Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dogs Shouldn't Have To Stop

Ezarhodden (Hoddie) Hamilton 1995 - 2009

I started writing this with Hoddie in my lap, doped up and still pretty uncomfortable. We've worked on his bladder tumor for two months, and seen success with that, and dammit if a neurological problem and other tumors didn't creep in a side door to take him out. We let him go Tuesday, before he got any more miserable. Kermit and Sophie started showing up to sit with him a couple days ago. I'm not entirely sure he's ever been 100% happy since Kermit died.

Kermit and Hoddie soaking up some rays - Holden Beach, 1997

In February 1995, I brought home a four week old puppy the size of the palm of my hand, that had been left out to freeze with his sister. My folks kept the sister, and Ezarhodden went home with me. From about 2.4 seconds after I opened the door and Kermit saw him, he was Kermit's. Kermit would wash him and groom him as in the above pic, even years later when they had both gone gray, and even as Kermit's body failed him. They were inseparable, and Kermit learned to get over the beatings and abuse of his puppyhood and stop being afraid of people by watching Hoddie happily go up to anyone.

Snow on Wilkes St (that's Winnie standing by the truck) 2001

All his puppy pics got destroyed when Hurricane Fran trashed the Wilkes St trailer; these are some of the earliest I have.

Hodds wasn't afraid of anything (that's a Min-pin/Feist for ya). I had to yank him off a 2 foot rattlesnake he pointed and challenged in the woods behind the house I lived in in Hampstead, and when I took them over to run on the beach strand, good luck keeping him out of the water.

Afternoon run in the woods - January 2003

Hoddie was one of a team of four dogs that all came my way when I lived at the coast, a group that combined some of the best, most dynamic personalities I've ever met. Together for a decade, they were more than a pack; the whole was greater than the sum of its parts, and those parts were pretty damned awesome. I am privileged to have had them as family. Winnie is the "baby" and the last dog standing of the group, and she'd better not go anywhere for a long time yet.

Hodds was a good-tempered, canny little bugger; he told Muggsy when he could and couldn't sit on the couch, and used to trick the other house critters away from the heaters in the old trailer by going and rattling their food bowls, and running back to get in the coveted spot when they went to investigate. Later on he pulled the same stunt to get Muggsy out of his beloved rattan rocking chair.


I know, one of the things about having furry family is they never get to stay long enough. You generally outlive all your kids. And even when they tell me they're tired and ready to go, I hate walking them to the gate and giving them back. Depending on how the disassociation of spirit goes, I usually feel like one of us is stopped there in a bubble of time, and the other is moving away, at least until they decide to pop back in to visit. It almost seems a bit like he and Josephine traded off or something.

Kermit came to get him, so that helps - it's good that they're off running around together again. But it's going to be a long time till I quit expecting to hear little clicky toenails trotting through the house, and to have a small brindled head nose his way under the covers to join the Sleeping Pile. Don't stay away long, Tap Dancer. We all miss you.

The Original Couch Trippers

Josephine and her Doglets - Winnie, Kermit, Hoddie, and Sophie

Friday, December 4, 2009

Proof that there is hope for the world . . . .

Somewhere out there in the ether, Freddie is fisting the air and going "YEEEAAAHH!"

I see a little silhouetto of an Old Skool muppet . . .

Thanx, guys!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


A week or so ago, some of us were helping a friend move. On the way to the new house with a load, we were talking about this and that event going on in the local community, and one of them commented to the effect that so many people were doing "important stuff", and he didn't think he was anybody who could make a difference, etc etc.

Horse piddle. He does something seriously important - he's an SU, or a show-up, somebody who shows up for things. The fun stuff and the "omigawd I just herniated a disc" stuff. The grandest, best organized, life-changing event isn't worth a dingo's kidneys if nobody shows up.

The currently underway
Parliament of World Religions is possible because people opted to be present. Our local Pagan Pride Days and other happenings only accomplish things if people decide to mosey on down. You can make often all the difference in the world, just by being a live, countable body that people can look at and say, "hey, these people thought this was worth something". If you have more to contribute, that's great - but "present and accounted for" is a legitimate skill, and most of us who put on anything like a class or festival or fundraiser are happy to see you exercise that skill. That whole contributing thing frequently happens by accident, as a side effect of you merely being involved in what someone else is doing. But it can't if you aren't there.

I'm not saying that everybody has to be there for everything. People have jobs, family stuff, health problems, and so on that dictate their days.

You, the guy in the body cast with the respirator, you're
exempt. The rest of you, show up to see him in the hospital. See? You're qualified!

There'll be something somewhere you can get in on, and if you're broke, find the free ones. Show up for a free museum or gallery show, a litter pick up, a coffee house meetup, or those guys who have open drum jams in public parks. Show up at a humane society fair or food drive - a whole lot of people just standing around talking attracts other people who wonder what's going on, and one of those people might turn out to be able to be a serious donor, or a good home for a shelter animal, or loads of other useful things. What about adding it to existing forms?

"To know, to dare, to will, to keep silent, and to show up"

"Courage, Truth, Honor, Fidelity, Discipline, Hospitality, Industriousness, Self-Reliance, Perseverance, and Showing Up."

Nothing in Excess, Surety brings Ruin, Know Thyself, and Show Up"

" . . . . I have not done falsehood against men, I have not impoverished my associates, I have done no wrong in the Place of Truth, I have done no evil, I have not deprived the orphan of his property, I have not done what the gods detest, I have not slandered a servant to his master, I have not caused pain, I have not made hungry, I have not made to weep, I have not killed, I have not turned anyone over to a killer, I have not caused anyone’s suffering, I have not kept anyone from showing up . . . . "

If you hadn't showed up here, you might not have gotten to laugh at these completely-unrelated-to-this-post goobers, neh?