts athletes and tourists, and the spectacular scenery draws outdoor enthusiasts.Colorado Springs is a conservative bastion that is home to the evangelical New Life Church, the influential Christian ministry Focus on the Family, and five military installations, including the U.S. Air Force Academy. In a state that helped put Barack Obama in the White House, Colorado Springs and its surrounding county voted overwhelmingly for John McCain. Households here are whiter, richer and far more likely to speak English at home than in Denver, 70 miles to the north, Census data indicates.

At 8.9%, the unemployment rate isn't particularly high compared to the national average. But the area has never regained the high-paying jobs and the tax revenues lost after the high-tech bust in 2001, says Fred Crowley, an economist at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. It has lost more than 23,000 jobs since the start of the recession.

The Colorado Municipal League says most of its towns and cities are facing drops in revenue, most of which comes from sales taxes, though Colorado Springs's problems are particularly severe. Some experts say local and state limits on taxes and spending may have made the situation worse. Those measures likely will prevent Colorado Springs from returning to previous budget levels anytime soon, even if tax revenues rebound.

Over the last two years, the city has taken some fairly standard measures to cope with lower tax collections, cutting hundreds of vacant positions, encouraging early retirements, and reducing parks maintenance. But it wasn't enough, so the city asked voters to increase the property-tax rate.

Residents, however, weren't in a generous mood. The property-tax proposal was resoundingly rejected, and the city soon announced what the then city manager described as "drastic service and program reductions." Firefighter and police jobs were cut, and city buses no long run on weekends and at night.

Then came the plan to turn off the streetlights. Even that had its fans. While many people called to ask to have their lights turned back on, says Sue Skiffington-Blumberg, the city's spokeswoman, about 10% of the callers actually wanted their streetlights to go dark.

The steepest cuts were in the parks and recreation department, where dozens of workers were laid off. The city would continue to manicure a few big parks, but the smaller neighborhood ones would lose trash-collection. City officials hope to negotiate a deal with a big-box retailer that would allow residents to get discounts on riding mowers for voluntarily cutting grass in the parks.

Mayor Lionel Rivera drew the line at allowing the animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to plaster park trash cans with photos of a buxom woman wearing a lettuce-leaf bikini. But he says if the group would help pay for park maintenance, a low-key logo would be fine—and he is making the same offer to the Colorado Cattlemen's Association. "Maybe we can get a little competition going," he says.

Dave Munger, president of the Council of Neighbors and Organizations, which includes about 180 neighborhood groups here, worries that neighborhoods with fewer resources will fare worse than those that are more affluent or better organized. "We're looking at the possibility of a culture of haves and have-nots if this lack of income extends," he says.

Case in point: the city's plan to close all four of its big community centers, founded years ago to keep kids out of trouble.

That decision put Mr. Paige, the libertarian councilman, in an awkward position. He has been a longtime advocate of shrinking government, first as editorial-page editor at the daily Colorado Springs Gazette and then through his Web site, Local Liberty Online.

But when the city council tapped him to fill a vacancy last summer, Mr. Paige says, he promised to represent the views of the residents of his district, who want the centers to remain open.

"I'm dealing with the city as it exists," he says, "not in theory or as I desire it to be."

Mr. Paige's change of heart hasn't gone unnoticed. "Mr. Paige has gone over to the dark side," grumbles Douglas Bruce, who wrote both the local and state "Taxpayer Bill of Rights" initiatives that limit government spending.

Late last year, Mr. Paige not only backed a proposal to spend $400,000 to keep the centers open through March 31 while supporters tried to raise private funding, he became their chief fund-raiser.

But coming up with the cash has proved hard. Just ask Brian Kates, who manages the Meadows Park Community Center, a converted strip mall with a cinder-block gym southwest of downtown. The center, which gets about 50,000 visits a year, serves a low-income neighborhood of low-rise apartments and bungalows.

Mr. Kates has slashed the budget, laid off much of the staff, and raised fees. Supporters have sponsored everything from pizza dinners to jewelry-making lessons to bake sales. A chili cook-off "didn't make more than $50," Mr. Kates says with a sigh, "but it brought a lot of people in."

The city would save $1 million this year by closing the centers down. Backers have raised no more than $12,000, says the city spokeswoman.

Late last month, the city council learned that a large evangelical church with an active community-service program has agreed to operate one center.

At Mr. Paige's urging, the council tentatively agreed to dip into its reserves to cover bare-bones operations at the other centers through the end of the year. Last week, the U.S. Olympic Committee said it would donate $250,000 over two years for sports programs, including summer camps at the centers.

Another "rethinking government" initiative is Proud of Our Parks, which Steve Immel, an unemployed technology executive, created to empty the trash cans in neighborhood parks. Mr. Immel says he got the idea one day when he was walking his mutt, Timber, in Judge Lunt Park in his neighborhood northeast of downtown, and he noticed the trash cans were gone.

Participants sign a contract with the city agreeing to make sure the cans get emptied, and then try to round up their neighbors to help. Mr. Immel has set up Web sites that allow the parks groups—38 have been organized so far—to communicate and post schedules. The first cans were returned the last weekend in March.

Mr. Immel says he isn't sure how long the volunteer efforts will last. But he thinks they will be educational. After a while, "people will probably think, 'Gosh, we ought to hire someone to do this,'" he says. "Well, you did: the Parks Department."

Write to Leslie Eaton at

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Speaking of dogs

I still miss Seamus. Every time I see a photo of him smiling at me, those brown eyes glistening, I talk to him and tell him how much I miss him. Can't help it. He was so sweet.

But to use a phrase both trite and oh, so true - life goes on. The pack survives.
Last fall we added two girls to the family, a mere two years after we got Bodi from the woman who rescued him. He'd been on a chain and neglected, occasionally even beaten by people who kept him tied out and isolated. He's the sweetest guy you can imagine, always smiling, always happy to say hello to everyone, powerful as a bull and boy, has he got FOCUS!

(click on pictures to view enlarged)

Then there was TeeTee. Since last summer I'd been trying to rescue this girl from her chain. The woman who had her
said that she wanted to find a home for her, but she was dragging her feet about giving her up to me, saying her children would be heartbroken if she gave her away. I guess that may have been so, but it wasn't doing anything for poor TeeTee. She pined away on a chain, staring at the house, wondering why she was being left outside while everyone else was inside together and she was alone. For a mastiff, this kind of isolation is a slow death. They live to be your companion.

(click to view enlarged)

So for months there was no progress, while I kept going out to see her and taking treats to her and waiting for the woman to relent and let her go. I began to wonder if she ever would.
During that time I found Josie at Holly's Place rescue. The woman who was fostering her loved her, but she was proving to be too much of a physical challenge for her. I wanted a big girl to play with my boys and was getting nowhere liberating TeeTee so I asked to adopt her. What a beauty! She's likely a Golden Retriever and either St. Bernard or Great Pyrenees mix, long and tall and athletic, bullheaded and determined and protective as all get out! She's my new velcro dog, never far from me, always wanting to see what I'm doing, wanting to be in the middle of things. I know it was hard for Katy to give her up, and we're doing our best to keep her happy here with us. Look at that grin! -

And then three weeks after Josie came to live with us, the woman who had TeeTee called me and asked if I still wanted her. I already had six BIG dogs, since Josie had joined us, but how could I say no? She had to come off that chain so I drove out and got her and brought her home. I think she looks a lot happier now -

Just like Josie (heck, just like the whole flippin' crew!) she loves to lie next to me on the bed and press herself against me and settle in snugly to sleep. Wherever we are she leans close and has me rub her ears and scratch her soft coat. We're still getting her neck healed up where the lesions were from the chain and the collar rubbing her raw. It's slow, but much better than it was the first time I saw her -

But more importantly, she has a home where it's warm and dry and she has companions to play with and treats and affection, goes for rides in the car and romps at the river and all the things that a sweet girl like her deserves.
And while I still miss Seamus sorely, daily, my furbies keep me grounded and sane and happy. God love 'em!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Help Holly's Place help dogs and cats - visit the link and they get $1 per visitor

This is a great animal rescue group that I support -

Going to this link, registering and then visiting a store costs you NOTHING, but if you do it before noon on Thursday then Holly's Place receives $1 from iGive!

Noon Today Until Noon Thursday we have the opportunity to raise $5,000!
Together, you and can make times a little less tough for Holly's Place Animal Rescue. But we have only less than 24 hours! Please help spread the word! will give Holly's Place Animal Rescue $1 for each person who joins iGive using the special link below and visits one store via iGive between noon Wednesday, March 24, 2010 (Chicago time) and noon Thursday, the next day.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dogs - more amazing every day!

This is a story from the London Times Online about dogs going to war with their specops handlers - you can read it here.

They say the dogs don't have depth perception like we do so they don't have a fear of the fall, they just hang out and enjoy the view on the way to the ground. Wow.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Why I reject the climate alarmists' hysteria

I have a friend who thinks I'm just a running dog lackey for the Republican party, despite my protestations that I'm not a slave to the GOP but a conservative person who only cares about the future of his country.

I've been sending him emails about the ongoing expose of the fraud of 'climate science' and the global warming alarmists - the Chicken Littles and their lemming supporters. Today he replied to one of those emails and I whipped out a response that pretty much lays out my thinking on the subject.
There's no way that one email or even one essay can encompass this subject, but I think that this is a fairly comprehensive statement in a brief form about why I object to the charlatans in the climate alarmist camp.

On Mar 3, 2010, at 07:30 AM, my friend wrote:
"So is it your position that we are, in fact, undergoing significant climate change -- but it's simply not the result of anything man has done? Or is it your position that disappearing glaciers, ice-caps and cold-climate wildlife are photographic illusions generated by skilled PhotoShop techies?"

And this was my reply -

Ask yourself - during the Medieval Warming Period, when the Earth was WARMER than it is now, where did the polar bears go? Where did the glaciers go? Did they vanish?
Quite obviously no, they didn't. Yet the Earth was substantially WARMER then than it is now. And it was a time of great improvement in the living conditions of humans in Europe, when the Dark Ages ended and the Renaissance began.
So did manking cause that warming, with the fires that they burned for heat? With the cars that they didn't have, the factories that didn't exist? Of course not.
So the Earth has always had periods of warming and cooling, long before humanity had ANY ability to cause it.
But the climate alarmists have tried to ignore this reality, have tried to suppress this evidence and have tried to stampede us into believing that we alone are responsible for it and if we don't change our entire way of life that the Earth is DOOMED.
If you dig around, you'll find that not all of the ice is melting, that many of the things that you've heard in Gore's movie and quoted in the media are false, deliberate lies that they avoid discussing and will not acknowledge. The polar bear population is as large as it's ever been and some scientists say that it's increasing! But Al Gore, who is NOT a scientist, still goes around telling the lie that the polar bears are going to drown if we don't stop our carbon use. He and others are telling us that our coasts will be covered with water when the icecaps melt. But does your glass overflow when the ice in it melts? Hmmm.
And some very distinguished scientists have called into question the entire notion of carbon dioxide being bad for the atmosphere or even being capable of causing climate change. They point out that CO2 is a TINY percentage of the gases involved in our atmosphere. Those graphs and that information are out there, if you pay attention to the science journals and go beyond listening to ABC or NBC or any of the mainstream media outlets who are busily repeating the lies and distortions of the climate alarmist.
The people who want most desperately for us to change our world, to go green, to give up oil have a vested interest in lying to us. They aren't content with way things are so they're willing to engage in any deception to force public opinion their way, to drive change in the direction that THEY choose.
Did you know how much mercury is in the compact fluorescent bulbs that they want to force us to use? Do you know that it's far more than the quantity that's in the fish that scares them so much? That if I spilt that much mercury on the floor in a hospital that I'd have to call for a hazmat cleanup? Yet they don't say a word about it because THEY want to force us to use them! And while they're screaming about nuclear waste disposal, they don't say a word about those bulbs going into landfills, or that they don't work in cold weather, because they believe that you MUST do things that way or the Earth is DOOMED! Next time you can't see outside in your driveway in cold weather because the CFLs you put into your patio lights during the summer won't work in the winter, think about it. Ooops. Didn't tell you about that before they changed the statutes to outlaw incandescent bulbs, did they?
And that's just one example of their duplicity, old buddy.
I was part of the anti-war movement during the Vietnam war, and I learned then that the Left was willing to tell any lie, engage in any deception to drive public opinion against the war. It wasn't good enough that there were valid reasons to oppose the war, they had to lie and to this day they still won't admit that they did, that they were funded and supported by Russia (ever read about the Venona intercepts?) and that they were most concerned with trying to destroy our country, not stop the war. Read David Horowitz's book "Radical Son" for something that will really open your eyes about what the Left has done and is doing in this country. I have a copy and I'll loan it to you.
So I know how some people are willing to lie to make us toe their line. Yes, everybody lies, the republicans lie, the corporations lie, the politicians lie, blah, blah, blah. I'm not saying that one side is blameless and the other hopelessly corrupt.
What I AM saying is that responsible scientists who care about truth and fact and reality, who oppose distorting data to support a political agenda, have been speaking out for a long time against what Gore has been touting, what his shills in the 'scientific' community have been doing. They only want that we examine the facts and find the TRUTH and not make decisions based on lies. There are a lot of men and women out there who have taken a look at the data and have said that it's fishy, it's corrupt and it's being used to force policies that aren't valid or smart.
So yes, I'm for taking the toxins out of our environment. I skipped school to attend the very first Earth Day celebration at UK way back when, took my chances on being suspended because I BELIEVED that it was the right thing. And since then, I've watched as some real nut jobs have hijacked the ecology movement. They could have stayed with the true facts and worked to teach people what we're doing to the planet, but for the most extreme of them the progress wasn't fast enough, wasn't going in the right direction and so they've embarked on a campaign of deliberate deception to try to force the world to take the path that they think is the ONLY right way, just like some kind of religious fanatics.
THAT is what I object to, my friend. I object to lies and to being bullied by deceivers, to people who are willing to cripple our economy to make it bend to their bizarre world view, to engage in any deception that furthers their goals. I object to morons who support them, who don't take the time to examine and challenge the science, who parrot the foolishness because they don't know how to think critically.
If they were content to sit at home wearing their hair shirts and tin foil hats and leave me alone I wouldn't care. But they're out there insisting that we bankrupt ourselves with poorly conceived so-called 'solutions' like ethanol while willfully denying the science and studies that point out their errors, trying to shout down the voices that are critical of their dangerous schemes. THAT is what I object to! THAT is what I oppose!
Just as the church's suppression of Galileo was wrong, just as the opposition to Darwin is wrong, this climate hysteria is WRONG. I love science and learning and investigation and I OBJECT when people misuse the scientific process in order to advance their corrupt agendas.
So in a very brief nutshell, friend, that's why I send you these clippings and news stories, so that you'll understand how the climate alarmists are lying to you and the world at large, and hoping that you and everyone else who gets these things will stand up and demand that they PROVE their theories before they try to dismantle our economy.
Just like that famous leftie John Lennon - "All I want is the truth" - Charles

"You can ignore reality. What you cannot ignore are the consequences of ignoring reality." - Ayn Rand

Monday, February 22, 2010

Losing your point man

I'm obviously not the only one who loves big dogs, who's had them in his life and had to make the decision to let them go.

This is from a friend, a combat Marine, SWAT officer, great firearms instructor and a soft-hearted Irishman who's as fond of his big critters as we are of ours. It touched me to read it on this first day without Seamus' big smile in the house.

Losing Your Point Man

Many of you have known my over-large and sometimes over-protective canine buddy Ralph. He has been my companion on hundreds of miles of hikes … my “point man” … running ahead and on the flanks with a speed that belied his size and strength, making sure, as a good point man does, that I was not taken unawares. He traded recovered deer antlers for biscuits, and ate whatever of my MREs that I didn’t want.

He came to me an adult dog from an abusive home, and as some of you know, while he was great with women and kids he had problems with men he did not know for a while. Bob, you did more to help with his trust of others than anyone, and I will never forget that fact.

He was very protective toward my family in my (frequent) absence, however, and let me sleep better when far away. He had few vices other than a hyperactive prey instinct that is typical of the Rhodesian Ridgeback, and a tendency to take the best spot closest to the fireplace, for which he is forgiven. He chased and caught small game and fought boldly with javelina (he did not like them for some reason), asking and giving no quarter.

This afternoon, my lap holding that great head with its terrible jaws and beautiful intelligent eyes, he left me to scout ahead again. All his great strength and courage could not conquer the condition that weakened his back and legs, and I could no longer bear to see the humiliation in his eyes at his inability to walk and run and do for himself. Ironically, but appropriately, the same veterinarian that undoubtedly saved his life after his most difficult javelina battle was there, gently and compassionately, when it ended. Terry could not get arrested in my county if it were up to me. She understands.

Many of you whom I know have lost one of those dear friends who cannot speak but still communicate with our hearts so eloquently, and have felt this same hollowness. There will be a good many more tears for a while as some comment or event brings memories flooding back of all the fine times we shared, but it will pass eventually. Life will go on and we will continue, because that is what we do … but life is much harder without someone good on point.

Seamus has gone ahead

"If there are no dogs in heaven,
when I die I want to go where they went"
- Mark Twain

Seamus, our big guy, our sweet man, our loving lovable magnificent hulk of a dog has left us and gone ahead on the trail that we all will follow someday.
He'd been sick on and off for the last few weeks, given antibiotics, got better and got sick again. He spent the night at the vet's on Friday getting IV fluids, then after coming home on Saturday was sick again - throwing up, incontinent, unable to eat or drink. I took him to the small animal hospital in Lexington and he was given IV fluids and antibiotics again, had more x-rays and labs and was holding his own. But by this evening he wasn't gaining ground and we went ahead with an exploratory laparotomy.

He had an intussusception, a telescoping of his bowel, which was something that could be resected and repaired. There would still be concerns about his recovery, but that was survivable.
What was not survivable were the very large and ugly nodes on his spleen and some other organs. Almost certainly hemangiosarcoma, and fatal. The vet could have removed his spleen and we could have taken our chances with his post-op course, but that would have been a crap shoot and the odds were not at all good for him. So I let him go. He just kept on sleeping, and glided on over to eternity.

Seamus was as happy a dog as ever lived. He had a wonderfully expressive face and you never had to guess about his mood. He'd chase a tennis ball until his legs were wobbly and then carry it around some more. He's bring his rawhide chew to show to me, and wag his tail while I told him how lovely it was, then bring it back to me again ten minutes later so we could repeat the conversation. When we were out in the car and I'd go into a store, when I looked out Seamus would be standing in the car window, staring at the door I'd gone into - never looking away, always waiting for me to come back, ecstatic when I reappeared.

I've never had a dog as devoted to me as that cheerful hulk was. He loved me with an intensity and purity that no other dog has. He would body block all the other dogs so that he could monopolize my attention, have me all to himself. He would stand by the bed and whine, in the dark and for an hour, until I told him to come on up. Then he'd lurch that great frame up onto the bed, stretch out against me and let out a deep sigh, happy to be close to the one he adored.
He was my special buddy and I marveled at his devotion. He wagged all over when I told him what a good boy he was.

(click on photo to enlarge)

He loved following scent trails down by the river -

Seamus was a star, even appearing on the radio with me with Sue Wiley. There was no one who didn't love his joyous face and didn't think him handsome, striking, imposing. He was the biggest puppy ever, thrilled to be alive and with us.
If there is any sense or order to this universe, I'll see him again when I cross over, along with Sergei and Vanya and Lucie. My pack on the other side of the bridge is growing, slowly and painfully. My heart is sore and now my comfort is the pack that remains, those great warm beasts, the puppy pile I can lie with and hug and caress, wishing that our happy giant was still here, still sharing his joy with us.

Requiescat in pace, my buddy.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Super new essay by VDH

Victor Davis Hanson has one of the great minds of this age, IMO, and this new essay by him is yet further fine thinking.

He examines our current economic state and points out that we can't continue down this reckless path where we have no real wealth, only manipulated wealth and false impressions of well being that are falling apart around our ears. Read it here.

Monday, January 25, 2010

What, 2010 already?

I'm baaaaaaaackkkkkkk! Didja miss me?

Since that last post in July the world has turned almost upside down. In Haiti it DID turn upside down. But I've been holding back from posting anything because I was busy with new dogs and having surgery on my knee and KC3 and work and you name it. Plus, I always get nervous whenever I feel like I'm under pressure to perform. This blog is supposed to be fun, right?
So now we have SEVEN dogs in the pack, with the addition of Josie from the Holly's Place rescue, and of Teetee who was rescued from her life on a chain out in the boonies. Both of these lovely girls weigh 100 pounds and are as gentle as the day is long, and you'll see more of them here.
Aside from that, I've lost 20 pounds from a combination of deliberate dieting and of lack of appetite from pain pills after surgery. They used to call it "the heroin diet" when celebrities and supermodels became ghastly gaunt from their drug habits. Nothing so very interesting here - you take pain pills, you don't eat. Simple. But now the knee is moving wonderfully well and the pain is much less, thank you. Got to keep that weight loss going, though, toward a goal of 40 pounds down.
The Kentucky Coalition to Carry Concealed (KC3) is moving to introduce a bill in the legislature that will extend the right to carry to college campuses, where they can at present ban it in defiance of common sense and logic. If you follow our blog then you'll be able to see how we're doing with that.
There's lots more, of course, including thoughts on the political process as it's being played out here in the US, but no time to write about it now. Just wanted to say 'hi!' and tell you that we're still here and getting ready to get back into it once more.