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Animals

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Paws for Prisoners

December 19, 2016

I found Bailey when he was an endearing pup at the Kansas City SPCA. I was looking for a dog to fill the void after Tucker died and couldn’t afford a Tibetan mastiff, Pharaoh Hound or King Charles Spaniel.

After a couple of years, Bailey blossomed into a full fledged member of our family. He cared for the kids, frolicked in the swimming pool and went after squirrels brave enough to venture into our back yard. He was always eager to shoulder his share of the load by taking out the trash, doing the laundry and enjoyed a seat at our dinner table. He even cleaned up after himself when he did his duty on the back lawn. By the time he was 3, he surprised even his piano teacher by learning how to read Mandarin, Punjabi and Min Bei and started tutoring all the kids in the neighborhood. He was such an affable, talented canine I started looking for ways to share his talents with the rest of the community.

I first saw the advertisement for Paws for Prisoners while riding the bus to work. It boasted that the Paws program was a collective effort between advocate groups, local animal shelters and Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary where the inmates taught dogs basic obedience and shared mutual social skills. In return, the animals provided companionship to incarcerated felons. I don’t know why they felt convicted felons were in a position to teach dogs obedience and social skills. After all, wasn’t it the absence of social behavior that got them there in the first place? But, what the heck. Maybe he’d learn something new. read more

All Entries Animals Family Home Life Humor

I Remember Hugh

December 18, 2016

We lost Hugh today. Somehow, he managed to slither out of our second-story bathroom window and was run over by an 18-wheeler carrying a load of chickens headed for a KFC. Considering the amount of time he spent futiley chasing birds, it was a humiliating end to an otherwise, distinguished life. The only thing that could have been worse was if he had been flattened by a truckload of squirrels.

Nevertheless, we’ll miss Hugh. But, it was his time to go. After all, he was 12-years-old and beginning to show early signs of dementia. From time to time, he’d confuse his water dish with his litter box, so he’d foul his water and walk around the living room with litter crumbs covering his lips.

I bought Hugh for my girlfriend, hoping that he would provide her with companionship while I was away at work. Unfortunately, he took an instant disliking to Natalie and spent the bulk of his days asleep behind the refrigerator licking his balls. That is, when he wasn’t spraying the couch or her expensive suede pants. read more

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