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Sunday, July 28 2002

Dog story

When one travels with a dog as I do, people feel comfortable to engage in conversation about dogs. They usually begin by asking questions about Lucky, then gradually the talk shifts to stories about their dogs. It never ceases to amaze me as to how emotionally attached people are to their pets. I have actually had men and women leave crying after telling me about the loss of a dog that they considered part of the family. And I have to admit that some of the stories get me choked up too.

Yesterday, while Pat and the boys shopped, one of my most "unfavorite" things to do, I waited on a bench at the entrance to the store. An elderly gentleman sat down beside me and was soon asking questions about Lucky. He was honestly interested, as he had never met anyone using a guide dog before. Nevertheless, after about 15 minutes, I learned that he was losing his sight because of diabetes and macular degeneration and he was recovering from cancer surgery. He wasn't consumed or concerned about any of these problems. Instead, he spoke with pride of being a foster grandparent to special-needs children in the Johnstown School District and of a black Labrador retriever he used to own.

Last year, he had to have major surgery, so a family of one of his foster grandchildren volunteered to keep his dog. He spent a week in the hospital and a month in rehabilitation so it was two months before he was able to check on his Lab. He called the family about the dog and they informed him that they didn't have his dog. And they added that he was to come down and see for himself. He immediately did as they asked. When he opened the door, the big, black dog pounced on and licked him as always. However, after this enthusiastic greeting, the dog turned and ran into the living room and rolled over on his back.

And before the man knew what was happening, four giggling kids were on the floor and rubbing the dog's belly. The youngest child looked up at the old gentleman and said, "You see, he is our dog now." After a short silence, they all chimed, "Please!" I believe we both choked when he said, "How could I refuse? They loved the dog and the dog loved them. Besides, a few months later I had to move to an apartment where I couldn't have kept the dog." He chuckled, then added; "Now I can go visit my dog and someone else has to care for him."

Etiquette for rednecks (series)

PERSONAL HYGIENE

While ears need to be cleaned regularly, this is a job that should be done in private using one's OWN truck keys.

Proper use of toiletries can forestall bathing for several days. However, if you live alone, deodorant is a waste of good money.

Dirt and grease under the fingernails is a social no-no, as they tend to detract from a woman's jewelry and alter the taste of finger foods.

Sent by Mike Harrison

Thought for the day

Truths (series)

 6. Unless you can create the whole universe in six days, perhaps giving "advice" to God isn't such a good idea!

 7. Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, and faith looks up.

 8. Standing in the middle of the road is dangerous. You will get knocked down by the traffic from both ways.

 9. Words are windows to the heart.

10.A skeptic is a person who, when he sees the handwriting on the wall, claims it's a forgery.

Sent by Mike Harrison

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