Saturday, February 26, 2011

So How Is Billy Doing?

He's doing great.

We've had him to the veterinarian twice. Not for bad things mind you. It was important for both Christine and I to get him thoroughly checked out after his ordeal.

He was all of five pounds by the time he made it to the Cumberland County SPCA. That's a significant weight loss for a dog that should weigh 11 to 12 pounds. He was literally on death's door by the time the man who he's named for mercifully got him there that cold night.

It took us a couple weeks to bring him home. He was in foster care during that time. His weight situation required a more hands on approach. By the day we got him home he weighed in at 9.9 pounds.


Billy's first night home. Notice how pronounced his breast bone is. He had lost quite a bit of muscle during the ordeal. His ribs stuck way.

As of last week his official weight was 11 pounds nine ounces. His muscle tone has returned. Dr. Mike, our trusted veterinarian, was pleased at his condition and weight.

Now it's a matter of keeping him near that weight.


Billy at nearly 12 pounds.

He's energetic.

While he's still standoffish to folks he just meets, he's warming up much quicker. The trust he lost he's slowly finding again.

He's a quintessential "lap dog" with the family.

He fits in like he's been here since his birth, not the three weeks since his adoption.

When Billy the repairman told me this story I had no idea what to expect. All I knew is that I had to have this dog. Not for us, for him. I knew Christine and I could give this forlorn soul the peace, comfort, and love he desperately needed. We owed it to him, we owed it to ourselves, and we owed it to the memory of Rhondo.

This afternoon, Billy and I were relaxing in the living room playing a game of "Fetch" with his favorite toy.

I tossed the toy over by the storm door. Billy ran after it like a bat out of Hell.

He got to the door and stopped dead in his tracks.


It was obvious that he'd spied something up in the tree.


Looks like we got us a damned fine "squirrel hound".

All I have to do now is teach him how to climb trees.

Maybe when I get back from my upcoming return to Memphis.

Until the next time, all y'all take care of yourselves.

Air Traffic Mike, ret.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Splitty The Maul, Chick Magnet

Let's face it, when it comes to getting the ladies' attention, Splitty The Maul has all the tools.


He's the strong, silent type.


He's trim and rock solid.


He has rakish good looks.

Take in his other talents and you can see why he's considered a "Renaissance Maul".

Recently, on a "snow day" where school was cancelled, Splitty and I were over at Doc's farm. We were hanging out. Doc and I decided a couple of afternoon cocktails would be nice.

Doc opened the freezer only to see that the ice maker had jammed up. The ice had lifted the safety arm and turned the ice maker off the night before.

Seeing that our drinks were in immediate danger, I offered to go get some ice. Splitty and I loaded up into the AirTrafficMobile and headed for the closest package store.

Due to the morning snowfall, the ice vendor had not delivered to the store. All they had left was block ice.

It would have to do.

Splitty and I drove back to the farm only to find out Doc doesn't own an icepick.

Not having an icepick can be a real problem.

But not if you have Splitty.

Now seeing as how an eight pound maul hitting an eight pound block of ice can be hard on the average kitchen counter top or sink, we opted to let Splitty work his "magic" outside.


Splitty wanted a "before" picture so I obliged him.

Mauls can be vain sometimes.


It didn't take long for the word to spread throughout the farm that Splitty was going to do some heavy busting.


Splitty posed for a souveneir picture with the girls.

What can I say? Chicks dig the maul.

I took some steps back for safety's sake.

I left the chickens to their own devices.

Splitty took careful aim, leaned waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back, and..............


POW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


It was a direct hit.

Crushed ice ala Splitty.

I won't even get into how he is at stirring drinks.

The chickens were highly impressed.

With the show over, we retired back to the kitchen and enjoyed a couple of ice cold vodka with bitter lemon.

Nice way to end a snow day.

You ask, "Where in the cornbread Hell is the snow in those pictures?".

It had mostly melted by noon.

The best of all snow days. The unnecessary one.

Until the next time, all y'all take care of yourselves.

Ait Traffic Mike, ret.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

How Long Before Someone Snaps Again?

Seriously.

I have this ominous feeling some nutjob is going to crack somewhere soon.

I don't know where or when, but with the tumultuous times around us it will probably happen again sooner than later.

There's already been one attempted political assassination this year. Fortunately, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords survived the attack and is on the mend.

Meanwhile Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin is using the state budget as an excuse to gut collective bargaining rights for state employees.

As you can see he's opened up a real can of worms. He's got tens of thousands of protesters in the street and State Capitol building. He's got all 14 Democratic and 2Republican State Senators not coming to work in order to stall a vote on his budget. Apparently the new Governor didn't read the part of the rules that requires both political parties be on hand to vote on the budget.

He's accusing them of fleeing.

He's full of shit.

They know the rules. They are using them to keep from having a unilateral decision shoved down their, and their constituents' throats.

If it wasn't such a serious matter, I'd find the whole thing amusing.

Way out there on the East Coast, my other favorite Governor, "The Flubbernor" Chris Christie of New Jersey is busy starting his own fight.

Again.

The three ton favorite son made a media event of vetoing 14 bills designed to create jobs and offer tax breaks to small businesses. With his characteristic disdain he opened up the press conference by dropping the 14 vetoed bills on the podium.

Real classy.

I swear, some days all the guy is missing is a clown nose and floppy shoes.

I'll be shocked if the guy doesn't run for President in 2012.

By then he'll have pissed off not only the folks in New Jersey, but the other 49 states as well.

Don't get me wrong. I wish no ill will towards either of these men. If "Tubbernor" Christie dropped by I'd be happy to split a dozen doughnuts and some tea at breakfast.

I don't hate the guy. I'm just not a fan of his style.

Getting back to my point, I fear for them and a lot of public officials. There are a lot of people stressed out about the economy, their livelihoods, and their future. All it takes is for someone in that group to have one bad day and assign the blame to a politician.

History points towards controversial politicians in the majority of incidents.

The guy who tried to kill Jackson was a delusional unemployed house painter whose flintlock pistols failed to fire.

President Jackson lit into him with his cane.

Lincoln was assassinated by a Confederate sympathiser.

Garfield was assassinated by a spurned would be lawyer who was not given an ambassador's post.

McKinley was assassinated by an anarchist.

Teddy Roosevelt was shot by an irate saloon keeper. The speech in his pocket and his eye glass case slowed the bullet.

Roosevelt gave the speech with the bullet lodged in him.

Franklin Roosevelt was shot at by a poorly educated brick layer who was a loner and had issues with "capitalist" presidents and monarchs.

Harry Truman was targeted by two pro Puerto Rico independence activists. The attempt was made at the Blair House. A gun battle broke out between the two and the White House police.

Before Lee Harvey Oswald, Richard Paul Pavlick, a retired postal worker tried to blow up Kennedy with a car load of dynamite.

Every President since Kennedy has had at least one attempt made on their lives.

That's a sad fact.

There are a lot of angry people out there these days.

I just hope those who engage in angry political rhetoric remember that.

Until the next time, all y'all take care of yourselves.

Air Traffic Mike, ret.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Maybe We'll Just Stay Home....

I had to laugh when I read this article.

The country of Iran really thought sending two warships through the Suez Canal and parking them north of Israel in Syria was a good idea?

Actually, I am a bit disappointed.

I'd like to see them try.

Now before you go calling me a "war monger" let me say I'm no fan of violence. Most things in the world can be solved peacefully using reasonable methods.

Unfortunately, the President of Iran, uh, what's his name........


"Ali Ali Oxinfree!!!!"

"No Splitty, that's not it."


"Should be."

"Splitty, we try for accuracy as much as possible around here."


"You'd never make it working for Rupert Murdoch."

"Thank you for the compliment, Splitty"


"By the way, Iran's President is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."

"I think I like Ali Ali Oxinfree better."


"Yeah, me too."

Anyway, President Ahmadinejad doesn't seem like the rational sort. At least when it comes to Israel, anyway. Unless saying things like calling Israel, a "disgraceful little blot" can be construed as a peace initiative.

So it was no surprise that Israel called Iran on the move. It's also no surprise that Iran backed down. Israel has a history of dealing with things that it sees as a threat to its safety.

Like the time Iraq almost had a nuclear reactor. "Operation Opera" was a stunning air raid, pulled off perfectly.

Then there was "The Six Day War". While both sides dispute the actual cause of it, it proved that Israel could pretty much kick any of it's neighbor's asses if provoked.

I'm sort of a big fan of their "We'll just blow your shit up" diplomacy.

There is little doubt that Iran would be replacing two ships if they had tried to sail into the Mediterranean Sea.

President Oxinfree....


"Ahmadinejad."

President Ahmadinejad is smart enough to know that given the unrest in his country and the region, that losing a couple of ships and losing face to Israel might be enough to end his career.

I'm pretty sure that being President of any country is a pretty cushy gig. Well, until recently, anyway.

Maybe next time he'll send the ships through.

They'll look good on the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea.

Today, "Billy" gets to meet our good friend and veterinarian Dr. Mike.

It's guaranteed to be a "Kodak moment".


"Can I go to the vet too?"

"You're in, Splitty."


"Sweet."

Until the next time, all y'all take care of yourselves.

Air Traffic Mike, ret.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Don't Forget To Replace Your Divot, Sir.

The "divot" will be the least of the problems.

After all, it will be on the bottom of the Thames Estuary.

In August, 1944, near the town of Sheerness, England, a Liberty Ship at anchor dragged anchor and ran aground on a sandbar.

Normally, this wouldn't be a problem. Wait until high tide and float it away.

Unfortunately, Liberty Ships had "brittle backs". A few days later while cargo was being salvaged, the ship broke in half and sank.

While this was a bit of an inconvenience, it normally wouldn't be that big of a deal. Send in some divers, a floating crane, a few barges and it would be done in a few weeks.

However, with the invasion of the European continent in full swing, the British authorities decided it was acceptable to leave the wreck where it was.

Besides, when a ship is loaded with 3,173 tons of munitions containing 1,400 tons of high explosives is sitting peacefully on the bottom of the river, discretion is a must.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the "World's Most Dangerous Shipwreck", the S.S. Richard Montgomery.


Fine looking ship, isn't it?

The link above has some really awesome multibeam sonar images of the wreck as it appears on the bottom of the river.

It's now been on the bottom of the Thames Estuary for over 66 years.

It's still packing 2,800,000 pounds of explosive power.

Oh, and it's still property of the United States.

2,800,000 pounds of explosives. It would likely be one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in the history of the world.

Here at Air Traffic Mike's, we try to be a full service blog.

I wouldn't want you folks to miss out on the blast if and when it occurs.

Here's a nice webcam view of the river near Sheerness, England.

I don't expect the camera will last long. Previous estimates predict it will cause a wall of water around 1,000 feet high.

For locals safety, the government has installed some lovely yellow buoys warning of the danger:


Wow. Nice wording.

How about, "Warning: 2,800,000 pound equivalent of TNT in the area. It will blow your ass, and ours, to Kingdom come. Use of fireworks, handguns, and hand grenades prohibited."

The wreck is considered so hazardous, it's monitored both visually and by radar.

A lot of folks would think that all that explosive material is wet, and the chance of it going off is slim.

Well, that's what some experts thought in 1967 during a salvage operation in the English Channel. A Polish ship chartered by the U.S. government to transport munitions, the S.S. Kielce, sank in 1946 with about the same amount of ordinance. During the early stages of the salvage operation, the cargo exploded. The explosion was estimated to reach a magnitude of 4.5 on the Richter Scale.

Now then, that was in 27 meters of water, or just over 88 feet deep in the English Channel.

The S.S. Richard Montgomery is sticking out of the water.

In plain view of land.

Next to a town of 20,000 people.

I say clear out the town for a day and set it off.

But then, that's a "guy thing". We like big explosions.

Like this:



or this:


I particularly like how nonchalant the guys on deck are until they realize the mist/explosive residues are coming right at them.

I get the feeling it would be much worse for the folks in Sheerness.

So why let the ship going of be a surprise.

Make it an event.

Sell the rights to cable and divide up the proceeds amongst the citizens of Sheerness.

Heck, there's an off chance that nothing will happen.

Sort of like when Geraldo Rivera opened "Al Capone's Safe" on live TV.

However, if it goes off............



Until the next time, all y'all (especially the nice folks in Sheerness, England) take care of yourselves.

Air Traffic Mike, ret.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

One Day To Go

Well here it is, feeling like Christmas Eve all over again.

Tomorrow, if all goes well, "Billy" will come home with us.

Both Christine and I are excited beyond belief.

I took for granted having a dog around here. Honestly, I didn't really give it a second thought. Heck, when I arrived here last Spring there were three little dogs living here.

I returned to Memphis in August.

"Butter" went with Christine's youngest daughter to live in Philly that month.

"Lilly" succumbed to old age in September.

Y'all know what happened with Rhondo last month.

Rhondo's passing left the house empty.

It was quiet.

Much too quiet.

Fate brought "Billy" into our lives. We took Fate up on it's kind offer.

It'll be nice having the pitter patter of Dachshund paws running across the floors again. "Billy" demonstrated the same curiosity that "Lilly", "Butter" and "Rhondo" had. He loves looking out the window. Christine calls it "Dachshund curiosity". I'll have the living room windows all nice and clean for his arrival.

Along with that, today I'll wash and dry the big square doggy bed. It was with a heavy heart Christine took it, along with the kennel, to the basement. Today they both come up in victory. A kennel is pretty much just a kennel, but the bed is a really nice, soft doggy bed. Our boy has slept too many times on a hard cold place. He'll have none of that again.

The squirrels in the backyard are in for a rude awakening Saturday morning. This morning they've been running on the roof since daybreak. That started a few days after we put Rhondo down. He never gave those squirrels an inch of "his" yard. Neither did "Butter". "Lilly" was a natural huntress. With the coast clear the local squirrels felt safe to come up to the house.

Once upon a time squirrels did thousands of dollars damage to my house in Tennessee.

I hate the little bastards.

My gut tells me "Billy" is going to be tough on them. I'm all for it. I want him to make it "his" yard. He deserves it.

3:00 pm Friday can't come soon enough. It will be a bit stressful for him. He's gone from being in a home somewhere to suddenly living on the street. Then from fighting for his life to the brink of death. From the brink of death to a shelter and almost immediately to foster care for a few weeks. Now he's moving again, only this time it's for good.

Dave the foster caregiver told us "Billy" didn't do well riding outside the kennel in his truck. It made "Billy" nervous. That makes me think that someone did, in fact, dump him by the side of the road. What living creature WOULDN'T get nervous in a car if the last ride damned near killed it? Christine will probably want to hold him, but we'll take the kennel just in case.

"Billy's" had quite a journey to date. We can only guess what happened to him before. After we get him settled in for a few weeks we'll make an appointment with Dr. Mike and get him a full check up. If he has a congenital defect like Rhondo had, we want to know up front and take care of it.

Today, cleaning dog stuff and picking up dog food.

Tomorrow afternoon, the words that close this chapter and the words the little fellow needs to hear the most:


"C'mon boy, let's go home."

Until the next time, all y'all take care of yourselves.

Air Traffic Mike, ret

Monday, February 7, 2011

But While We're Waiting,............

might as well cook.

There's a little Amish market nearby. I like shopping there because they have a pretty good meat case. It's not as good as the butcher shops in the Italian Market in South Philly, but it's above average.

Today's special?





Six and a half pound boneless rib roast, seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic granules, and sweet paprika.

Why six and a half pounds?

Because they didn't have a seven pounder in the case.

Now, I do have a lot of options on how to cook this.

I could roast it in the oven. Boring, but the classic approach.

I could cut it into steaks and grill them. That would be acceptable, but I don't feel like the steaks are the best option for this piece of meat. Besides, if I wanted rib steaks, I'd have bought rib steaks.

Maybe chop it up and grind it for burgers? Only if I wanted to really make people cuss.

It's too big to poach unless I want to do it on the top shelf of the dishwasher.

I could deep fry it using my brother's outdoor turkey fryer. Might be the world's record for a chicken fried steak, but I don't feel like making two gallons of white gravy to go with it.

Okay, now I'm just messing with you folks.

I've opted to smoke it. Smoking over hardwood is one of the nicest ways to prepare rib roast. It takes on a deep flavor that is outstanding either hot or cold. I think it makes the best sandwich meat. Smoked rib roast, Swiss cheese, horseradish sauce, served on a good crusty Italian roll is an absolute treat.

The key to smoking meats is having the use of a quality smoker. Courtesy of Doc, I have access to the best smoker in the world. A Kamado. Some folks know them as Big Green Eggs. That's a brand name.

I used to have one, but it was too large for the balcony at my condo. My ex didn't want it. I opted to give it to a friend of my after my divorce. He's now officially the fourth owner of that Kamado. It was 15 years old when a friend in New Orleans gave it to me. It's now 38 years old.

That my friends, is quality. All they require is a little care and they'll last you a lifetime.

Looking at the clock, it's time to go.

I'm going to do a low, slow smoke on this one.

Look for the pictures in tomorrow's blog.

Until the next time, all y'all take care of yourselves.

Air Traffic Mike, ret.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Chain Of Life (Finale)

".......and now, the rest of the story."

---Paul Harvey, commentator (1918-2009)


Waiting for this day to come had been almost excruciating at times. All of our footwork, phone calls, and prayers would be coming to fruition on, or around, noon.

We left out about 11:00 am. From here to the shelter takes about an hour. Both of us were excited and nervous. With what we had been told by both Billy the repairman and the shelter employees, we weren't sure what to expect. Neglect and suffering can, and often do, impose unseen injuries on souls.

We were expecting trust to be an issue from the outset.

I'm glad that the route took us through the countryside. Driving past the farms and snow covered fields was relaxing for me. The drive didn't really seem to take too long at all. It seemed much shorter than the drive home from the shelter over a week ago.

We pulled into the parking lot, took a couple deep breaths, and walked inside. We looked around anxiously. There were folks milling about smartly in the lobby and behind the desk.

Then we saw him.

Short.

Scrawny.

Dark haired.

Dark eyes.

Younger looking than we had imagined.

He seemed not to notice us.

In spite of the horrors of his last few weeks he seemed happy.

We walked to the desk and identified ourselves. After a few formalities we were asked to go to a room down the hall. The foster caregiver would bring him down to meet us.

I took a look over my shoulder as we left for the room. The foster caregiver helped him with his sweater. I was struck by just how thin this poor soul was.

Later, I'd be shocked to learn just how thin he was when he came in. Knowing that, I realized it was a miracle that he had survived to be rescued. He truly wouldn't have made it through the night when Billy brought him in.

I started to get misty.

We were in the room all of about one minute when Dave, the man who along with his wife was tending to the little guy's needs, brought him in. The little guy ran behind Dave's legs. Like we had surmised, trust was going to be an issue. Dave stayed with us for a few minutes. It was awkward. Try as he might to get out of the way, the little guy kept running around behind Dave. Dave, experienced in these sort of things, did the only thing he could do in this sort of situation.

He left the room.

Now it was just the three of us.

The little guy went to the corner. He was nervous. Every noise from the hallway made him jump a bit.

Christine held her hand out. He'd have none of it. The corner had become his "safe spot". That was okay with us. We understood. We both have loads of love and time.

Fifteen minutes passed. We tried talking softly to him. We tried sitting down on the floor so as not to be too imposing to him. We tried "ignoring" him hoping his natural curiousness would bring him over.

You know what we got for all of our efforts?

Nothing.

Unless, of course, you consider nervous looks and jittery feet a victory.

Dave came back in. He knew the little fellow's tendencies having gone through pretty much what we were in the process of going through.

He scooped the little guy up and put him in Christine's arms.


SCORE!!!!!!!!

He settled down and took to us from that point forward. Another break in the chain of suffering and mistrust that had been this little dachshund's life. Another set of humans that weren't going to hurt him or put him in harm's way.

After Billy the repairman told me about this little dog he found dying beside the highway, I told myself that if he was still alive then I would see to it that he would never suffer again. After I shared the story with Christine we agreed that no matter what this little dog looked like or what deplorable shape he might be in, we would take him in.

Later in the day, the foster caregiver Dave took him in the back and weighed him.

He was "up to" ten pounds. That's pretty light, even for a miniature Dachshund.

He was five pounds the night Billy the repairman brought him in.

Let me restate that.....five pounds.

Five measly pounds.

His bones were probably 20% of his mass.

In his case, death wasn't near.

Death was next.

Sitting back and thinking about the chain of events that bought him into Christine's and my world is staggering. At any time had one small detail of any event had happened differently, none of this would have happened.

If Christine's dryer hadn't broken last year.

If I had "fixed" the dryer my way by replacing it with a new one.

If we had called Billy sooner.

If, when we had to put Rhondo down, the young veterinarian hadn't said, "You might want to think about putting that money towards rescuing another dog." He planted the seed that made us understand that we had done all we could for Rhondo and that maybe rescuing another dog would be the best way to honor his very short life.

If Billy hadn't noticed this dog, looking out of place, by the side of the road one day.

If Billy had the correct part to fix the dryer on his truck the first time around.

If Billy hadn't seen the dog a couple weeks later, so hungry that some dried ketchup constituted a feast.

If Billy had turned a blind eye to the situation.

If, when asked by Billy, "Where's the scruffy dog that barked at me the last time?" I had just said, "He's gone." rather than tell him Rhondo's story including his rescue by Christine's youngest daughter.

If the Cumberland County SPCA couldn't take the dog in.

If Dave and his wife weren't available to give an emaciated and emotionally wounded dog the care and love to nurse him back to health.

These and other paths all crossed at the right time for the right reasons.

The chain had remained unbroken.

There were a few things left to get into order. Since Christine's oldest daughter currently lives here at her Mom's house, the SPCA folks had to see how she and the dog interacted (in the same manner as they had to see both Christine and I).

The dog is not quite healthy enough for the required neutering, but will be later in the week. They expect by next Friday they can perform the procedure. At that time, we can fill out the remaining paperwork and bring him home.

Home, where it's warm.

Home, where there's good food and clean water.

Home, where he will never, ever again, be subjected to the cruelties of the last month.

Home, where's there's love.

I said it before and I'll say it again:

"There are no throw away lives."




This one included.

We'll never know what his original name was.

The SPCA had him tagged as "Yapple Dachshund" referring to his coloration.

Dave and his wife call him "Cupid".

Naming a dog takes a lot of thought and consideration.

Most of the time.

Not this time.

You see, I had a name picked out from the moment the gift of "clarity" was given to me.

I told Christine.

Christine agreed.

We named him for his guardian angel.


"Billy"

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Chain Of Life (Part 5)

"God never closes one door without opening another."

---my maternal grandmother's favorite saying


Billy the repairman told me his story. How he had seen this little fellow struggling by the side of the road.

I watched his body language and listened to the inflection in his voice. It was obvious that what had taken place in front of his very eyes and his response to that was very powerful.

I'm pretty sure my reaction was close to his.

We settled up on the bill and Billy headed out the door. I sat here in the kitchen. My head was swimming. I went over and over the story, not wanting to forget any detail of it.

I wanted Christine to hear it.

She arrived home a bit later. I told her the woeful tale. She started to well up in tears. So did I. My mind was made up.

I went to my computer to do some quick research. I got the shelter's website and phone number. According to the website the shelter was closed for the evening, but you know how that goes sometimes. Occasionally, someone will be working late. I placed a quick phone call. No answer. I went back to the website to see if there was any further information.

None to be had.

I looked up at Christine.

"I'm getting on the road in the morning. I plan to be there when they open. We're getting involved."

The morning came. A quick shower and I was off. I had no idea what to expect. All I knew is that for some reason this situation came to our attention. Things like this have happened before to me in my life. I'm talking about the overwhelming feeling that one gets when they know they are doing what's intended for them to do. The gift of "clarity" as I said earlier. It was a bit of a drive, but within 45 minutes I was at their front door.

I walked in. A very kind lady at the desk asked if she could help me. I told her I had heard about one of their charges from the man who bought him in. I told her I was there that morning to gather more information, possibly see the little fellow, and start any paperwork needed for Christine and I to bring the little guy into the family.

I was told that he wasn't there.

For a moment I was heartbroken. I thought I was too late.

I asked if he had passed. She told me he hadn't, but had placed him into a foster care situation. It seems he needed round the clock attention, especially due to his low weight. She described his condition to me. Clearly, placing him in foster care was the appropriate response to his situation. The lady gave me an application and answered all of my questions.

With no other business to take care of, I left. Knowing Christine was awaiting an update I called her from the parking lot. I can't tell you just how disappointed I felt at that moment. Don't get me wrong, I was very happy to hear the little fellow had survived his ordeal. I was very happy to know that he was in a good situation, in a loving home, and on the mend. I was just disappointed that I couldn't see him.

The drive back home seemed longer. The skies were turning an ominous shade of gray as an approaching Winter storm was gathering up strength. The snow meant that we would have to wait longer to see him. I had to remind myself that it wasn't about us. There was paperwork to do, healing to continue, and a few other things before we could even see him, let alone bring him home.

Christine filled out the adoption paperwork and faxed it in. After waiting two days, I called to see if the paperwork was in order and if they needed any more information. They needed some more information in regards to "Butter".


"Butter".

"Butter" sometimes stays with us when Christine's youngest daughter has to work over the weekend. The shelter folks wanted to make sure "Butter" was up to date on her shots. However, pending "Butter's" paperwork we were approved to adopt the little fellow.

Christine wasn't sure of "Butter's" shot record, but she was very excited to hear the news. One call to Dr. Mike's office, "Butter" was set to go. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made in these situations. If "Butter" had to get a couple needles on Friday afternoon, so be it.

We left from the vet's office Friday afternoon feeling very excited. We had "Butter's" paperwork in hand. Christine faxed it in to the shelter that night. We didn't expect to hear anything back seeing as how it was after office hours there. We called Saturday morning after they opened. The paperwork had arrived in order. They would call the foster family and set up a meeting with all of us.

That was good enough for the week. We could wait a couple days.

A couple days passed. No word.

A couple more days passed, still no word.

We were getting anxious.

Was everything okay? Had the little fellow taken a turn for the worse? Did the shelter change their mind?

Y'all know how it is when you're waiting for something you really, really want to happen. For example, the last week in school before Summer recess. Those last five days just drag on, one seeming longer than the previous.

That's how it was this week.

Then we got the word.

Tomorrow, at noon, we get to meet the little guy.

This morning I woke up early.

I feel like I'm 7 years old again and it's the day before Christmas Eve.

To Be Continued

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Before I Continue The Story...

"The Chain Of Life" will continue in just a few days.

In the meantime, life goes on.

This afternoon, I collected all of the pictures I took of Rhondo and put them in a "folder" on my computer.

I had no idea that I had taken that many pictures of our boy in such a short period of time.


My goodness, he was SO not feeling well on his last day.

Tomorrow I'll take a drive, pick his ashes up, and bring him home.

Two days hence, I'll begin the process of finishing this story.

Until then, all y'all take care of yourselves.

Air Traffic Mike, ret.