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Excuse me. I sneezed…

Wow, the dust has really collected here. I mean, I know I was gone a while, but isn’t there a staff or something? Is there nobody caring for neglected blogs? That’s crazy. No wonder we elected such an idiot. All the blogs have gone rogue in our absence.

Here’s what’s been going on in the last few years.

#1: Bruin grew up.

He’s a big boy now! The crazy, biting, climbing, flying puppy who almost killed me has become a regular gentleman. I trained him, all by myself! I spent a lot of money on training, none of which really helped much, but I didn’t have a choice, so I stuck with it and he walks nicely on leash now. (That’s a lot for a hound…) We gave up on the off leash thing after he found his way, repeatedly, to route 62, and got dangerously close to route 2.

Here he is, posing in my garden, the one with the gate to keep him out.


#2: Twinkie is still with us.

She’ll be 16 in August. She’s a really good sleeper, but her bladder is starting to give out, especially when she’s at the top of the stairs trying to work up the nerve to head down. The vet thinks it’s her vision that makes it difficult for her. She’s had cataracts for several years now. Just last week somebody told me they’d had a terrier mix who lived to be 21. I’d like to say I’m hoping she’ll live to be 21, but I want what’s best for her, and by a year from now it won’t be me…


just joking, Tink. You’re my dog. You can stay as long as you want to.

# 3 A couple who didn’t make the cut:


Koko was a beautiful Australian shepherd that I rescued from a breeder who’d kept him crated 24/7 with nothing but potty breaks. Technically, he was a miniature Australian shepherd, but at 50 pounds and 21.5″ he was bigger than any standard Aussie I’ve known. He was sweet at first, if a little bit needy and a big bit neurotic, but the more comfy he became the more obnoxious he got. I wasn’t a strong enough leader for him and by 9 months after he arrived I knew he needed more structure and leadership than I could possibly give him. I found him a nice home on a farm. I hope he’s happy there. He had a lot of potential – if only I did.


Diva was our most recent failure when it comes to finding a companion dog for Bruin. She’s a PBGV who we just said goodbye to after a 30 day trial (which turned into a 90 day sentence.) She came from a very good breeder, and she was a sweet dog, unusually well behaved for the breed, but I was learning something about breeders and their dogs. The relationship between a show dog and her breeder is almost strictly contractual – the dog gets lifetime room and board in exchange for performing at dog shows until she earns “her” championship. (Turns out there are unlimited championships, so pretty much any dog that roughly conforms to breed standard is likely to become one, though it could take time. I’ll explain later.) After the show dog thing the girls become bitches and get to have litters. Two litters of puppies seems to be the standard number with very good breeders. Three for good-decent breeders. Apparently bad breeders don’t know any better or don’t care, but it all ends the same. The dog’s career is basically over by 5 at which point it goes out to the kennel to live out its life as a kept dog.

There’s not a lot of snuggling on the couch or playing ball out back. So, when some sucker like me comes along and wants to adopt one, we get a dog who doesn’t know how to be a pet. Sometimes it seems that they don’t even know how to be a dog. Throw a tennis ball – nothing. Frisbee – nothing. Tuggy toy – nothing. Diva stared at me a lot and peed in the house when it rained. Not my favorite combination, but I missed her when she was gone. Briefly.

#4 I got old.


No big shock there – it was bound to happen – but with every passing year I feel the life force sucked out of me by a cruel and senseless disease. I’m watching doors swing closed in front of me, and looking back at all the failures, disappointments, and pain that is my past. I’m shrinking.

#5 The reappearance

And finally, from the one step up, two step back department, Kelly is no longer missing. She’s still not acknowledging me/us at all, but at least now we know that she’s alive and she’s doing okay. She graduated from Antioch University, 8 years too late, in 2016, with a degree in Education. I was pretty impressed with that accomplishment! Learning she was teaching in exactly the kind of disadvantaged school community I had always imagined I would, but in another city,… That was the icing on the cake. You can say a lot of things about Kelly, but she was always one tough cookie.

She’s married, apparently. I guess all that gay angst was a whole lot of nothing… or was it? Who am I to know what’s going on and why? I found the marriage certificate in public records, so I know that much. I’ve learned some about her husband’s family because it was pretty easy to find that info.

The last piece of the puzzle was finding her picture. We didn’t know it, but we’d found it much earlier, in this first picture I’d found.

Belle-Haven staff photo

Can you find her here?

KELLY belle-haven-food-drive

How about now? I’ll give you a hint. She’s not black. Or a boy. Yup, that’s her in back. She’s rockin’ a hijab these days and, if you look carefully, an outfit I’ve come to describe as the “suburban burka.” Part of me really wants to understand. Another part of me already does. I’ll explain that better later or I won’t.

The times they are a’ changin’…

#6 Our president is this guy


We’re working on fixing that snafu…

Walking Bruin in the woods this morning, I had the opportunity to walk along with Penny’s grandma. She’s about my age, has kids about my age. But she had a fascinating theory that involved Donald Trump being just another rich guy in a suit, like all our other recent presidents. Sure he’s a little uncouth (a lot, really), but aren’t things trending that way anyhow? We danced around our positions – me, a socialist wanna-be and her, a firm believer that in this country at least, it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference what you call yourself because in the end we’re going to elect another rich guy in a suit. I couldn’t disagree with her there.






Hello world. Welcome to your worst nightmare.