KingMidget's Ramblings

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A Song For Today

My new favorite. Elbow have so many gems buried in their catalogue.

A Song for Today

I’ve shared this before, but I’ve really been feeling this one this week.

Be Kind

I learned yesterday that a former co-worker who took her own life after battling depression. This after learning that the husband of another former co-worker did the same last year.

Regarding last year’s news, I worked with the woman for probably more than 15 years. I never would have guessed that her home life was what it was. And it’s the same for yesterday’s news — I never would have guessed she was struggling with that inner war.

Which for me is a reminder of the fact that we simply have no idea what battles people are fighting. In the face of that, there is only one option. Be Kind. Find a way to connect with people in a positive way. Increase community instead of tearing it down. Be a human and recognize the humanity in those around you. Be Kind.

And if you’re struggling, find somebody to talk to. You are surrounded by people who love you and want to help. Let them do that. Believe in hope and the possibilities.


Beating A Dead Horse (6)

I didn’t watch the Orange Clown (OC) Town Hall on CNN. Why would I have done that to myself? I was out for beers with some friends and then watched the Warriors beat the Lakers. Even if I had had nothing else to do at all, I wouldn’t have watched it. See, what I did was exercise my right to not watch something if I chose not to do so.

Alternatively, there are many in the liberal/progressive camp who are outraged that CNN allowed the OC to have a town hall on their network. They are upset that CNN gave a platform to him given all the baggage he brings — a racist, an autocratic wannabe dictator, an election denier, a lead insurrectionist, an accused rapist, etc.

I get that, but as far as I’m concerned CNN refusing to do this would have made them no better than Fox News, only from the left instead of the right.

Whether or not you like the OC, whether or not he is a criminal, a racist, or anything else, our reality today is that he is the leading candidate of a major political party. A candidate for the top spot in our country. That means he is news, whether we like him or not.

Could CNN have done better in how they presented the town hall. Absolutely, from what I’ve heard, they packed the room with Republicans and undecided moderates and told the audience that, while they could cheer, they could not boo. Which left the impression that the crowd was soundly behind the President. Giving an impression that his ideas and views are more popular than they actually are.

But still, if a network has the word “news” in its name, that network has an obligation to actually, you know, report and provide the news to its viewers. And that includes the leading candidate of the GOP, even if he is scum that walks the earth.

[Edited to add: The interesting thing about this is that, as far as I’m concerned, the more airtime he gets and the more he uses it to express his idiocy, the less are the odds that he will actually prevail in a general election at the national level. Every he time he shows how disgusting he is, he drives the wedge every further between him and the all-important moderate voter. So … let him on air. He’ll self-sabotage every single time]

Good Bye, Slinky

After our first two dogs passed within a year of each other (both at very ripe old ages with all of the health issues that come from old age), I thought we were taking a break from having dogs. Call it a recharge before we got another dog. I wanted to be able to spend a few months, or more, being able to live without having to deal with the things that come with pets. For instance, finding a pet sitter when we took vacations, and those old age issues Peanut and Snowball had wore me out.

But some things aren’t meant to be and within a couple of months we had another dog (and a year later, a stray found its way to the missus’s workplace and subsequently to our home). At the time, we only had one computer, so I knew this was going to happen before it did based on the search history on the computer.

One Saturday, we drove up to Yuba City to “meet” a rescue dog the missus was interested in. She was a young French Papillon, maybe six months old. She was rescued from a backyard breeder who had kept this dog in a cage for those first six, impressionable months. To say that she was scared of us would be an understatement. But, we took her home with us.

On the drive home, with the dog sitting terrified in the back between our two sons, we discussed names. I came up with Slinky, not because she was like the child’s toy, but because she slinked around so much when we were meeting her. The name stuck and we had a new dog.

Slinky bonded relatively easy with the missus. It took her a little bit of time to bond with my younger son. He is the animal whisperer after all. With my older son and me, it took a lot more time.

Back then, I could put food in my hand. Human food that most dogs would be all over. Like cheese. I’d hold my hand out and she wouldn’t even think about coming over and eating it. I could then put it on the floor and step back and she still wouldn’t approach the food. This took a loooooong time to improve.

The reality is that, whatever damage that was done to her by that backyard breeder meant that Slinky was never really able to learn how to be a dog, and based on her long-term reluctance to have anything to do with me, it’s pretty clear what type of human being did the damage to her. A man.

One of the things that I noticed and reflected on yesterday was that she never approached a human being for affection and attention. I may be wrong about this, but I don’t recall her doing it. Sure, if you reached down to pet her, she would want more, or if my wife picked her up, she would accept the affection, but I don’t recall her ever seeking that attention on her own.

She was also very skittish whenever anybody came to our house. Any strangers were in the no go territory for her. She also didn’t bark until the stray (who constantly barked) taught her how to.

Some of this changed, along with her reluctance to have anything to do with me, after a few years and it was because of food. Slinky became food obsessed and if you had food, she wanted some of it. Her stranger danger radar also eventually decreased and she was okay with visitors to our house.

Then about 6-8 years ago, Slinky developed ITP, an autoimmune disorder. If we hadn’t taken her into the vet, she likely would have died in a day or two. But we got her in there. The hospitalization to stabilize her cost almost $5,000. In the couple of years after that, thousands more were spent on regular checkups and bloodwork. And ever since, she has been on medication — three or four pills every morning and night until yesterday. So, yeah, we’ve spent a lot of money keeping Slinky alive. The meds to keep her stabilized made her even more food-obsessed.

Around a year ago, she developed vestibular disorder (like vertigo). She had what looked like a seizure and couldn’t walk in a straight line. Walking in circles instead. Back to the vet she went with that diagnosis the result. She eventually returned relatively close to normal, but a lot of deterioration set in after that. She developed doggy dementia, and started to have very small seizures. The doggy dementia resulted in her doing a lot of laps around our kitchen and family room. She also eventually started peeing and pooping wherever she wanted and not making it outside to do so.

The peeing and pooping in the house got progressively worse. This was driving me crazy. The last month or so, I’d say she was doing 90% of that activity in the house instead of out, even though we tried to get her to go outside at least once an hour whenever we were home.

She also began to lose strength in her back legs. A couple of days ago, I got her to go outside and her hind end almost collapsed a couple of times as she walked to the grass.

So … we knew the time was near, but the missus struggles with these decisions.

Last night after dinner, as I waited for the Warriors game to start, we settled into the family room and Slinky walked to a spot right in front of the TV. At first, it looked like she was trying to scratch herself (something that has grown more difficult for her as she lost control of her hind end), but it quickly became obvious that more was going on. She started to seize, not like the minor seizures she has had occasionally over the last year or two, but a very violent seizure that lasted for more than ten minutes. During part of it, her legs were violently kicking non-stop.

Eventually, the seizure calmed and she was able to stand up and walk to the backyard. But it was clear that there was plenty more still wrong. She couldn’t walk in a straight line, fell to the ground uncontrollably, and then started walking into things.

We took her to the vet at that point when it seemed clear that she wasn’t returning to “normal” after the seizure. The vet confirmed the worst. A grand mal seizure that likely caused her to lose her vision and damaged her frontal lobe. While there was a remote chance that some of that damage would repair itself, the chances were slim given her age. This is a tough thing for the missus. She loves her pets. But she also recognized it was time. Slinky was put down last night.

Good bye, Slinky. You were the best dog you could be, without being given much of a chance because of those first months of your life. I’m happy that you have found peace now.

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