Friday, March 30, 2012
I played it cuz I knew the warden hated it.
"Gotta let my freak flag fly!"
Almost Cut My Hair Today
Even funny hats'll getcha pulled over in Wallyworld!
I’ve been wearin’ my hair way on the long side since 7th grade or thereabouts, but never got pulled over till I started drivin’! Since then it’s been perty much non-stop.! Once in a while in my life I HAVE cut my hair, and it just doesn’t work. My friends and fambly think I’m going manic or depressed or sumthin’ and my employers [back in the old dayz when I wuz under the strange delusion that I required employers to get thru this here life thing-lol] would think I wuz getting’ hopped up on drugs or booze cuz I made myself a radical change like cuttin’ off my locks!
Even now that I'm 'socially acceptable' and making
appearances with US Senate candidates(CT's Sue Bysiewicz)
my few remaining follicles still flow from under my
Of course nowadays I am, in the vernacular of the medical profession, whatcha call “follicularly deprived!” OMG! I have less in the way of functionin’ follicles than even David Crosby or James Taylor have these dayz! Ya gotta give David credit [and me], cuz he still wears those three or four hairs as long as they’ll grow [Taylor gave up way too early in the game, which is probably why Carly Simon penned a song about him called “Yer So Vain!”].
My 1996 hippie-mobile minivan has earned it's nickname.
Officially a Ford Windstar, in terms of make and model,
this vehicle has chased so many storms with me and survived
so many police stops that I now call it by
what I consider her pet name:
Ennyhew, I’ll relate toya the story of living in Wallingford, CT [better known as Wallyworld, for it’s amusement park type of Republithief Administration here in town, and the fact that one of its largest employers happens to be a major United States Postal Service sorting facility—Going Postal anyone?], driving a 1996 Ford Windstar minivan which has massive scars from a few accidents that I’ve never done the body work on, and which proudly displays a bunch ‘o liberal political stickers and magnets on her sexy rear end, and trying to do so with hair as long as my tragic follicular situation will allow.
Even Balder'n David Crosby 'n Me: James Taylor
Yer So Vain
sez Carly Simon!
When I first came to town, I came off an exit from Route 15, which is a confusing place to begin with. Route 15 has two names, the “Merrit Parkway” and the “Wilbur Cross Parkway.” I don’t know either Mr. Merrit or Mr. Cross and I have no idea why they gave it two names and where one name begins and the other ends. Besides, route 15 has little tiny bridges that a tractor trailer can’t fit under, and it’s constantly having to close down becuz some redneck driver can’t read signs and winds up wedged under these bridges!
So I make the Wallyworld scene and make a right turn on red at an exit. I see an unmarked cop car behind me (we hippies have a third sense about unmarked cars and we can spot ‘em a mile away). So this super-smooth 'anonymous' copper follows me for a quarter of a mile before turning on his siren and the lights on his dashboard and on his grill. I pull over. Cop comes outa his car decked out in a blue T-shirt and jeans. It happens to be a DARE T-shirt (Drug Addiction Awareness Education) and asks if I know I had just turned on red when there’s a sign sayin’ don’t do so. I CANNOT tell a lie. But I did, and said “Officer I had no IDEA! OMG. I’m new to town and had no clue. I’m SOOOO sorry. Like the T-shirt, officer. By the way, I just came from an AA meeting myself in Trumbull [that much was true].” The copper grins and laughs at a couple of jokes, and I figger I’m off with a warning. The Wallyworld copper goes back to his car. He comes back with a $100.00 TICKET! ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS! OMG! That’s my welcome wagon to Wallyworld! I restrained myself, made no insulting comments, took the ticket and drove off. I sent the ticket back to the courthouse, saying I contested the charge, and ultimately the ticket was reversed, I didn’t have to pay it and got no points against me for a moving violation.
17 year old Trayvon Martin.
dead. Dead! DEAD!!!
I’m driving on interstate 91 thru Wallyworld and a local statey sees me conversing on my cell phone. He pulls me over. I apologize once again profusely; explain that I’m on my way to Hartford Seminary to study about God and stuff, hoping that would win this short-hair over. He gives me a $100.00 ticket for talking on the phone! OMG. I restrained myself, made no insulting comments, took the ticket and drove off. I sent the ticket back to the courthouse, saying I contested the charge, and ultimately the ticket was reversed, I didn’t have to pay it and got no points against me for a moving violation.
Next time I’m turning the corner on my OWN street that I live on. A cop pulls me over. She says I didn’t stop LONG enough at the stop sign. This time it was difficult to restrain myself, and I made an unsavory criticism of her ‘probable cause’ and exactly what constitutes ‘LONG enuff’ for her! I complained to the Wallyworld police department this time. She went back to her car, and gave me a $100.00 [do you sense a pattern here] for failing to stop long enuff at the stop sign. They reviewed the dash cam, and rebuked this ‘law enforcement’ officer. I sent the ticket back to the court house, saying I contested the charge, and ultimately the ticket was reversed, I didn’t have to pay it and got no points against me for a moving violation.
The Murderer: George Zimmerman
still walks free [paranoid now, and in hiding, coward that he is]
and still packs a 'legal' pistol!
Heaven Help Us.
Justice for Trayvon!
Throughout my life I have caused little in the way of significant harms to society, and have done some good along the way. I’m basically a really good guy. I’m also a liberal, a hippie, and like long hair on guys---as Mr. Crosby sez, it’s my Freak Flag!
Trayvon Martin had no choice in the shading of his skin. Neither did Rodney King. Neither did the slaves, who were enslaved by that ridiculous document those white guy slave owners came up with in Philadelphia in 1776. But I have every right to drive while sporting long hair and choosing a beat up minivan as my mode of transport. And I have every right to be protected and served by the ‘law enforcers’ who supposedly support my First Amendment right to emblazon the rear of my scarred and ancient minivan with liberal slogans, and in support of liberal elected officials.
David Crosby sang about 4 dead at “OHIO” in Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s” awesome ode to the 4 Kent State students killed by Ohio thugs as they protested the war in Vietnam just a few decades ago. I know too many who have died in prison, without adequate investigation. Trayvon Martin is dead. DEAD! OMG! There but for the grace of God go I. I admit to having been arrested in years past under criminal charges and spent nights in police department jail cells. They could easily have killed me, just as so many of my brothers and sisters in this country have been killed, are being killed and will be killed by fanatics who imagine themselves to be ‘law enforcers.’ The murderer in this case didn’t even have a badge, but it’s evident that he had cozied up to this police department over the years as a self-appointed ‘block watcher’ who was in fact a racist and a bigot. He pursued his hunted target the night of Trayvon’s death in direct contradiction to the orders of the 911 dispatcher and MURDERED a beautiful 17 year old boy as he came home from buying candy while chatting on the phone with his sweet 16 year old high school sweetheart!
And yet today, this white guy [like me in that one regard] STILL walks free toting a gun legally, but now in hiding because he is a coward and paranoid. The Sanford, FL Police Department is obviously not interested in nor capable of ‘law enforcement,’ rather it violates the law as it sees fit and covers it up. That department must be decimated from the top down and GEORGE ZIMMERMAN MUST BE ARRESTED AND HAVE HIS GUN TAKEN AWAY BEFORE HE MURDERS AGAIN! Heaven help us please. Amen.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Katt Beames' The Daffodil Song
The temperatures in central Connecticut the past week have been extraordinarily high, the skies clear, and the weather simply gorgeous. It’s the precipice between winter and spring but the weather’s been like late spring early summer. Highs have been in the 70’s and lows in the 50’s. It has been ideal for outdoors after a relatively easy winter (except for the bizarre and very damaging pre-winter pre-Halloween Snowtober calamitous snowstorm). I’ve been particularly cabin fevered because of being laid up by a slow and painful recuperation from spinal neurosurgery Christmas week. Yesterday I saw some daffodils at my housing complex, took a photo or two of them and then saw my friend Glenn last night, who pointed out with his characteristic somewhat sardonic wit that this year’s big late spring celebration at our neighboring town’s Daffodil Festival will likely be daffodil-less, since they’ve all sprouted so early! I’ve been to the festival once or twice before at Meriden’s Hubbard Park and know that the daffodils are quite a spectacle at that time and I was fortunate to have a medical appointment in Meriden today, so a stop at Hubbard Park was doable. In fact, following the extraordinarily emotional day I had yesterday which saw the death of my 15 year old pound pup Augie the Doggie, and my victory in a lawsuit I’ve been pursuing for months representing myself against a major medical provider, an insurance company and a law firm; I knew that I was meant to visit the park to enjoy today’s fine weather and the premy Daffies.
So after my medical appointment, off Windstar (my 17 year old Ford minivan) and I ventured off to Hubbard Park. What a great time I had. Unfortunately my two good cameras are in need of some work so all I had was my cell phone camera, but still I was able to get some fun shots. And I met some nice folks, saw gorgeous flowers and nature, watched some kids play and had fun. I needed FUN today big-time! I also WANTED fun today big-time! First things first. True confession time! I am a person who nearly died a few years back when I was stung by bees for the very first time in my life and having had a SEVERE anaphylactic reaction to the stings. So for 10 years or so, every spring I re-up my prescription and get not one, but two Epipens, needles I have to carry in bee season so that I can inject myself with epinephrine should a bee choose to not merely float like a butterfly, to quote Muhammad Ali, but to do what they are designed to do, which is to sting like a bee. Yesterday I went to my nearby Walgreen’s pharmacy and picked up my 2012 Epipen twin-pack. Today I went to take photos of vast fields of flowers and spend an afternoon in the great outdoors. Everybody knows that bees love flowers. Did I bring my brand spanking new twin-pack of Epipens? NOT! At one point I was trying to get some shots around a shed which was quite rustic and surrounded by flowers. It was also surrounded by bumbly bees. Big ones! Those huge juicy kind! STUPID, STEVE, STUPID! So you will not see shots of that rustic shed among the many you’ll see on these pages today. :’( A dose of humble pie for Steve. Steve routinely requires big slices of humble pie. ;o)
The photos pretty much speak for themselves. I would like to offer a few comments. Number one is a policy comment. Parks are good, not bad. And it dawned on me that the genuine National Park system as well as the whole conservation movement which gave birth to the nomenclature of the notion of a ‘conservative’ brand of politics in this nation was instigated by a Republican President nearly 100 years ago now. I note with sadness that there are fewer and fewer neighborhood parks in the suburbs I inhabit, and not nearly enough in the cities I’ve inhabited. I note that Hubbard Park is awesome, highly utilized and enjoyed and loved by vast multitudes. Connecticut municipalities and municipalities all over the country would benefit by expanding their neighborhood parks, NOT closing them as they have in recent years.
Parks bring people together. Meriden is a wonderful little city, unfortunately suffering from huge pockets of poverty like most cities, but it is a rainbow of diversity. The Reverend Jesse Jackson had a great notion, or one of his colleagues did when they opted to name the organization he heads “The Rainbow Coalition.” Hubbard Park, especially the kids’ playground looked like a “Rainbow Coalition” and what a beautiful rainbow it was. Children AND adults all totally oblivious to skin shading or coloration was a beautiful thing to note today. Among these photos you’ll see black, white and brown kids playing together, problem solving together (two tykes were putting their heads together trying to figure out how to get some geese to come as close as they could get them to their feet-lol).
I took some shots of a lovely young white couple who were taking pictures of their boy, and when I stopped them to inform them that I’d done so, the lovely and proud mom couldn’t stop singing his praises and her husband gobbled up every word of praise she was throwing their son’s way. Immediately adjacent to that little family of three in the same Daffy Field was a Hispanic woman taking photos of her handicapped and evidently blind son seated in the flowers which nearly looked like trees, as he was a small tyke relatively speaking.
Two women with one infant each had lit a fire in a large fire pit and were cooking, I approached them and asked if they’d mind me taking some photos. I speak VERY halting Spanish, but they spoke, as it turned out, what appeared to me to be an Eastern European language. They understood that I wanted to take pictures, and via a complex series of funny combos of ‘sign’ language attempts on both our parts, they came to understand that I was taking pictures because of the unusual weather and the fact that it was highly unusual for barbecues to be happening on March 22nd. When I showed them my business card they understood that I might publish their photos and they were both delighted. And it was so funny when they actually posed for the pictures.
The swimming pool was empty and will be still for months, and a sign that warned of the illegality of picking Daffy flowers and the fine $98 a stem caught my fancy, and caused me to figger out that a dozen Daffies would cost a cool $1,200.00 plus the possibility of being sent to the Group W Bench. ;O)
At one point a bevy of black teen boys were testing their skills at scaling a page fence and I found myself suddenly surrounded unexpectedly. I just happened to be in the way of their ingeniously contrived obstacle course. I was taken by surprise, but all of us had a good laugh over it, and I had the chance to jest with the kids a bit and vice versa. I really enjoy interacting with teens nowadays, in the past I wasn’t so good with them but have grown far better at relating to kids as I age and mellow, I suppose. What came to mind, however was the tragic killing of 17 year young Trayvon Martin in Florida at the hands of a gun-wielding self-appointed “Block Watch Captain.” Trayvon, was armed only with a bag of Skittles candy and a can of iced tea which he had gone to his local convenience store to buy as he spoke with his 16 year old girlfriend on the phone, when he was obviously murdered by a racist rage-filled middle-aged cowardly white guy only because of Trayvon’s skin coloration. The wonderful young men who entertained me this afternoon were wide open to laughing and relating to a 55 year old white guy with a cell phone camera and a cane. I know a tiny bit about profiling having worn long hair and facial hair most of my life and I know I’ve been pulled over for that reason only by police on many occasions when they used other ‘probable causes’ as their justifications for doing so. Try driving a 16 year old rickety minivan when you’re a guy and have hair down to your shoulders and are sporting a beard in Connecticut suburbs, and compare how often you get pulled over with your friends who are more traditionally groomed and driving sedans or red pickup trucks. I have the First Amendment right to simply proclaim the obvious that Trayvon is dead because he was guilty of walking while black. And his murderer hasn’t been arrested because he is white and under the protection of a law designed to protect gun wielding white folk sponsored and signed by JEB BUSH. When are these Bushes just going to disappear from our national story? When?
Nevertheless this did and does not detract from the wonderful afternoon and the rainbow that Hubbard Park and parks across the nation like it are. Meriden is a wonderful rainbow. So, too, is the United States. It needs lots of work, but our admixture of peoples is the biggest blessing we have. Perhaps we and Canada, uniquely, share this distinction so completely. Few other countries have the rainbow diversity we have here in North America. And Reverend Jackson? Thanks for that concept! Peace pleeeeze and as much justice as is humanly possible for Travon’s grieving family please. Amen.
Here are more photos, enjoy. Ifya click on the photo you'll get an enlarged view(please give me a break, remember my two decent cameras need work). :)
Augie the Doggie <3
All You Need Is Love
by John Lennon, aka Dr. Winston O'Boogie:
"There's nothing you can know that isn't known.
Nothing you can see that can't be seen."
Thanks for showing me Augeroo. <3
Sir Paul McCartney's contribution:
My ex-wife awoke Tuesday morning to find our Augie the Doggie, best guess 16 years old, unconscious and rushed him to the veterinarian where he had to be euthanized. I got the phone call today, Wednesday March 21st. Augie saved my life. Augie was my constant companion through good times and bad for years. Augie knew me better than anyone for all of those years. Augie was a man of compassion, courage, wit, wisdom, affection and vast quantities of LOVE. LOVE in such abundance I can’t begin to express it with words. Augie would do so by raining kisses endlessly upon my face. He would express it by honoring me by allowing me gradually and exclusively to be the one allowed to give him hugs. He would express his LOVE by understanding that my feelings were real and responding to them by either lifting my spirits with laughter, or affection, or vocalizations, or redirecting me to play or walk. Augie would express his incredible abundance of LOVE by allowing me to become his brother relatively late in his life and choosing me to be his loyal partner and granting me his abiding allegiance over and above anybody else. He expressed his LOVE by letting me know of his own fears and discomforts and having patience while I tried to understand what his needs were. He expressed his LOVE for me by demonstrating clearly that he wanted to know me intimately and personally and that he wanted to know what my fears and discomforts were and how he could help me. He expressed his LOVE by letting me know in no uncertain terms what I could do that would make him a happier being and giving me the chance to do that, and by doing exactly the same for me. He expressed his astounding capacity for LOVE by understanding that teaching him coping skills that he needed to flourish in his environment were intended to help him and by trusting me implicitly in so doing. He expressed his astounding capacity for LOVE by showing time after time that he was willing to rush toward danger to ward off threats with his barks and even more courageous actions. He expressed his love by always forgiving my oversights or undesirable actions. He expressed his beautiful LOVE by teaching me all about the central core of my purpose today and the true meaning of my God, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. He especially expressed his LOVE with those precious face blops. And by teaching me that if others thought me eccentric for letting him blop my face till he dropped, then it was high time I loosened up enough not to care what others think! But mostly, he expressed his seemingly infinite capacity for LOVE by taking the time (and it required years on his part and great patience) to teach me that not only do I actually have the capacity to LOVE (for I had long ago decided that I just lacked the ability), but that I was actually LOVING him in real time. He showed me that I could LOVE and that I was LOVING. I can think of few mortal beings who have given me a greater gift.
Some of my final face blops from Mr. Happy!
My ex-wife, Sally, heroically adopted Augie the Doggie before I met her in 1999. Sally and I worked together, and I met Augie, if I recall correctly perhaps once or twice when she took him to work. But I REALLY first met Augie at Sally’s then home, a second floor apartment in Wallingford, Connecticut when I dated her for the first time. A much younger man with a bit more vim and vigor than today, Sally and I were watching some television in her den when I slid closer to her on the sofa and placed my arm around my date. Augie barked. And barked. And barked! He barked mercilessly. We Lol’ed a lot at it. Internally, I was disgruntled. But I was also grudgingly appreciating Augie’s protective streak. As your Mr. Smooth Unabashed correspondent attempted to kiss Ms. Sally, Augie barked even louder. As baseball games go, Augie was going to make certain I didn’t make it to the majors or even the minors. First base was all he would allow. : ) The truth is that we both thought the situation was funnier than heck and it was. That was Augie, though, he was loyal and defending Sally and it does take heroism to do so, he was all of 55 pounds and about 18 inches tall, and I was young, 5’9” and about 180 lbs! He LOVED Sally and did until the day that he expired and still does! And well he should. Sally could have purchased a dog, but she chose to rescue a canine that might otherwise be euthanized for no fault of their own, and decided to adopt a pound puppy. Anybody who adopts a pound pup is a hero in that regard. Sally would relay to me that the day she went to the pound to pick out a pup (actually an adult dog—Augie was fully grown) the story about how Augie out-cuted all the other competitors that day, thereby gaining himself a ticket off of what could have been death row for him.
We adopted a kitten, born to feral parents,
because I wanted Augie to have company and I wanted the
kitten to have a good home. I was unsure if Augie
would allow a cat into his territory. The first week was tense,
but Augie wound up accepting and tolerating a great deal from his new sis.
Bluebelle the WonderCat is still with me today,
and now resides with me and her new family member
Angel Orange the fluffball rescue kitty.
Being a pound pup we couldn’t be certain of his exact birth date, but at the time of his death he was 16 years old. And being a pound pup, his breeds were uncertain, but to a “T” anybody I’d have hazard a guess, always said Corgi and German Shepherd, and that was my take as well. He had a very friendly Shepherd face and coloration, ears which my nephew when he was a tyke referred to as ‘medium floppy’ (and NOT symmetrical), a sort of barrel physique and stubby corgi style legs. He was….. Cute as all get go! Augie suffered from a chronic condition known as Addison’s disease, in which his adrenal glands could not produce enough of their hormones on their own, so he required replacement hormones in pill form the entire time Sally and then Sally and I were part of Augie’s family. This situation caused Augie to have excessive thirst and urination, which posed problems for him at times in his life. But he was never a complainer about physical or other inconveniences.
As Sally and I grew closer, I got to know Augie well and I’ve always loved K9’s. One other, Iggie had clearly saved my life in explicit terms, and growing up and much of my adult life has been blessed by a series of K9 family members. But this is Augie’s story, so I’ll reserve tales of daring do by others for another occasion. : ) There can be no doubt that during our courtship and dating, Augie was a big part of our growing close. We would go to state parks and beaches to walk him, he developed great affection for me because I love playing with dogs actively and Augie just gobbled that up and Sally being less inclined to the rough stuff and to getting down on the floor to play with him, I began to fulfill a different role for him. But we were having a lot of fun together with Augie.
As our relationship evolved in January 2007 Sally and I moved in together in that 2nd floor Wallingford apartment, and I at that point was not working having just suffered a disability. So Augie and I were together a whole lot! I took to walking him a great deal, and because he was living on the second floor and the consequences of the Addison’s disease, I decided to paper train Augie at 11 or 12 years old, because he was having difficulties with maintaining continence in the apartment. He enjoyed being trained, and he had a few other troublesome behaviors and we worked together on them and he responded very well. We quickly became a mutual admiration society. Not to take away from Sally who was working full time then, but even Sally agreed that Augie developed a great fondness for me and developed a love and loyalty to me. Being out of work and getting bored, I walked long walks with Augie at least twice a day. This led to me having the desire to get healthy; I began jogging and even joined the YMCA doing some workouts (thanks Augie!).
Every night it became a ritual, as a trio we had “Augie Time” each night. Augie loved when I’d get down on the floor and we would be level eyeball to eyeball, and we would play and I’d pet him, and I spoiled him by stuffing piping hot hotdogs into “Kong” toys, and I would get downright silly with him each night, and he helped loosen up this stiff sob for the first time in his life in a big way. Augie acquired a stable of names: Augie, Augusto, Mr. Aug, The Augman, Augie Doggie, Augie The Doggie, Doc Magic (MD not PhD, yuk—his magic was LOVE), Magic Man, Mr. Happy, Augeroooooo were just the tip of the iceberg. And he loved them all and I loved them too. Sally was having fun with this too. Even his toys got names. He had Mr. Saucer, Mrs. Saucer, the Redbone, Mr. Blue Star, the Little Blue, The Big Blue—OMG was it silly and FUN! Augie taught me how to have fun, something I forgot about for a decade or so!
What Augie Meant To Me.
His Legacy. :)
We moved to a shoreline town and a much smaller apartment in an effort to save money, West Haven, and I took to running even more and even went vegetarian (for a second or third time in my life) motivated by the Augman! When I’d walk Augie, now 13 years old, I tried jogging with him a couple of times. He LOVED it! Pretty soon as we were walking he’d just take it upon himself to start up running and I’d be running with a 13 year old stubby legged corgi/shepherd mix down the fairly urban streets of West Haven, Connecticut. What a sight we must have been. One night I was walking particularly late with Doc Magic, and a group of kids looking for trouble and likely liquored or substanced up came charging up hollering at me as though they intended me harm, they saw Augerooooo (it WAS dark-lol) and turn-tail and ran away! (Thanks Aug!).
One night I got silly after Sally had gone to bed and made a big production of feeding the fish—Augusto loved for me to talk with and to him. So I told him it was “Fishy Time.” I showed him the fish in our tank, had him check the tank out and fed the fish, telling him how happy the fish were and then I gave him treats and had ‘bonus Augie Time!” The next night I was headed to bed, and Augie stopped me—came right in front of me, looked up at me to get my attention, walked over to the fish tank, looked at the tank, looked at me, looked at the tank and looked at me. He had already figured out “Fishy Time” loved the ritual and wanted it nightly and HE TAUGHT ME THAT FISHY TIME WAS GOING TO HAPPEN EVERY NIGHT! He was a VERY smart creature and taught me many things in this manner or similar ways.
Augie, M.D. (Doctor of Magic) was a man of peace, an
indiscriminate lover of all.
He'd blop anybody anywhere anytime. :) <3
I went through a severe period of despondency and depression during our year in West Haven. One night was particularly difficult, and I was seated on our sofa head hung, extremely sad and self-absorbed. Augie was already older and having some problems with his legs (aside from the fact that they were tiny—sorry Mr. Happy, its just true-lol) and NEVER got on that sofa at that point. I was at an emotional bottom and Augie knew it. He was my constant companion and of course he knew when I was feeling good and when I was not. That night he JUMPED up on this sofa, gave me blops and jumped down to the floor. I was so self-absorbed that I was oblivious to what he had just done, but he stared at me in such a way as to get my attention and when our eyes met he looked at me and wagged his tail. He was proud that he had broken through to me and he knew it. He taught me that I was being oblivious to others and that I needed to respond to those around me with this ingenious thing that he did that night. I cried and laughed with him and he was extremely happy and proud of himself, and came over and SAT for some mellow petting something he rarely was inclined to. It was a lifesaving move on his part; he gave me a clear message and changed my direction that night in particular although he always did what he could to help.
Medium Floppy Ears is how my nephew Seneca described them!
I was so happy with Augie and motivated by our relationship that I decided that maybe I might consider becoming a dog trainer; I had a dog trainer friend who encouraged me. I was advised by several trainers to take Augie through a beginners’ obedience course to see if dog training was for me. Michelle Douglas, a professional dog trainer, as a public service offers courses in a neighboring town for their Recreation Department at vastly reduced fees compared to lessons at her practice or at other private practices. So at 13 Augie became Michelle’s oldest beginner! Sally and I took Augie through the course for about 10 weeks and it was a blast. Augie did great and it was fun galore. We’d take Augie to parks and beaches to practice his lessons and he learned fast and well. Michelle went on to become the President of the American Professional Dog Trainer’s Association, and it was my privilege to recently write a letter of recommendation for her, and I hope she takes up that position once again!
Augie and Me :)
A coupla Augie stories. I took him for a walk in the fall at a state park full of fallen leaves. The Augman pulled and pulled on his leash insisting that I follow him to a pile of leaves. He dug into the leaves and pulled something big outa there! It was a bone! Good sniffer Aug! But it wasn’t just any kind of bone. It sure looked like a human spinal column to me! Befuddled and confused, I got the bone outa Augie’s grasp and kicked the bone as far as I could and loaded Augie into the car and went home. I thought. And I thought. I couldn’t get that bone off my mind. I finally decided that it just might be human remains and I told Sally about it and went back to the park without Augie this time. In due course I found the bone, packaged it up and took it home. Sally checked it out and we just couldn’t be sure. We called in her brother, Don, and he confirmed our suspicions that it appeared most likely to be an old swine spine from a pig roast in days gone by. Phew! Thanks for the scare Aug! LOL! <3
We moved back to a house in Wallingford in 2009, where for the first time Aug had his own fenced in back yard, and shortly after Thanksgiving that year Augie Doggie had the best day a dog ever had! It started with Sally and me in the back yard taking some pictures of a ramshackle shed that I was planning to renovate, and I and Sally took a host of pictures of the shed. It wasn’t until we went into the house and blew the pictures up on the computer that we saw that Augie had snuck into all the photos! With a big sh_t eatin’ grin on that medium floppy mug of his! As if that weren’t enough, I went back out into the yard to take some measurements of the shed, and I looked two yards over, and there 14 year old Augusto was, grinnin’ at me from half a block away. The old geezer had escaped his back yard! I hollered in to Sally to get the leash and I dashed down the street and into the neighbor’s back yard. Augie put up no resistance, merely looked up at me with a sly smile, and came willingly back to his beloved back yard.
But THAT is just the tip of the iceberg of Augie’s finest day. I was downstairs entertaining two formerly feral cats we were caring for, when I heard a ruckus upstairs. Augie’s nails on the hardwood floor and the kitchen floor and Sally’s feet could be heard from the basement and Sally yelling “AUGIE, STOP! AUGIE! BAD DOG! STOP, AUGIE, STOP!!!” Clippety clop, stomp, stomp stomp! Our house was basically one big circle and I could hear that Sally was chasing down the Augman in a circle, or actually several dozen circles. I admit it took me a few minutes to stop yukking it up before coming upstairs, because Sally was mad at Augie and I feared being found out that I found humor in the situation. Lol. When I came up, Sally was in the kitchen looking disheveled, Augie was in another room, and I asked Sally what Augie did? Sally cried exasperatedly: “He got the turkey leg!” I couldn’t help it, I LOL’ed (so did Sally, she was a good sport about it). So I did not want Aug to down the turkey bones, so I enjoined him in the chase. I tried to kick the leg (it wasn’t a drumstick, it was an entire leg from a 25lb turkey that fed more than a dozen that weekend), but to no avail! Hollering was ineffective. Petting and gentle persuasion wasn’t gonna cut it. So I had Sally microwave a hot dog, and I took the steaming frankfurter and dangled it in front of him, but he kept going around—I dangled it and we kept jogging the circular circuit from room to room. I finally literally threw a hot dog at the dog! Augie had a whole wiener thrown at him on purpose by a human. First time in K9 history! And Augie downed that entire turkey leg on the run without putting it down once while we were pulling out all the stops to prevent him. I WAS PROUD! Worried that he’d be sick, and he was sick as a dog (sorry Aug) for 24 hours with gastrointestinal distress. But I WAS PROUD! Augie made CNN (the Canine News Network) that night and the cover of Canine Street Journal the next day, his day having been declared “THE FINEST DAY IN K9 HISTORY!”
Augie and Bluebelle,
in this action photo Augie is gnawing on his own leg.
He's much more famous for his talents with TURKEY LEGS! :)
Sally and I did break up and divorced about a year ago. But as soon as it was possible I made sure I would go to our old house and visit Aug, I took him for walks—particularly since I knew I was about to have back surgery last December, and might not be able to see him or walk him for some time. I even cut up a handicapped ramp for him to get into and out of my vehicles so he could get to go on walks with me, as his legs deteriorated.
Last week I went to the state capitol in Hartford for Humane Lobby Day, in conjunction with the state’s Humane Society, and I was actually phoning my own State Representative about animal rights legislation around the same time Augie was probably passing to the next life. I covered the trial of a man who stabbed his own dog 29 times (Princess survived and now has a loving home) as a journalist, but met some wonderful animal rights activists and I am constantly thinking of Augie in these endeavors. I’ll be at the capitol again next week to lobby for humane legislation and have a lunch and interview pending with the state’s awesome Humane Society Director and former State Representative Annie Hornish. All of this is because of Augie.
My hat is off to Sally for stepping out and making the decision to rescue a dog instead of buying one.
I’m convinced more than ever that I am a spiritual being having a temporary human experience. AND that dogs are the EXACT SAME SPIRITUAL BEINGS just happening to have temporary canine experiences instead.
And Doc Magic? What on earth can I say. I LOVE YOU MAN! And it took you to teach me that LOVING is what I do. Thank you, sir. Bless you. We’ll be reunited in due time my brother. And know that I’ll never be able to repay you for the gifts you’ve given me. And I promise to always tell the story of Augie’s awesome Thanksgiving weekend day! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
I'm certain one of Augie's favorite causes was the Humane Society of the United States. Augie and I encourage donations or whatever help you can lend. <3
So many have been touched by Augie's passing and so many have mentioned, are and have been reassured by the Rainbow Bridge Poem and website that I'm adding this link to this eulogy on March 24, 2012:
I'm certain one of Augie's favorite causes was the Humane Society of the United States. Augie and I encourage donations or whatever help you can lend. <3
So many have been touched by Augie's passing and so many have mentioned, are and have been reassured by the Rainbow Bridge Poem and website that I'm adding this link to this eulogy on March 24, 2012: