Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Watch This

Alfre Woodard reads "Ain't I a Woman?", a speech delivered by abolitionist Sojourner Truth at the Women's Convention in 1851. Part of a reading from Voices of a People's History of the United States (Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove,)February 1, 2007 at All Saints Church in Pasadena, CA.  WE end Black History Month and begin Women's History Month with a powerful reading by Alfre Woodard.  It gave me chills to watch it.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Red White & blues at the White House

I almost missed this great show.  I was skimming through Facebook to check up on the doings in the world and noticed a posting by PBS about the show.  I had seen the teaser and thought that I wanted to see it but the TV guide said that Antiques Roadshow was going to be on.  That is what my channel guide said also.  But Facebook said this was on.  So I got to see my President and his wife, enjoying the show and to see him clapping his hands (in time - Ronnie could never clap on beat) and bouncing his head (I was doing that also) to the music of some of the greatest Blues musicians including Mick Jagger.  

There is something about Mr. Obama that just makes me feel good and I will tell you this the show was too short cause the music does something spiritual to me.  I really enjoy PBS,  I may have to up my contribution.  There are some in Congress who would like to defund them and National Public Radio.  You can guess what I think of them. 

Thanks for stopping by, Hugs, j

Monday, February 27, 2012

Miles on Monday

 Miles is here for a visit while Jon is visiting Universities.  He and Bailey are enjoying a nap on a very messy floor.  the big blanket that Bailey is on is Miles'  He drags it all over.  Funny to watch. Perhaps I shall get it on a movie one of these days

He enjoys watching the action in the back yard.  Rabbits and the new dog across the way playing frisbee with his (or her) people.
 He will watch and bark and then watch some more.

Thanks for stopping by have a great week.  Hugs,

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Quote for today

Maurene Dowd in the New York Times says:  "The Republicans, with their crazed Reagan fixation, are a last-gasp party, living posthumously, fighting battles on sex, race, immigration and public education long ago won by the other side."
Read the entire article Ghastly Outdated Party here.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


I am sorry, I had to put the Word Verification back on the Blog.  I was getting way to many Spam comments with people wanting to sell things or direct you to a porn site.  And frankly I got tired of having to delete the posts and read the crap they were sending.  I know the two word verification is a pain so if you want to comment directly to me you can send me an e-mail at and I will post it for you.  jay

Some Pictures

 Interspecies sleepover -  Don't let the Repiblithugs know but Bailey and Cassie shared a bed the other day.  So sweet.

BTW - Click any of the pictures to embiggen them.
The clouds on Wednesday (Feb. 22) were amazing.  I snapped three photos on my way back from the Home Board Meeting.

 Last night we had our Specialis Procer Festive Board.  Every other month we go out to eat and have a speaker.  Last night Brother Shane told us about the Red Degrees of the Scottish Rite.  The first three degrees as written by Albert Pike and only conferred in a few places.

There is always good conversation at our Festive boards.  Last night was no exception.

I Loves Me Some Maggie Smith

Bill had this up on Facebook.  He and I are both nuts about Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess.

I have been in love with her since I saw "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie"

I hate to say it.  She claimed to be in her prime in the Movie (for which she won one of her two Academy Awards) but she sure seems to be to still be in it.  I can truly say "I loves me some Maggie Smith"

Friday, February 24, 2012

Stop the Bullying

Found For Friday

 A young ventriloquist is touring the clubs and one night he's doing a show in a small town in Arkansas .

With his dummy on his knee, he starts going through his usual dumb blonde jokes when a blonde in the 4th row stands on her chair and starts shouting: "I've heard enough of your stupid blonde jokes. What makes you think you can stereotype women that way? What does the color of a
person's hair have to do with her worth as a human being? It's guys like you who keep women like me from being respected at work and in the community and from reaching our full potential as a person. Because you and your kind continue to perpetuate discrimination against not only blondes, but women in general, and all in the name of humor!"

The embarrassed ventriloquist begins to apologize, and the blonde yells, "You stay out of this, mister! I'm talking to that little shit on your knee."

Just got this from my recently divorced brother:

A fourth-grade teacher was giving her pupils a lesson in logic.

"Here is the situation," she said. "A man is standing up in a boat in the middle of a river, fishing. He loses his balance, falls in, and begins splashing and yelling for help. His wife hears the commotion, knows he can't swim, and runs down to the bank. Why do you think she ran to the bank?"

A girl raised her hand and asked, "To draw out all his savings?"
 TEACHER: Why are you late?

STUDENT: Class started before I got here.

 TEACHER: John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?

JOHN: You told me to do it without using tables.

 TEACHER: Glenn, how do you spell 'crocodile?'


TEACHER: No, that's wrong

GLENN: Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.
(I Love this child)
 TEACHER: Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?


TEACHER: What are you talking about?

DONALD: Yesterday you said it's H to O.

 TEACHER: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn't have ten years ago.


TEACHER: Glen, why do you always get so dirty?

GLEN: Well, I'm a lot closer to the ground than you are.

 TEACHER: Millie, give me a sentence starting with 'I'.

MILLIE: I is..

TEACHER: No, Millie..... Always say, 'I am.'

MILLIE: All right... 'I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.'
 TEACHER: George Washington not only chopped down his father's cherry tree, but also admitted it. Now, Louie, do you know why his father didn't punish him?

LOUIS: Because George still had the axe in his hand...

 TEACHER: Now, Simon , tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?

SIMON: No sir, I don't have to, my Mom is a good cook.
TEACHER: Clyde , your composition on 'My Dog' is exactly the same as your brother's. Did you copy his?

CLYDE: No, sir. It's the same dog.
(I want to adopt this kid!!!)
 TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?

HAROLD: A teacher
 Thank you for stopping by.  Thanks to all who contributed to this week's post.  Have a wonderful week-end.  Thanks for stopping by. Hugs,  jcs

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thursday This N' That

Perkins Redeaux -
   The other day I wrote about my experience at Perkins Restaurant.  My experience tonight was entirely different.  I was seated at the same table but I had been seated less than a minute when the waitress came over to take my drink order.  Since I knew what I wanted she took my order.  A Belgian Waffle with no strawberries etc., two eggs over easy and crisp bacon.  Water to drink.   Almost immediately the water was delivered and the meal followed in a short time.  The waitstaff was mostly different so they did not remember me from the previous visit.  The food was prepared perfectly.  All of it was hot and the bacon WAS crisp.  I couldn't be happier with the food and the service.

When I went out to pay a young man came out front and told the cashier that he had the baking all set to go and he could help her.  He offered to take my money.  He asked me about my experience and I told him it was wonderful and then I mentioned the previous visit.  He mentioned that he had heard about it.  I asked if the young man who messed up waiting on me had been fired (I was worried about it.) and he had not.  However I was told that he had been given a long "talking to" by the manager.  We had a pleasant conversation and I left the restaurant with a really good feeling about the place and no time wasted.


Today was our Eastern Star Home Board Meeting.  We had an in-service in the morning, a delicious meal at noon and a productive meeting in the afternoon.  The Home Board is one of the things I enjoy the most. I have served one five year term and am two fifths of the way through the last term.  We can only serve two terms.  I shall miss it.  The group of Sisters and Brothers that serve on the Board are volunteers.  Today's In-service was about Corporate Compliance.  A fascinating set of rules in place to protect the Home and the patients who live there from fraud, etc.

Other Work
  I am in the process of getting some letters out for two groups that I belong to. I would have done them today but I had to get envelopes and labels and of course, stamps so I will get them ready to mail tomorrow.  I just hope I won't put the wrong letters in the right envelops.

Today (Wednesday) is Ash Wednesday and there has been some chatter about what people were going to give up for Lent. One friend has given up Facebook.  I have jokingly said that I was giving up Lent for Lent.  I never have "done" Lent and never intend to do so.  To me it is a made up observance which the RC Church used to exert its dominance over its members.  If someone wants to observe Lent, fine - let them do it.  I would just prefer that they did not feel the need to announce it to the world on places such as Facebook.  Keep it to yourself please, are you doing it to make yourself feel better than those who do not observe it or are you announcing it to make sure everybody will help you keep their resolution.  To each his own.

Speaking of Church related things I do not (and never will) understand why some Christian Churches insist on having people confess that they are "miserable sinners" and fall short of what God wants them to be.  For many years I belonged to the Christian Science Church.  In that Church we were encouraged to see ourselves as reflections of God, Spirit.  Because God (Spirit) is good and is Spiritual - man made in His likeness is good and spiritual also.

Mary Baker Eddy says:

” The discoverer of Christian Science finds the path less difficult when she has the high goal always before her thoughts, than when she counts her footsteps in endeavoring to reach it. When the destination is desirable, expectation speeds our progress. The struggle for Truth makes one strong instead of weak, resting instead of wearying one.”
So instead of seeing ourselves as bad and not worthy we should look at ourselves as God's children.  Not necessarily perfect but working towards it and having the high goal before our thoughts.  That is what I try to do.  And as to having someone come to my door and want to discuss religion with me I have now put up a sign which says "No Solicitation - particularly of a religious nature."

Girl Scouts -
Some asshat from Indiana says that the Girl Scouts are a  “radicalized organization” that promotes “homosexual lifestyles” and funds Planned Parenthood. You can read about it here.  When I found that out I got in touch with my supplier and ordered 6 more boxes of Girl Scout Cookies.  I much prefer to support a group that does not discriminate (Boy Scouts) and recognize the diversity of human life.  As for the Republisucm who is mentioned in the article, well I can only hope that he will fall down a deep dark pit where he can wallow around in all the "junk" he has been spouting (in other words I hope it bites him in the ass.) 

Late Night with David Letterman

I really like David Letterman.  His self depreciating humor and the idea that he goes after Mitt for the Dog on the Roof makes him someone I will watch.  I do not get tired of his show.  Oh yeah, sometimes he drives me to drink.  I don't like it when he gets some sports guy on there and spends hours discussing sports with him but because some people do I just mute that part.  

   Bailey is not doing well right now.  He is sleeping most of the time.  I have to hold him while he eats.  He does eat well when I heat his food and hold him in my lap while he eats. But I can do that.  I looked all over the house for him and found him curled up behind the sofa next to the hot water heat. Guess he wants to stay out of Miles' way.  Miles is over for a visit until Sunday.

Thanks for stopping by, Hugs,

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The President Sings -

I am so glad this is going to be shown on PBS!

Happy 100th Birthday to my Mom (Re-Post)

I wrote this five years ago.  February 22, 2012 is the 100th anniversary of my mother's birth. Except for the feeling down the rest of it is still true and I repost this tribute to my best friend.

I think I have figured out why I was so down today.  Tomorrow would have been my mother's 95th birthday.  I was very fortunate in my mother.  She and my father divorced when I was about four years old and we moved in with her parents. Mom liked to go out and party so every Saturday night my great-aunts would take care of me and I have special memories of them.

Mom was my best friend when I was growing up.  She, as a single parent, sacrificed a lot for me and later for my sister also.  But she was mine until I was ten years old.  (Actually things work out kind of fun for us to remember our ages.  I turned 65, mother would have been 95 then my sister will turn 55 and my nephew will be 25.) ((Note: this year it is 70, 100, 60 and 30 - my how time flies.))

Mother was one of those people who wanted everyone to get along and be friends and her friends were life-long friends.  Her parents were great examples of that type of friendship.  They belonged to a club called "Suitsus" (read that suits us) and they played cards with the same group of people for years.  Mother had a Bridge Club that met every other week and these women played cards for over 40 years.

Mom made sure that my needs and wants were met even if she had to go without.  She saw to it that I was able to visit her sister in California between my Junior and Senior year in High School because she had been there and knew I would enjoy it.

She loved people and would talk to anyone she met.  She "didn't know a stranger."  We went to Leech Lake in Minnesota and made lots of friends there.  We played a lot of cards.  One sister who was up there all summer once made the remark that "Ruth just can't wait to get up there to play cards."  This as Mom passed her to go to the Lodge to play cards.

I never saw my mother happier than when she was at the lake.  She would always sleep on the porch so she could wake up and look at the lake. She loved boat and car rides around the lake.  I have not been back us since she passed. It just wouldn't be the same.

We met a lot of people there and I will never forget some of them.  Many drove in from far away and always managed to be there when we were there.  Mary Jane and Morrie became a part of our family and we spent a lot of time with them at other times also.  Mary Jane's parents became as close as anyone could be to us and we all loved them.

It is because of my mother and her capacity for making and keeping friends that my life was enriched by so many people.

She worked in offices and was very good at what she did.  I know that she had to rework a lot of the reports that the farm managers turned into her and "saved their butts" by cleaning up the spelling and grammar.  They appreciated her but she was never paid what they should have.  i know things are somewhat better today but women are still not paid what men are paid and it is just WRONG.

She also saw to it that I knew how to take care of myself.  I learned how to do laundry and sew on buttons because everybody should be able to take care of those things.  She also let me cook and while I am not a great cook (like my nephew) I can put a meal on the table and I won't starve.

Mother was also responsible for me joining the Masons.  She was a Rainbow Girl (Past Grand Hope) when she was younger and had always wanted to join Eastern Star.  After my grandfather re-joined the Masons she was able to join.  She said to me that she thought that I "might enjoy" the Masons. During my first year of teaching I noticed a Masonic ring on my principal's finger and mentioned to him what Mom had said.  He asked me if I was interested in joining and I said yes.  So I joined Trojan Lodge in Marion Iowa in the Spring of 1966 and then drove back to Ames in October to join Laura Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star and became a fourth generation member of the Chapter. Mom was the only regular officer that night as it was a friendship night and having her give me the lecture for Ruth made it a very special evening.

I can't be a fourth generation member of the Lodge even though four great grandfathers and two grandfathers were Masons because my father was never a member.

So Mom I want to wish you a very Happy Birthday.  I still love you and miss you and wish you were here. I know the last years of your life were tough ones but giving up smoking was a good thing and added some time.  And through it all you maintained your loving spirit and caring for others. I was indeed fortunate in my mother.  I am a better person for having you as my friend/example/advocate.  Your son, Jay

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Just Another Old, Mean Dog

My friend John shared this story about one of his rescues. There is surely a special place in God's kingdom for John.

Writing about the past is tricky business.

“Fact” and “speculation” are not enemies, and neither one is the foe of “truth.” Some facts we will never know. Some speculations will be correct, others false. 
Ultimate TRUTH can never be found post facto.

That does not mean we should not seek it.

What follows is a simple story, really—an everyday, all-too-common series of events that occurred between 1990 and June 2007.

Much of it, particularly at the beginning, is pure speculation, though based in careful examination of the few facts at hand and on observation of what was to follow.

It is a cautionary tale, one that might teach some larger lessons.

The time: sometime during the first five years of the 1990s.

The place: somewhere in the United States, maybe in Indiana, maybe in Ohio, or Pennsylvania, or New Jersey—the records are lost.

The event: a simple yet wonderful occurrence, the birth of a litter of Cardigan Welsh Corgi puppies.

Those puppies were like all Cardigan puppies. Cute. Vulnerable. Born with the chromosomes that make them eager to live with, work with, and love humans.

They couldn’t know that they were not descendants of generations of careful breeding to an ideal Cardigan type, or that they had so many potential faults that they could never be shown.

They were puppies. They were alive. They needed their mother and their humans. That’s all they had to know.

Just as it’s impossible to know specifically where and when this miraculous event occurred, it is impossible to know how these puppies came to be. Here the negative side of facts can provide insight.

Certainly they were not bred to exemplify their breed, because, judging from a sample of one, they were far from falling within breed standards. That one was too long, too tall. She was too large. She had a swayed back. Perhaps worst of all, her tail flew proudly curled over her back.

She didn’t know this, of course. How could she? She was a puppy, and she was the only self she would ever know. She didn’t even know that she was black and white, with brindle points. She just was, with all the infinite potential that implies.

No, her breeders probably bred that litter for financial gain and little else. Were they backyard breeders? A Lancaster County, Pennsylvania puppy mill? Who knows? That’s not the point. Whoever they were, they were not out to breed better Cardigans.

She was probably separated from her mother and littermates weeks too early. Lack of socialization was just the beginning of bad times.

Over the course of the next five or six years, she tried. She really did. She entered enthusiastically, I would guess, into each of four or five successive homes, expecting the best. In each home she probably went from being “that cute puppy” or “that cute doggy,” to “the dog,” to “that damned dog.”

It’s also likely that she lived with people who had no clue that Corgis (a) are among the most clever of all dog breeds; (b) need firm, loving guidance from an Alpha human; and (c) MUST have household jobs to perform—or they might go mad.

“That damned dog.”

At some point, and in one of those “homes,” there is virtually no question that an adult human male cornered her, and delighted in torturing her physically and mentally.

Every place she lived, however briefly, eventually rejected her.

But things were about to change, and for the better.

A lovely professional woman in New Jersey adopted her, and, perhaps for the first time in her life, the dog began to think it had all been a bad dream. Her name was now Heidi. No more torture. No more being ignored. No more “I don’t have time for you!” No more lack of focus.

It would not last.

Within perhaps a year, the professional woman from New Jersey returned to her childhood home in Iowa, near death from cancer. She lasted a few months. Then she, too, left Heidi alone.

The next months were not malign. They were simply filled with neglect. Oh, Heidi had enough food, enough water. She had the perfunctory walk. But the rest of the time there was simply...nothing.

The nice lady’s brother, who “inherited” Heidi, had dogs of his own. While he wished his sister’s dog no ill, he certainly didn’t want her either.

Something inside Heidi snapped. Abandoned again. Alone again. Unwanted by anyone. No human to care for. No job to do. Nothing to guard, nothing to herd, nothing to drive, nothing she could call her very own. The blackest despair took over her life, accompanied by fear and distrust of all around her. The life that had begun with promise so many years before was no longer even a distant memory. And she was no longer a youngster.

Her eyes grew vacant with disinterest. Her coat became dull. She withdrew to the inmost part of her spirit, and that center became smaller and smaller as the weeks moved on. To look at her, she seemed much the same. Inside she shriveled closer and closer to nothing.

For all her potential as a puppy, Heidi had had more years of contempt and neglect than ones of acceptance and love, more hours of torture than hours of cuddling, more days of meaninglessness than days of fruitful and directed labor or involvement in normal household activities.

And now even the tiny kernel that remained of her potential was shrinking into oblivion.

Heidi’s latest owner, the brother, at least had the presence of mind to contact Iowa Cardigan Corgi Rescue to let them know that there was an available dog. It was a tiny thread indeed from which to suspend an aging dog’s very life and soul.

Wheels turn. All was not lost.

December 2000. A phone call. It’s from Pat in Oklahoma, my dog-guru-in-chief (and breeder of two of my Pembroke Corgis). There was this elderly Cardigan girl, see? She’d had a tough life and three or four—maybe five—homes. Was there room in the inn for another one at least to visit?

Well, of course there was.

I’d had some experience with lost dogs. There were five dogs in my household when that call came through. Four were rescues, and three of those had arrived with more than a few problems.

I called the brother.

“She’s a little—umm—‘spooky’ right now, I guess you’d call it. She misses my sister. I just don’t have room for her, and we’ve made plans to put her down next week if we can’t find her a home. But don’t you worry. Give her a little time, and she’ll come around and make you a good dog.”

We planned to meet at a MacDonald’s next to Interstate 80, about a 70-mile drive for each of us.

I met up with the brother a few days later. His description of Heidi had not been particularly flattering, but I was still not prepared for the snarling, snapping, LARGE dog that threatened me from behind the barred door of a Vari-Kennel. Her eyes were vacant, her coat dull, her teeth in terrible condition but still very sharp. I came within a heartbeat of saying, “No, thanks,” and walking away. How could I ever deal with THAT disturbed creature?

But still...there was the slightest hint of something still alive inside there...
I certainly was NOT going to release this creature from her crate, even on a lead—presuming, of course, that I could have attached one to her collar without risking serious injury.

So, into the back of my van she went, crate and all, including snapping jaws and outraged voice. It took both of us to load the crate, lifting it carefully at points those teeth couldn’t reach.

All the way home she was ceaseless in proving how vicious she was. That I was an adult male human did nothing whatsoever to ease her mind.

When I got home, my son helped carry Heidi’s crate into my front hallway, where we set it down and left her there in the dark for a time-out. After more than an hour, I walked the other dogs, one-by-one, past the crate. Each arrival created new paroxysms of outrage.

Finally, almost giving up all hope, I put on a pair of leather work gloves, and, over them, my thick leather fireplace mitts. I sat on the floor in the dark next to and just ahead of Heidi’s crate. I talked gently to her, explaining that she was in no danger. She replied with snarls. I said we all liked her (stretching the truth only a little). She tried to force her muzzle through the crate door to bite me.

With little more to risk than injury, and with no little apprehension, I opened the crate. Out boiled a large, muscular dog, jaws still snapping, and growling at the top of her lungs.

And ran directly into my arms, desperately seeking comfort! So forceful was the embrace that she nearly knocked me over backward.

What a revelation! She was simply TERRIFIED. I was witnessing fear aggression “up close and personal.”

Of course, that one terrified plea for love didn’t solve the problem, but it gave me hope. Maybe...just maybe...with lots of work...

Over the next year-and-a-half or so, I was bitten often. Certainly I was bitten more often than I received any affection in return for my efforts.

But there were signs, albeit only occasional and small, that there was progress. Her eyes were no longer so vacant; her coat gained luster with good food and lots of fresh air and personal attention. There were, however, many more instances of snapping and snarling.

Since “Heidi” is my ex-wife’s name and we are on excellent terms, Heidi needed a new name. I got on-line and searched for a similar name in Welsh. There it was! “HEDYDD!” (“Heddith.”) Skylark. This fearsome creature would become my own skylark as her spirit gained wings and learned to soar on its own.

Damn it! She WOULD learn to soar again!

Still, the fear aggression continued.

Finally I was fed up with this nonsense. In despair, I called Pat in Oklahoma. Her calm voice, tinged with accents of the Oklahoma prairie, reassured me, as she is almost always able to do.

I explained the situation, and what I had done to combat the problem. No, I had NEVER shown any aggression toward Hedydd—quite the contrary. No, I could not predict when she would snap at me.

“Well, John,” said that calm voice at the other end of the phone line, “have you tried telling her in plain language what you expect from her? Have you explained to her how she should behave, and why?”

Now, this was from a woman learned in mathematics and the sciences. The ultimate empiricist. And she was telling me I needed a heart-to-heart chat with a potentially vicious dog? This was entirely too “New Age” for me! Talk with this Hedydd creature as if I were Dr. Doolittle chatting cosily with Gub Gub the pig?
Well, yeah...all of that... But what did I have to lose other than my own self-important propriety? And was the potential gain worth the risk?

That night, when she joined me and several other doggies on the bed, Hedydd began all over again with the snapping jaws and baleful eyes.

“ENOUGH!” I shouted, as I grabbed the back of her neck and put her over onto her back (with no little exertion).

“Now, LOOK, you! You are at HOME! You are SAFE! Nobody is EVER going to hurt you again, if I have anything to say about it—and I DO!”
On and on.

Astonishingly she looked up at me with a puzzled expression on her face, and actually seemed to understand what I said.

After a lecture of perhaps six or seven minutes, I let her up, ignored her, got ready for bed, and crawled in. She harrumphed off to a far corner of the bed.

Until I turned off the light.

Suddenly she was at my side, curled up tightly against me. She heaved a HUGE sigh, adjusted her posture slightly, laid her soft muzzle on my wrist, and went soundly to sleep. So far as I know, she did not even twitch that entire night, because she was in the exact same position when I awakened the next morning. She had, after more than eighteen months, slept her first night of blessed innocence and trust in this household.

From then on it was easy. She did all the heavy lifting, of course. I was simply a facilitator.

Over the years she learned to play—by herself, with humans, and with other dogs.

 Often, coming in from a romp outside just before bedtime, she galumphed from the back door to the kitchen sink, some 30 feet, in complete abandon, her weight shaking the dishes in the cupboards, and with a crazed gleam of joyous abandon in her dimming eyes, her tongue lolling from a face covered with a silly Cardi grin. She did that as recently as two weeks before she left me, even though she was clearly declining physically. Oh, she loved that game!

Even though she was nearly blind, she could still catch a tennis ball in the air 199 times out of 200.

No one who met her in those latter days could believe she had ever been ugly or aggressive—until I showed them the scars. Nor, in those days, did she meet anyone she didn’t like.

She adored me. She never strayed from my left side if she had any chance.

Once, while I was conversing with a friend in my living room, Hedydd under a nearby end table, my friend interrupted the conversation: “John, do you know how much that dog loves you? She hasn’t taken her eyes off you for the last hour.”

And, of course, I adored her.

Often, of an evening, sitting at my computer, I would feel that strong Cardi nose poking my left elbow. It was Hedydd. She needed a hug. I turned my chair toward her, and she placed her soft front paws on the front edge of the seat, grinning and leaning toward me. And then I hugged her close to my breast, my sweet, affectionate girl, as she sighed with a deeply contented groan of pleasure. Then, satisfied, she lay back down beside my chair for a pre-bedtime nap.
I think I shall miss those hugs most of all.

Her spirit was free again, wafting aloft effortlessly like a skylark, rapturous in its release from a prison of despair. There’s a reason that the collective plural terminology for skylarks is “an exultation of skylarks.” My heart sang to behold such wonders, and my eyes filled with tears of joy. My Hedydd. My skylark. Soaring across the skies on wings of sheer joy, but always rooted to my side.

However, after too many years of neglect and abuse, her body was shutting down. Her gait became stiff and more unstable. Glucosamine helped, but did not cure. Her eyes were gray with cataracts. She was less interested in dining voraciously. She lost some of her teeth.

And sometimes she was confused. She knew her house as well as I know the backs of my hands—yet, nearly completely blind, she sometimes forgot where the outside door was. In the midst of getting a drink, she would doze off with her chin in the water dish. Her appetite became even more finicky. Sometimes she got lost in the back yard. Climbing stairs became a slow and laborious undertaking.
Nonetheless, when I entered the hospital for emergency abdominal surgery on that June day in 2007, I didn’t expect the end to come so soon.

It did. 

My children were taking care of the pack while I was gone—they and the dogs love being together. Two days after my surgery, my ex-wife and her husband arrived in my hospital room: “John, we have to talk. It’s Hedydd. Both kids are in tears. She can’t move. She’s going fast.”

Barely able to move in my own post-operative pain, I had to make the inevitable decision. There is no question I made the right one.

So...she is gone, this miracle child of mine, my Welsh skylark. Her untethered spirit soars now like her namesake, and her presence visits me on the warm breezes of summertime.

Ah, Hedydd, my sweet, sweet skylark... Romp with your brothers and sisters at the Bridge. I’ll join you in the fullness of time.

And here, finally, is the point. I KNEW I was gathering an elderly and not physically attractive creature to my bosom. I did it with joy. I knew she brought trunks and trunks of baggage with her. I have a strong back. I could help her to bear the weight.

Where some others saw a vicious creature that should be put down, I saw, in potential at least, a creature begging for a chance.

We had nearly seven years together, my skylark and I. We loved each other with a love unlike any other I have ever experienced. 

I have witnessed redemption.

I have seen resurrection first-hand.

Once again I have known the precious treasure of living with an elderly, loving dog. And there is something preternaturally sweet about that experience. They know so much, those elders. They are so wise.

Was it worth the scars and the occasional heartbreak?

I’ll let YOU make that call!

But my Hedydd and I know, and will always know, what the right choice was.
And that is why I do what I do.

I am not a breeder, a show person, a judge, a connoiseur. No, mine is the place where dogs come, some of them elderly, when nobody else wants them. This is often their only remaining chance. Good dogs. Intelligent dogs. Dogs filled with love and gratitude, and wanting nothing more than to give of themselves. It’s not the dogs that win in such an equation. I’m the lucky one.

Hedydd, as closely as her veterinarian and I can estimate, was between 13 and 15 years old.

I kept my promise. No one hurt her, ever again. And she repaid me with all of her huge heart.

Rest in peace, my sweet skylark. May perpetual light shine upon you. You have more than earned it.

You will always be there, snuggled up against my side, when I am weary and most vulnerable.

And I will be there for you.
I promise you this now:
We WILL cross the Bridge into heaven together—you and I, and Shadow, and Samantha, and Foxworth, and Duchess the soft gray kitty, and all the others.

Sleep gently and in peace

Hedydd Louise Klaus
(????-June 27, 2007)
You, my little skylark, are the best there ever was.
copyright John M. Klaus used by permission.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy President's Day

Private - # 1 Suspect / this n' that

Now that I finished all the Chris K books that I had on hand I had to find something else to read and this was it.  #1 Suspect is a pretty good read.  It kept my interest and didn't take long to read.  You can read some reviews of it here.

I am going to write about a recent experience at Perkins.  I decided that I had enjoyed the waffle I had there when I had lunch with Wayne and I thought I would go have another one. I went in around 6:40 and was seated.  I sat there for quite awhile. I had the book with me so I read while I waited.  Pretty soon I noticed that I was being ignored.  When I am hungry I can get wrathy but this time I was calm and cool.  I got my cell phone out and was checking to see if there was a timer on it so that I could time how long I had to wait. The manager came over and asked me if I had been waited on.  He could see that my menu was still on the table.

I told him that No I had not been and was in fact, just about to start timing.  It was almost 7:00 pm.  He said that he had been watching and noticed me, he remembered me when I came in and he would send someone over to take my order.  I told him I knew what I wanted.

So the young man was told what I wanted.  The waffle with eggs and bacon with the eggs over easy and the bacon crisp.  And I did not want the strawberries in syrup and whipped cream (grease) on it.  The order was put in and I waited.  In the meantime I got some coffee.  While I waited I read some more.

Pretty soon a woman came out of the kitchen with a plate and headed towards me.  I could see the strawberries and whipped grease.  The young waiter also saw it and caught her before she got to me and sent her back to the kitchen.  So I waited some more and read some more.  Eventually she came back out and brought me my meal.  She said something about having put a rush on it.  I told her I had seen her come out with the wrong waffle and had to go back.  I suggested that I hoped the eggs weren't cold.  She assured me that they had re-done the entire order and went back to the kitchen.

I put the eggs on the waffle and started to eat.  They were cold. About that time the manager came over and asked me about it so we had a conversation.  I told him that at first I had thought the waffle was cold but then decided it was the eggs.

The waiter came over twice to apologize.  The person who served had lied to me or was under the impression that the order had been re-done were all at fault and I am certain that the manager was going to have a conversation with them.  And he would not let me pay for my dinner.  I will go back and I do imagine that I will be taken very good care of the next time I go in.  You know a waffle sounds pretty good..

 My friend John sent along some pictures of a new addition to his family.  Igor.  He is a Cardigan Corgi and his color is brindle.

John drove 1200 miles to Arkansas and back to pick him up.  He is the 4th Corgi at John's house.  The other three are Pembroke Corgi.  Both breeds are herding dogs that originated in Wales.
Wikipedia tells us that:
"Welsh folklore says the corgi is the preferred mount of fairy warriors. There is also a folk legend that says corgis were a gift from the woodland fairies, and that the breed's markings were left on its coat by fairy harnesses and saddles."

Read more about them here.
Another Corgi enthusiast is her majesty.  She has several and she feeds them herself.  She recently became angered when she discovered that the food for the dogs was frozen and not prepared fresh each day according to her orders.  Read that story here.
The Queen's Corgis are all descended from one dog, Susan, given to her on her 18th birthday.  She has decided not to breed them any more - a sign that she recognizes that she is getting older and won't always be around to care for them  Read that article here.

Thanks for stopping by. Hugs,

Friday, February 17, 2012

Found For Friday

 A police motorcycle police officer stops a driver for shooting through a red light. The driver is a real bar steward, he steps out of his car and comes striding toward the officer, demanding to know why he is being harassed by the Gestapo! So the officer calmly tells him of the red light violation.

The motorist instantly goes on a tirade, questioning the officer's ancestry, sexual orientation, etc., in rather explicit offensive terms. The tirade goes on without the officer saying a dickybird. When the officer finishes writing the ticket he puts an "AH" in the lower right corner of the narrative portion of the ticket. He then hands it to The 'violator' for his signature. The bloke signs the ticket angrily, and when presented with his copy points to the "AH" and demands to know what it stands for.

The officer says, "That's so when we go to court, I'll remember that you're an arsehole!"

Two months later they're in court. The 'violator' has a bad driving record and he has a heap of demerits and is in danger of losing his license, so he hired a lawyer to represent him.

On the stand the officer testifies to seeing the man run through the red light. Under cross examination the defence attorney asks; "Officer is this a
reasonable facsimile of the ticket that you issued to my client?"

Officer responds, "Yes, sir, that is the defendant's copy, his signature and
mine, same number at the top."

Lawyer: "Officer, is there any particular marking or notation on this ticket
you don't normally make?"

"Yes, sir, in the lower right corner of the narrative there is an "AH," underlined."

"What does the "AH" stand for, officer?"

"Aggressive and hostile, Sir."

"Aggressive and hostile?"

"Yes, Sir.”

"Officer, are you sure it doesn't stand for arsehole?"

“Well, sir, you know your client better than I do.”
 A Priest was about to finish his tour of duty, and was Leaving his Mission in darkest Brazil Where he has spent years teaching The natives right from wrong, when he realizes that the one thing he never taught them was How to speak English.

So he takes the chief for a walk in the forest. He points to a tree and says to the chief, 'This is a tree.'

The chief looks at t he tree and grunts, 'Tree.'

The Priest is pleased with the response. They walk a little further and he points to a rock and says, 'This is a rock.'

Hearing this, the chief looks and grunt s, 'Rock.' The Priest was really getting enthusiastic about the results when he hears

A rustling in the bushes. As they peek over the top, He sees a couple of Natives in the midst of heavy sexual activity.

The Priest is really flustered and quickly responds, 'Man riding a bike.'

The chief looks at the couple briefly, pulls out his Blowgun and kills them.

The Priest goes ballistic and yells at the chief that He has spent years teaching the tribe how to be Civilized and be kind to each other, so how could he Kill these people in cold blood that way?

The chief replied, "My bike."
 This "wonderful, lengthy tale" contains more double entendres than an entire "Carry On" film.

The Smiths were unable to conceive children and decided to use a surrogate father to start their family. On the day the proxy father was to arrive, Mr. Smith kissed his wife goodbye and said, 'Well, I'm off now. The man should be here soon.'

Half an hour later, just by chance, a door-to-door baby photographer happened to ring the doorbell, hoping to make a sale. 'Good morning, Ma'am', he said, 'I've come to....'

'Oh, no need to explain,' Mrs. Smith cut in, embarrassed, 'I've been expecting you.'

'Have you really?' said the photographer. 'Well, that's good. Did you know babies are my specialty?'

'Well that's what my husband and I had hoped. Please come in and have a seat.

After a moment she asked, blushing, 'Well, where do we start?'

'Leave everything to me. I usually try two in the bathtub, one on the couch, and perhaps a couple on the bed. And sometimes the living room floor is fun. You can really spread out there.'

'Bathtub, living room floor? No wonder it didn't work out for Harry and me!'

'Well, Ma'am, none of us can guarantee a good one every time. But if we try several different positions and I shoot from six or seven angles, I'm sure you'll be pleased with the results.'

'My, that's a lot!', gasped Mrs. Smith.

'Ma'am, in my line of work a man has to take his time. I'd love to be in and out in five minutes, but I'm sure you'd be disappointed with that.'

'Don't I know it,' said Mrs. Smith quietly.

The photographer opened his briefcase and pulled out a portfolio of his baby pictures. 'This was done on the top of a bus,' he said.

'Oh, my God!' Mrs. Smith exclaimed, grasping at her throat.

'And these twins turned out exceptionally well - when you consider their mother was so difficult to work with.'

'She was difficult?' asked Mrs. Smith.

'Yes, I'm afraid so. I finally had to take her to the park to get the job done right. People were crowding around four and five deep to get a good look'

'Four and five deep?' said Mrs. Smith, her eyes wide with amazement.

'Yes', the photographer replied. 'And for more than three hours, too. The mother was constantly squealing and yelling - I could hardly concentrate, and when darkness approached I had to rush my shots. Finally, when the squirrels began nibbling on my equipment, I just had to pack it all in.'

Mrs. Smith leaned forward. 'Do you mean they actually chewed on your,'

'It's true, Ma'am, yes.. Well, if you're ready, I'll set-up my tripod and we can get to work right away.'


'Oh yes, Ma'am. I need to use a tripod to rest my Canon on. It's much too big to be held in the hand very long.'

Mrs. Smith fainted.
 The Mother of All Ethnic Jokes

An Englishman, a Scotsman, an Irishman, a Welshman, a Latvian, a Turk, a German, an Indian, several Americans (including a southerner, a NewEnglander and a Californian),  an Argentinean, a Dane, an Australian, aSlovakian, an Egyptian, a Japanese, a Moroccan, a Frenchman, a NewZealander, a Spaniard, a Russian, a Guatemalan, a Colombian, a Pakistani, a Malaysian, a Croatian, an Uzbek, a Cypriot, a Pole, a Lithuanian, a Chinese, a Sri Lankan, a Lebanese, a Cayman Islander, a Ugandan, a Vietnamese, a Korean, a Uruguayan, a Czech, an Icelander, a Mexican, a Finn, a Honduran, a Panamanian, an Andorran, an Israeli, a Venezuelan, a Fijian, a Peruvian, an Estonian, a Brazilian, aPortuguese, a Liechtensteiner, a Mongolian, a Hungarian, a Canadian, a Moldovan, a Haitian, a Norfolk Islander, a Macedonian, a Bolivian, a Cook Islander, a Tajikistani, a Samoan, an Armenian, an Aruban, an Albanian, a Greenlander, a Micronesian, a Virgin Islander, a Georgian, a Bahamian, a Belarusian, a Cuban, a Tongan, a Cambodian, a Qatari, anAzerbaijani, a Romanian, a Chilean, a Kyrgyzstani, a Jamaican, a Filipino, a Ukrainian, a Dutchman, an Ecuadorian, a Costa Rican, a Swede, a Bulgarian, a Serb, a Swiss, a Greek, a Belgian, a Singaporean,an Italian, a Norwegian and 47 Africans walk into a bar.

"I'm sorry," says the bar keep - scrutinizing the group one by one and barring their entrance - "you can't come in here without a Thai."
 And here's a math problem for you . . .

Q: How many Masons does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: Three. One to screw it in, one to read the minutes of the previous light bulb replacement, and one to sit on the sidelines and complain that this wasn't the way they USED to screw in light bulbs.

Late Night Mischief

There's a man, walking down the street at one o'clock in the morning--he's loaded.

A policeman stops him and asks him, "where do you think you're going in that condition?"

"I'm on my way to a lecture on Freemasonry," the man slurred.

"Where can you possibly get a lecture on Freemasonry at this time of night?" the officers asks.

"From my wife, when I get home!"
One of my friends works in the customer service call center of a national pager company. He deals with the usual complaints regarding poor pager operation, as well as the occasional crank caller demanding to be paged less often, more often, or by more interesting people.

The best call came from a man who repeatedly complained that he was being paged by “Lucille”. He was instructed that he would have to call her and tell her to stop paging him.

“She don’t never leave no number, so I can’t call her back,” he said. After three such calls, someone thought to ask how he knew it was Lucille if she didn’t leave a number.

“She leaves her name” was the reply. After establishing that the customer had a numeric-only pager, the light bulb came on. “How does she spell her name?” the service rep asked.

“L-O-W C-E-L-L”

Have a wonderful week-end!