Friday, August 27, 2010


The kid looks 12 but he's only 6-and-a-half. He's been gray for awhile, but the gray seems more pronounced, now. He has a camouflage bandanna around his neck, but he's not looking like a rough and tough soldier. He is lying on his side, and, though his eyes are open (for the most part), they have lost luster. Am I reading too much into physiological signs and symptoms? Maybe, but I doubt it.

The bumps on his throat have not gone down, though I have used all but a day-and-a-half of the allotted antibiotic medication. The aspiration that the vet took a couple of Saturdays ago showed no signs of cancer--lymphoma, to be specific--but the vet told me that the pathologist kind of hedged his bets, seeing as how the bumps had so-recently arrived. I don't know, but I know what I feel.

I feel that the kid is slipping, a bit. He still barks and he still plays with Oliver, but, most of the time that I'm home and looking at him, Louie is lying on his dog-bed...he just looks tired, man. Just tired. And when he eats and drinks, right afterwards, he does this kind of retching/regurgitation thing. He's not outright vomiting, but he is having problems with his throat. And would that surprise a soul? Hell no. He's got his lymph nodes squeezing his trachea and his esophagus, in my not-at-all-medical opinion. Am I wrong? Maybe. Hopefully.


This is how it stands: I feel that my buddy, whom I have known since he was a little big-headed brindled days-old puppy, is slipping away from me. Like the emotional mofo I am, I remember all of him. His good days, his sweet days, his handsome days (always), and, maybe, his end of days. Bah. Bah. Bah! Words don't, won't, could never do him justice. He is a part of me.

And it hurts me to see him (maybe? yes) hurting, or, at least, feeling less-than. It hurts a whole hell of a lot.

Earlier today, when I got back home, I gave him a cold leftover half of a hamburger patty. (He's been getting tons of people-food, lately. And that will continue.) In the past, up to and including just a month ago, he'd have vaporized that treat. Swi-zaysh, down the chute. Like a vacuum. Today, he struggled with the little piece of meat. Oh, sure, he made sure that Oliver didn't steal it away from him--just a head-turn'll do it--but he struggled with it, man. He broke it into little grampa-sized-pieces. And then ate it. And, minutes later, he was doing his throat thing, the thing that makes me feel (like crying) like he's trying to force a cantaloupe down a garden hose. Not good, man.

Memories, like the times we used to share....

I may have the lyrics wrong, and, yes, it was an attempt at smarmy cheesy humor.

'Cause this is how it'll go down, if what I feel to be true, actually, is:

Meagan is going to drop Lou off at North Main Animal Hospital on Monday morning at about 9:00 or 9:30. They're going to do a biopsy of the bumps and, hopefully, just remove the fucking things. Quality of life, you know? At the very least, though, they'll slice and dice (hopefully maybe just remove) and send the samples to a laboratory, somewhere....

And this is what my gut-feeling tells me what will happen:

The sample will come back cancerous. Lymphoma. Listen: I have no money. I am scraping by. I had to jiggle a few commitments to be able to pay for his Monday surgical procedure. But it is not--not!--just a financial matter, a monetary concern. Hell, no. It is also a quality of life issue. I'll not have my baby boy rendered a motherfucking pin cushion. I just won't.

I think that God tells us when it is time to say good-bye. All the fucking drugs and procedures in the motherfucking world will not change that, but for a very very very limited time period.



My gut-feeling tells me that the biopsy comes back malignant. And if it does not?! I'll literally jump for joy. But, gut-feelings...? If the results come back cancerous, then an era is over. I'll not do chemotherapy for multi-fold reasons. One, I ain't got the greenbacks. Two, even if I did, it's just prolonging the inevitable. If a dog has lymphoma--a rapidly-growing motherfucker of a cancer--the dog'll not have a very good life, regardless of how long he or she lives. Just my two cents. Three, I remember (and see) Louie strong, soldier-like, affable, handsome, yes, The Best Boy Evah. And, also, my boy. Will I subject him to pricks and prods and days of nausea? Would I? Hell. No.

I'll watch him, though. I'll eagle-eye him, my lovely boy. I'll center every grain of my being on him and how he is feeling and how he ate and did he drink and did he regurgitate and is he in pain and will he be miraculous...until I have seen enough and the pain of having him hobbled is equal to or greater than the pain of seeing him set free.

And then I'll have to set him free, with much pain and much Love and many endless tears.

"The only knock against dogs is that they don't live long enough."

PS--I dearly hope I'm wrong.

PPS--If I'm not wrong? Well Louie, this, from one King Louie to the next, man. Peace to you.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


I mean, seriously. Build it. Build it!

I thougt we--as a nation--were built on religious tolerance.

Yes, we had 9/11 happen. It happened; it was horrible.

So the proposed site from Ground Zero is about a three-minute walk? So. Fucking. What.

Build it. Otherwise then, what?

Then we, as a nation, are a bald-faced hypocrite.
And, by the way? It's also a fucking community center.

Gimme a fucking break. What do people think the YMCA and the YWCA acronyms stand for?

So Christianity and Judaism work but Islam doesn't? Come fucking on.

It's simple bigotry. That's it.

9/11 was horrific. Just horrific. Here is a help to all the bigots out there: One group of people are not all the same. There are bad apples in every bunch.

I must repeat: It may be a mosque (so what?) but it will also be a community center.

Let's move on, folks....
This really pisses me off. I mean, really. Pisses me off, man.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Short Fiction:

"Give," he'd said. "Give of yourself. Just...give. Give the Devil an inch, and he'll take a mile...I mean, your life."

She'd been scared. She'd thought that she had known him--albeit they had been together, as a couple, for "only" four months--she'd thought that she had seen into the Personal Him.

"Listen," he'd said, "I think about violence and carnage and God and sex and horrific movies and peaceful retreats and Love and pressing a screwdriver into--pop!--somebody's eyeball. Warranted, of course. I'd not do it for no reason. I think about coffee and times lost and rot-gut best booze and times lost. I am a circle with black and white. I am yin and I am yang. I eat meat, yet I love animals. I poo-poo tofu, but it tastes grand. I am just as comfortable in watching 'When Harry Met Sally' as I am watching 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.' I profess love for everyone, yet I harbor silent bigotries. I--" He'd stopped, examined her. She'd felt like a housefly, straight-pinned to corkboard. His eyes had travelled over her face, her breasts, her thighs, her Special Place. "I'm hungry," he'd continued, his eyes glazed with his ubiquitous opium. "How about a meal?"

Her heart had fluttered like a butterfly, flitting hither and yon. Through her panic-stricken eyes, he'd seemed to double and treble. Focus, she'd told herself. Just fucking focus.

His eyes had lit up, then. Brilliant-blue. "Scared? Don't be. I'll make the salad; you make the steak. Grill it just the way you do." He'd dropped an ominous wink. "You cook my meat the best that anyone ever has."

She'd shivered inside.

What, she'd thought, seasoned with arsenic?

And but then they'd eaten a meal together--the steak was perfect and the salad was otherworldly--and they'd actually watched "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and then they'd had some popcorn and taken the cats for a walk and then had so-steamy three-minute sexual intercourse and then they'd fallen asleep, legs intertwined.


And...she wakes up this morning and this kernel of a thought is in her head.


Just fiction.

That's it. Just fiction.

Don't get all bent out of your shape(s).


In other news, my doggy Louie may have lymphoma. I took him to the vet's after Nay and Meeg and I (last) had noticed bimpy-bumps in his throat, right where the lymph nodes are. I was crying last Saturday when I took him to the doc's. They aspirated him and told me to call back on Tuesday or Wednesday. The doc left a message on Tuesday--and I called and re-affirmed on Wednesday--that the pathologist could not find any cancer cells in the sample. Good, right? Well, hopefully. In the message, the vet noted that, since it was early, the pathologist said that maybe it was just the beginnings of canine lymphoma, a certainly-deadly disease. Or...maybe not. I cling to "maybe not." It could be lymphoid hyperplasia. Um.... LH is a disease of the lymph nodes caused by anything from fungi to bacteria to a virus to an act of God. I have no fucking idea what caused the bumps in Lou's throat. I can tell you this, though: He's spry. He's fight-playing with Ollie-wag and he's eating his food (and the food, my food, that I give him...'cause I love him) and, though he coughs more than he has in the past, his nose is still cold and wet (good health) and his barking is just fine, and his playing, as noted before, seems up to par.

So, antibiotics twice a day. Okay! Whatever I have to do! Yes. Yes. Yes. But, then, this: If Lou does have lymphoma? I haven't the funds for his treatment. There. I fucking said it. If it comes down to me having to retch one- or two- or three-thousand dollars out of a dry stone for his treatments that may only elongate his life by eight months to a year, I'll say no. Nope. Can't do it. Emotionally and fiscally, I can't do it. And I won't.

Six-and-a-half-years-old is Louie. King Louis the First, I used to call him.... I knew, going in, how "blink-y" a dog's life can be. I knew that dogs live like a candle burning from both ends. Going in, I knew that the only fault that any dog-owner could lay on his or her pet was that they leave too fucking fucking fucking soon! I knew that, but I saw a little brindled puppy. His head was huge and his paws were big and his body was small and I just fucking melted. Couldn't help myself. And, through the next six years, we were inseparable.

That's not to say that I was Opie and he was my dog nor that I was the Lassie-boy-tool. I wasn't. I'm still not, even with his maybe-not-purported death staring him in his graying face. (And mine.) What I will say is that I have never felt such...what? Togetherness. He. Is. My. Boy.

And when he hurts, I hurt. When he coughs, I feel a tightening in my chest. When he looks forlorn, I feel forlorn. For the last six-and-a-half years, as he's gone, I've gone. Or? Vice-versa. See, that is the thing about dogs. They intertwine with a willing host. And I am more than willing.

So we sit and wait. I give the Sir antibiotics twice a day and wait. Wait for the bumps to go down. Wait for the throat to slim. We--I--wait for Louie to be the Louie of old, sans bumps, ready to pull me on my Rollerblades for block after block after block. I'll not expect anything less! LOL


No. I wait, patiently, like a dog for his "master" to regain his health. Or vice-versa.

This is not a comedic situation. There is much grief and there have been many tears dribbled.

(I named my fucking website after him!)


Websites don't mean shit. The love behind them, however, mean a hell of a lot.

Time ticks and I wait.

As does Lou.

King Louis the First.

(Never to be a Second.)


Megan's healthy...I'm healthy...Naomi's healthy...Ollie is Ollie...Cutie-Pie is thirteen (bastard) and healthy enough...and Mister Bubbles is healthy.

All of that is good and fine. I expect that (except for a thirteen-year-old pussy fromping about). What I do not expect--nor tolerate--is my boy, my Luigi, getting sick when he is 6.72. Don't expect it and definitely don't accept it.

So get better, Lou-Dog. Yesterday.



Monday, August 09, 2010


Mark Twain wrote that golf is "a good walk spoiled." Though it holds many frustrations, there are a few reasons I play. The nature is nice, birds and trees and squirrels and such; the flora and fauna make for a peaceful morning or afternoon. And then, of course, the good shots keep me coming back.

I made the best shot of my life yesterday, golfing with Pablo at Sylvan Glen in Troy. On a par-four, I made a bad shot and then a couple of decent shots and found myself about 75 or 80 yards from the green. The hole location was front left and I was just off the fairway on the left side, in the short-cut of rough. I grabbed my pitching wedge out of the bag and stood, like Tiger does, behind the ball, trying to visualize the shot. "I'm channelling Tiger Woods," I said to my friend. He snickered a bit and said, "I don't know if now is the best time to be doing that. He's not playing that great right now." I said, "Okay, then I'm channelling him because of all the women he's had." "Well, that's different," he said.

I addressed the ball ["Hello, ball."] and stood over it. Easy-peasy, I told myself. Just let it swing. Let the club do the work. I swung and the hit was butter; you know that feeling you get when you hit something dead-nuts in the sweet spot. Yeah. That was it. The ball arced gracefully through the air, and bounced on the fringe of the green, bounced another time on the green and rolled--"Holy shit," said Pablo, "I think that's..."--and rolled and rolled right into the cup. I dropped my club and hooted and held my arms in the classic sign for victory. High-fives and fist-bumps ensued.

The best shot I've ever had. It feels good. It makes me want to go back. Like, now.

I also made an adjustment to my putting stance--I'm just standing closer to the ball and keeping my arms tucked in more, basic stuff--and so my putting was more accurate, too. I holed a ten-footer and had good long runs on several other putts. (Putting has been my bane ever since I took up the game.) So that's good, too.

Sure, there were tons of horrible shots, but the ones that I'll remember are the ones that got my blood pumping, the ones that boosted the adrenaline levels. They're why I'll keep coming back.