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In Praise of Dogs


Photo credit: Dan Pegram

This handsome critter is my dog, Moses. He’s a Chow-Akita mix, about 80 pounds of ferocious cupcake. I named him Moses because we rescued him by pulling him out of a creek. (Not so much the River Nile, mind you, but close enough.) His little Chow legs make him look rather funny from this angle. Smile

He’s been a very good friend to me, my sons, and both of our cats. Not so much to our now-deceased dogs Boxer and Inky.

He loves to go for car rides, and he loves even more when the car ride ends at one of our city’s greenways. He loves to walk.

When I was well enough to hike, he was my companion in the woods. He would help me climb hills and steep trails I couldn’t quite make on my own.

Two or three times, he has discouraged people from coming into my house – people with bad intentions. Or at least, I think I can assume that from the time of night (the middle of same) and the assault on the front door rather than polite knocking.

Now, as I said, we rescued Moses. I keep up with the local animal control and their adoptable animals. A post on the Facebook page of an organisation that works with them to publicise and promote adoption saddened me. Apparently many of the strays and abandoned dogs know such commands as “sit,” “stay,” “shake hands.” These were someone’s pets. And if no one rescues/adopts them . . . well, you know what their fate will be.

So I’m going to say if you need or want an animal companion, consider checking out the local animal shelter, Humane Society, various rescues. Just know that you’re making a lifetime commitment to care for and love your companion.

As I type this, Moses is lying with his great, shaggy head on my foot. When he came into our house the first time, I could hold him in one hand. Now his head is putting my poor foot to sleep.

Dogs: gotta love ‘em.

Photo credit: Dan Pegram

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10 random things about me

I don’t usually post personal things here. I’ve been tagged and asked to tell ten random things about myself. So just this once . . . and I warn you, none of these things is particularly interesting.


1. I have two actual sons and one unofficially adopted son. 2/3 of those young men are currently served in the US military, one in the Army and one in the Air Force.

2. I’ve been writing stories in my head since I was old enough to put words together. I’ve been putting them on paper since I was old enough to hold a pencil. Except for a 15-year (more or less) period when I was too busy trying to make a living, get married, start a family, that sort of thing. And even then I was spinning tales in my head. I can’t help it.

3. I’ve been fascinated by dinosaurs since I was eight or nine years old and first read a couple of books by Roy Chapman Andrews. He was one of the first paleontologists into the Gobi Desert and the first to discover intact dinosaur eggs.

4. At one time or another I’ve had almost every hair colour known to nature. I’ve never done pink or purple (well, not intentionally anyway), but I’ve done blonde (from dark to golden to platinum), brunette ( from almost black to golden brown), red (from dark auburn to flaming copper). Now, owing to damage to my shoulders that limits my ability to hold my hands up in a controlled manner, I’ve had to go grey. Not thrilled.

5. My fantasy men are all Bad Boys: Spike, Damon Salvatore, Eric Northman, Mal Reynolds, Dean Winchester, Angelus (not Angel). But my real life man is a straight-arrow, good man. I’ve been married to him since 1976. I suppose it’s going to last.

6. I’m a rabid Washington Redskins fan. Even when they couldn’t beat the junior varsity team of Lower Badlandia State University.

7. I’m presently obsessed with Sweden and all things Swedish. Except for the food. I just can’t go there.

8. I probably read at least four or five books a week. Week in and week out. Thank goodness for my Kindle. Now I buy only about half as many physical books as I used to.

9. I’ve only recently taken up zombies. For years I couldn’t stand them. In the last couple of years, I’ve written a couple of zombie stories, I’ve watched a lot of zombie films, I’ve become happily addicted to “The Walking Dead,” and I have read a lot of zombie books.

10. I have been trying to write this for two hours. I HATE writing about myself. This is filler. I know. But it is just beyond me to think of a tenth thing. THE END. (whew)


This is such a handy acronym. Kristen Lamb talks about it today in her excellent blog Kristen Lamb’s Blog and also in her also excellent book on blogging Are You There Blog? It’s Me Writer, but I’d like to expand on it.  She says she didn’t invent it either, so I don’t feel too guilty for swiping it from her, even though, you know attribution has been made. *grin*

Before you say something (or, you know, Twitter it or email it or Facebook it or whatever) take a moment – especially if you are angry or hurt – and both think and T.H.I.N.K.

Ask yourself if what you’re about to spray out onto the internet (or, of course into your Significant Other’s ear) is






Sometimes a particular communication might well be True, but not Necessary (at this moment) and certainly not Kind or Helpful.

Keeping this little acronym in mind would have kept Anthony Weiner from Tweeting his political into ashes. Well, maybe. It certainly would have saved a relationship or two I can think of.

Frankly, at times I don’t live up to my own standards here. I’m not a paragon of angelic perfection. But at least I try – well, after I’ve had my coffee. Don’t talk to me pre-caffeine. It’s not safe.