My brother just forwarded this scanned pic of my Mom. She was in the Navy...
She's seriously working that hat!
I may tell Senor Wallet to kiss my butt and go to the movies anyway!
Have a great weekend everyone!
The Third Twin
When Oogy was four months old and weighed thirty five pounds he was tied to a stake and used as bait for a Pit Bull. The left side of his face from just behind his eye was torn off, including his ear. He was bitten so hard a piece of his jaw bone was crushed. Afterward, he was thrown into a cage and left to bleed to death.
I am not a religious man, but I can only conclude that at that moment God turned around and paid attention. The police raided the facility, found Oogy, and took him to Ardmore Animal Hospital, where Dr. Bianco stitched him up and saved him. This coincided with the last weekend of life for our cat, Buzzy, who was 14 at the tine. My sons and I had taken Buzzy to AAH for his last visit. The staff had gathered Buzzy in when out comes this pup to be walked that looked like nothing more than a gargoyle. He covered us with kisses. The boys and I fell instantly in love with him.
Life goes out one door and in another.
"This is one of the happiest dogs I've ever met" Dr Bianco said. "I can't imagine what he'd be like if half his face hadn't been ripped off." Then, Dr. B said, "I am not going to tell you the things this dog has been through". Dr. B's assistant, Diane, took Oogy into her home for several weeks to foster him and make sure he was safe and to crate train him. Once Oogy came into our house, for my sons, then 12, it was like having a little brother. Whatever they did and wherever they went, there was Oogy. Oogy had to get involved in whatever the lads were doing. He became known as The Third Twin.
Dr. B thought Oogy was a Pit or Pit-mix and would get to be about 45 pounds. By the time of his first check up, Oogy weighed 70 pounds. When we walked in the door for the visit one of the women who works at AAH exclaimed "That's a Dogo!" I asked, "What's a Dogo?" She said, "I'm not sure." We went on line and learned that the Dogo Argentina is bred in Argentina to hunt mountain lion and boar. Oogy can run about 30 miles an hour, all four legs off the ground like a Greyhound. His leg muscles are so strong that, when he sits, his butt is a half-inch off the ground. Dogos hunt in packs. Dogos hurl themselves against their prey and swarm it. Oogy has a neck like a fire hydrant to protect him when he closes on his prey. He is built like a Pit Bull on steroids, with white fur as soft as butter and black freckles. Fully grown, Oogy is 85 pounds of solid muscle, but he does not know this and sits on us. He absolutely craves physical contact. He is full of kisses and chuffs like a steam engine when he is happy. He has a heart as big as all outdoors. One of the traits of the breed is that they fully accept anyone their family does. It is not unusual to come home and find three teenagers on the floor playing a video game and Oogy sprawled across their laps like some living boa.
Oogy hated the crate, and would bark and bark whenever we put him in. This puzzled me because I had been told by people with crate-trained dogs that their pets love the crate and feel secure in its confines. When Oogy was about eight months old, we hired a trainer who also happened to be an animal "whisperer". We introduced her to Oogy and she sat on the floor for a full five minutes talking to him. We could not hear a word she said. When the trainer lifted her head her eyes were brimming with tears. "Oogy want you to know" she said "how much he appreciates the love and respect you have shown him." Then she asked about his routine. I started by showing her where he slept in the crate. She said immediately, "You have to get him out of that box". "Why?" "Because he associates being in a box with having his ear ripped off." It was a smack- myself-in-the-forehead moment. Oogy never went back in.
Given what Oogy endured and what he is bred for, people are constantly astonished that he loves animals and people as much as he does. Walking with Oogy is like walking with a mayoral candidate. He has to meet everyone. A number of people we encountered in the neighborhood early on told me they were afraid of Oogy because when they would walk or jog by the house Oogy would bark at them and trot parallel to them, and given his size and looks … But everyone falls in love with Oogy. By the end of their initial encounter they are rubbing, petting, even kissing him on the nose. Oogy kisses them back. Because of the way he looks, when people meet him for the first time they almost always ask if he is safe. I tell them, "Well, he has licked two people to death …"
For the first year and a half of his life, part of Oogy's face was normal and the other part looked like a burn victim's. People who saw him in passing could not grasp the duality. As Oogy grew, the scar tissue spread. He could not close his left eye, so it wept constantly; his lip was pulled up and back. Dr. B said Oogy was in constant pain. So, in January 2005, Dr. B. rebuilt Oogy's face. When all the scar tissue was removed there was a hole in Oogy's head the size of a softball. After removing the scar tissue Dr. B took grafts and pulled the flaps together and sewed Oogy back up. Now Oogy has a hairline scar, but other than that looks just like any normal one-eared dog.
An essential part of this story is the fact that AAH has never taken a dime in payment for anything they have done for Oogy. I never asked them for such an arrangement. When I went to pay the first bill I was told, "Oogy's a no-pay." I never asked why this is. Oogy is their dog. We are just lucky enough to look after him.
Because some of his jaw bone was removed in the initial surgery, some of Oogy's lower left lip droops and a repository for dust and dirt. It is second nature to us to pull the detritus off his lip when we sit next to him. One day I told my sons that when they tell their children about Oogy, they will remember this routine act of kindness. I think that, on some level, every day we try to atone for what happened to him.
Last summer Oogy had ACL surgery; his body ultimately rejected the steel plates and developed an infection so his leg had to be opened up a second time and the plates removed. When I went to pick him up following the second surgery, the Technician who brought Oogy out said, "This is a great dog, I really love him." I said, "Yep, we're lucky to have him". The Tech looked at me and said, "No, you don't understand. I see hundreds of dogs each week, and every once in awhile there is a special one. And you have him.'
When I related that story to Dr. B he said, "But we already knew that."
Oogy's name is a derivative. The first day I was told we could adopt him I was thinking, "This is one ugly dog." But we couldn't call him "Ugly." Then I went to a variation of that from my youth, "Oogly," and his name followed immediately. Two years after we named him we learned that Oogy is the name of the Ghost Dog in the film, "The Nightmare Before Christmas".
(actually, the dog's name was Zero, the bad guy's name was Oogy Boogy.... but I like the ghost dog analogy so don't get concerned with the error - Chris)
This is not inappropriate.
On a recent Saturday afternoon Oogy was curled up on the couch asleep, his head in my lap, and I was thinking about his life is now as opposed to the way his life had been before. Would he have sensed he was dying? Was he conscious when the police put him on a rubber sheet and took him to the Ardmore Animal Hospital? Oogy went to sleep in a world of terror and searing pain and awoke surrounded by angels in white coats who were kind to him, who stroked him gently and talked softly to him. Instead of people who baited and beat and kicked him, he was surrounded with healing mercies.
I realized then that Oogy probably did not know he had not died and gone to heaven. So I told him. I said, "Listen pal. It only gets better after this."
Keep working (honestly) until I was replaced and the replacement was properly trained. I'd also find new offices for the association I work for and set them up with a paid 20 year lease. I'd also set up a protected fund that would generate income to augment their salaries and benefits.
I've had a couple of ideas for businesses that I want more to be a part of than be the one who runs it so I'd partner with someone (or pay them handsomely since I'm a billionaire now) and have them help me set them up. I couldn't ever not work at something at all. I'd be too bored. So I want something that I can come in and out of at my leisure.
A is for your age: 42, and I truly don't see it as old. I think it's because I don't feel old. Honestly, I don't feel as old as I feel that some of the twenty-somethings are just stupid. (yeah, reverse ageism ain't fun is it sonny?)
I do love Indiana Jones and I was as jazzed as anyone else when the first mutterings of a 4th movie came out. And don't get me wrong, it was a good movie! It's just... I don't know....
When the first movie came out I was entranced. I remember my mom kicking me out of the house one Saturday while she did the BIG clean. That was when you could go into a movie theater and stay. I sat through Raiders of the Lost Ark from the 11am show until the 7pm show finished watching it over and over; each time being just as mesmerized as the last time.
When Temple of Doom came out.... well, we won't even talk about that. Everyone has their Jar Jar Binks to contend with.
Then Last Crusade came. The subliminal title could have been "Indiana Jones and the Grand Apology for Temple of Doom" Because it not only made up for the 2nd movie, but established a fantastic relationship between Indy and his father and Harrison Ford and Sean Connery. THAT movie had adventure and the height of comedic dialogue without cracking wise.
Enter the Crystal Skull. It's light years beyond Temple so it's a good movie, but I felt... disappointed. Indy can't live forever fighting the Nazis. They've been out of vogue for so long they've made it to the Vega star system and back. Bringing him forward a few years to battle the Soviets was a good idea. I adore Cate Blanchett and she did a good job with the role she was given, but.... again, I don't know.
Stephen Rader and I were talking on the phone before I saw Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Stephen is BIG movie geek so was very excited about the movie. He was ragging on a friend of his who, after seeing Crystal Skull, said "I don't buy it". I was agreeing with Stephen that it is fantasy film and that she should have responded with "Don't worry, it wasn't for sale!" But now I think I understand what his friend meant. All of Indiana Jones' world is fantasy and such, but this one just seemed far too stretched. Don't worry, though, Stephen, I buy it.
I guess what it boils down to is. It was a good movie, but I was around first hand for the original. I liked all 6 of the Star Wars movies, but when Episode I came out and I left the theater, I had the feeling of being let down. I've had nearly 20 years to wait for this movie and I'm left with a feeling of loss. I miss the original, but I still like the current....
I also miss the 10 minutes of my life I'll never get back having to see Shia LaBeouf with that STUPID hair.... but I digress
Showtime has a history of series with characters or themes off the beaten path. One of their series is Dexter. Played by Michael C. Hall (also of the great Six Feet Under), Dexter lives in Miami and is a serial killer with a purpose. He witnessed his mother being murdered with a chainsaw when he was 3. His adoptive father (a policeman who found him in the shipping cargo container in inches of his mom's blood.. do you see the serial killer foreshadowing?) recognized the demon inside Dexter and spent Dexter's formative years helping Dexter recognize the demons and how to take care of them. Dexter now kills people who, honestly, deserve it. Drug dealers, murderers who were not convicted, etc.
I've not watched this series in prime time, but decided to give it a go when I found it on iTunes and I could watch video on my iPod (thanks brother man for the fab gift!) Now I'm about two-thirds the way through the second season...
OK, if you're watching the second season and are not as far as me, be careful, I'm not going to give away much, but it might be a spoiler here. Proceed forewarned.
...and they're right on the verge of finding out that Dexter is doing what he's doing. So you're wondering why I'm bringing this up? I'm worried that they're going to catch him!
Bravo to the writers of this show because you've actually made me pull for a murderer. Yes, he's getting rid of society's filth and doing the job regular justice can't do. I still don't condone murder. But I find myself liking him to the point of thinking he'd be a good friend, if he had them.
If you haven't watched this, check it out. It is very interesting writing and there are great side stories, without getting too deep into the side stories. Besides, any writing that can have me pulling for a serial murderer has to be pretty creative eh?
Rescue shelters of all types are to be commended for the work they do. Watch this video that BRLA put together that tells about what they do, but more importantly, where their dogs come from. http://presentdaypictures.com/brla
What I guess I'm getting at for the rescue is, if you're thinking of getting a dog (or cat, or horse, or bird, etc) check out the pounds or if you're one of those who prefers a pure bred dog, Google these rescue centers with your preferred breed. They're out there and there are plenty of dogs, mutts and pure, that are great dogs and need good homes.
Now if you have a dog (or cat, or horse, or bird, etc) of your own, go find him/her and give them a big ole sloppy smoochie for me! (well, just wave at the cats for me, I'm allergic)
PS. The picture at the top of this post is a sweetie named Breezy. She is currently up for adoption at BRLA. I wanted to put a picture at the top of the blog post and the look on her face caught my eye immediately!