Saturday, March 29, 2008

What I'm thinking about at 2 am on a Saturday

Debby MacDonald is by far my favorite animal cop. She works for the Michigan Humane Society. She is tough, but passionately compassionate.

I don't watch television much, but when I do, Animal Cops seems to be where my remote control halts. The people who work as cruelty investigators are my heroes.

The only thing I don't quite get is the food aggression test. They feed a dog and then stick a plastic hand near the food to see if the dog is aggressive. The sad thing is that many times when a dog reacts aggressively, they must put it to sleep. I understand, yet I don't. If you put a plastic hand in my food, I'd definitely get aggressive.

I sure pray that my Telemachus never has to past a food aggression test. He would never bite the plastic hand, but he would growl, and the hair on his back would spike straight up. According to the specialists at the Michigan Humane Society, that is food aggression.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Check it out

New poems of mine published here. I'm pretty stoked to be published in a journal called "Innisfree." It warms my wannabe Irish heart.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Real Obituary

Today marks exactly two years since Henry Balthis died.

Henry was a no nonsense kinda guy, retired from the Ironworkers Local 17. He only stood about 5”2 on a good day, but he was mean and he had fiery hair. His friends called him Red. When Red walked in the front door of a bar, his enemies snuck out the back.

Not only was Henry known for his boxing skills, he was also rumored to be quite the pistol whipper. Henry wasn’t afraid of anything. Once he chased a man who owned a leopard. The leopard ran too.

In his elder years, he had two passions: cats and fatherless children. He lived in a warehouse with his six cats: Bigfoot, Crybaby, Mister, Watermelon, Number Five, and Number Six (yes, he named two cats after numbers). When he wasn’t busy overfeeding his cats, he enjoyed visits from two of his many grandchildren, James and Jennifer.

Henry never asked for help. When he had heart attacks, he drove himself to the hospital. He did however ask James to bring him the occasional Whopper with cheese. Jennifer got off a little easier. Her chore, which was really an honor, was spending countless afternoons with Henry watching Animal Cops.

Henry owned at least eight vacuum cleaners. Even though his personal hygiene skills were at times questionable, the floor in his warehouse was always swept.

Henry Balthis did a good job dying.

He was surrounded by family members who cried and told stories from many many Christmases ago. One granddaughter even spoke of Henry’s warm, tender grandfather hugs. Jennifer and James smiled at each other from across the room. They had Henry stories from the previous Christmas and the one before that. They had Henry stories from the previous week. And they both knew that though Henry liked to give hugs, he was really bad at it.

A Henry hug was like being burped.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Dear Mom:

I need you to watch the dog while I go back to this place. I need one more summer.

Here is a sweet William Butler Yeats quote to further my request.

"But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."