I never knew what Coco, one of our dogs, caught.  She and the other two dogs were having their last “out” of the evening.  I thought, at first, Coco had a bone in her mouth and would not drop it to get her evening biscuit.

I realized it was more than that.  It was alive although I could not tell what creature she had in her mouth.  The lighting was not too good.  First I thought she caught “Oscar” our “local” rat but the animal had fur.

I grabbed the animal out of her mouth and it lay in front of the door.  My wife was screaming, “Get it out of the house!”

Finally I scooped it up with a cat scooper and dropped it over the fence onto our driveway.  At the same time one of our cats got out.

Seconds later I got a flashlight and shined it on the spot I dropped the animal.  It was nowhere to be seen.

It is possible the animal was just stunned (Coco has retriever blood in her) or the cat grabbed it who escaped.  My wife thought the animal might have been a baby squirrel.  I will never know for sure.  I felt bad for the animal hours (an hour) later.  There was nothing else I could do.

Elegy To Paul Kantner

Author: siggy

This is an elegy to Paul Kantner, who died yesterday. He co-founded Jefferson Airplane. His most memorable song he wrote for them was “Crown Of Creation”. I still remember seeing Jefferson Airplane in 1970 at the Shore. And when they did that song I moved and sat down in the aisle to hear it. I strongly identified with some of the words of that song: ‘you are the crown of creation, and you got no place to go’. The song gave me hope for change at a time my life felt helpless and out of control. Paul Kantner was a visionary. The last studio album Jefferson Starship, the group he founded, came out with was an album almost no one heard near the end of his career. It was full of protest and folk and other peoples’ material. It was unlike anything he ever put out. It was titled “Jefferson Tree Of Liberty”. He was a visionary to the very end.

Thank God For Fatigue

Author: siggy

Thank God for fatigue. It is a signal to your body you need to rest, recuperate. That is what is so bad about being addicted to speed: you override that signal to your body. Do it long enough and your body just deteriorates. If we obey our bodies we do better. Our body is constantly giving us messages. And we do better when we obey those signals.

I was shaking after this close call. I was driving on the road that goes into mine when out of nowhere a pickup appeared in the opposite direction. The only way I avoided an head on collision was by immediately hugging the bank. It was only by inches I avoided an accident. Not only was that driver going too fast but was at least three feet over the center line. I could have been killed. Sometimes your life could change in a split second. It was a reality check.

Tilla, my favorite dog, was only on loan. This was brought to the forefront when I found another lump on his neck. It felt like a cyst like the larger mass on his back. I realized suddenly he was not going to be around forever so I needed to appreciate him now. Humans most of the time outlive their pets. I had to enjoy him now. Not tomorrow but today.

My birthday is coming up (and I am just depressed). I can not tell you exactly why although I can guess. Part of that is grief. Most of my life is over. I can’t go back. Wishing is futile. Somehow I need to settle things. My relationship with my daughter is fractured. I don’t know how to repair it. Lectures and judgements don’t do it. I am aware of the ticking time. I am running out of time. I guess, everyone wants to leave a legacy. I am working at getting my first book of poetry out but it is a long and uncertain process. My wife is the only one who really cares about that. She is my editor and a good one. Things really don’t matter. I really don’t know how much time I have left. For that matter, no one knows for sure. I know that somehow I need to make peace with the people who matter to me. I don’t know how. I am just depressed. That is all I know.

I don’t know why it is so hard to get rid of old letters–some decades old. Some memories I don’t want to delve in any longer yet I save the faded correspondence. Cards with nothing notable on them I trash easily. Some letters from my sister I wonder about. The memories seem so far away. Some are bad, some are good. Once in awhile a photo drops out of the letter and the passage of time is revealed. Was I really that young once? I have grown old. I don’t want to to rid myself entirely of past memories. Friends and lovers.

And I know when I am gone someone else will probably trash them. I just can’t bear to throw away most of my letters. Part of my life is embodied in those letters. It is so hard–patches of my history, my life is everywhere. Dates are sometimes important: they mark milestones of my past. I am always surprised how porous my memory is. Friends wrote me letters I have long forgotten. I do toss some. People have fled in the corridors of my mind. It is so hard. Clues of my history, my life is everywhere.

Thank God For Fatigue

Author: siggy

Thank God for fatigue. It is your body telling you you have to rest. That is a good thing. “Speed” kills you for it overrides that message and given enough time you keep going and eventually your body deteriorates from within. Rest is a period your body recovers. If you consistently don’t sleep enough you don’t feel well for during sleep your body rejuvenates itself so observe the messages your body is telling you. Your body is an incredibly complex piece of machinery.

The dynamics between our dogs have changed. The first day after Pax was put to sleep the remaining three dogs lay around depressed. All of a sudden the remaining three dogs were quieter. The “ring leader”, Pax was gone. He was the alpha dog and extremely vocal. He always had something to say. When the dogs were let loose into the yard, he always ran into the furthest corner of our yard barking every step of the way. Now sometimes you did not realize they were in the house (or outside): there was no barking. Let us see how they continue to act now with Pax gone.

We had to put Pax to sleep last night. My wife could not witness it. He was a great dog–fourteen years old. This did not make it any easier. He had a full life as a big dog. With much difficulty we got him into my car. I had to wait in the waiting room about fifteen minutes. Pax was in such bad pain. He could hardly move. He had two ripped knees and just got worse with his medication. He would not stop panting. I talked to him softly, stroked him lightly while we were waiting.

Finally we got into the room and he lay on the stainless steel. I did not stop stroking him lightly and talking to him. He lay there and I kept softly stroking him on ___ and talking softly to him. It was his last few minutes. The vet explained to me what was going to happen, shaved one of his legs and gave him his injection. I talked to him softly and lightly patted him as he went from one realm into another.

I burst into tears uncontrollably when he became still. I knew him for twelve of his fourteen years. He had such dignity. In the end no matter how difficult it was for him to exit into our yard and navigate the steps, he still went out into the yard to pee.

We did this for him not us. Now he can run freely, with no pain. Maybe, one time we will meet in heaven. He was a great dog. I loved him but I had to let him go. He is now in a better place.

Pax is part of our family. He is old for a large dog: fourteen years old. He once weighed ninety six pounds. He is down to eighty-two pounds and can barely get around. Both of his knees are torn and all his muscles in his back have atrophied. He has been taking pain medications twice a day and then we added an anti-inflammatory medication twice a day. Finally that was replaced by steroids which we just started yesterday. We talked
about putting him down.

He is pooping all over the house and now peeing all over the house. He is a plucky dog. He gets in and out of our house with much difficulty. I am hoping the prednisone helps him more. The vet said that outside of his knees he is in relatively good shape for a dog of his age and size. His advice was to make him as comfortable as possible. I told my wife if she was incontinent and even senile I would not abandon her. We both love Pax and will just clean up after him. We are not going to put him down unless he can not get around any longer and is in too much pain. He is part of our family.

One thousand unidentified bodies were found on land they wanted to build a medical school in Mississippi.  It was on the site of a former mental hospital.  And all the director of the medical school could do was complain about the three million it will take to give each body a proper burial.  And as the article said if the money was needed for their football team, it would be obtained.  Where is the outrage?!  Each person once had a Mom and probably a Dad.  And the parents invested their hopes and dreams for their child.  And no one knows who they are?  Where is the outrage?  That is the only thing I can say.  And I have to repeat a third time:  Where is the outrage?!