Sunday, August 26, 2012

Dodo Leaves His Mark

Within a few days, Dodo left footprints on on the carpet and on some steps. One is already gone but the other is going to stick around a while.

Dodo walked on my carpet in the bedroom soon after I vacuumed. I could see his footprints when I walked into my bedroom. Surprisingly, Dodo was still in the room. Now that the babies are here, Dodo rarely goes in my bedroom because it's so far in the back and he doesn't want to get trapped by the monsters.

Dodo also walked on wet paint and left footprints on the nearby steps where the painting was. I saw those paint-prints as I was leaving soon after the paint job was done. I have to admit that I thought the pawprints were cute. I could just envision a defiant Dodo walking on the wet paint and growing irritated at the stickiness. He stayed out of the porch after that for a few days. He may have been irritated by the situation.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Handsome Fella Is Home Doing Well

Archie just hours after his eye surgery

I took Archie to the vet where he underwent surgery to treat his glaucoma.

The Trip Over

We fasted Archie starting at midnight. We also had to keep Dixie outside or else taking Archie to the car alone would have been damned near impossible. Nevertheless, Dixie glimpsed our departure when she went to the side of the yard closest to the driveway. She whined and had a doleful look on her face. When she did go back inside a few minutes after we drove off, Dixie ran around the house looking for us and cried.

Other than that, the trip over was smooth and uneventful.


Check-in went quickly. Other than signing a consent form, there was no paper work. And I didn't have to play "20 Questions" with the receptionist.

I could see that Archie was scared. He had a "narrow stance" in his hind-legs and his tail was tucked between them. He had also lowered his rump a little. Not helping matters was one of the dogs barking at Archie. Thankfully, the owner kept his dog under control and away from Archie.

Before I had a chance to sit down, a vet-tech appeared to take Archie in the back.


About 5 hours later, a vet employee called me to say Archie would be ready to go home. Our window was from 3:15 until 6 pm. I picked him up as soon as I could.

I was able to sit when I went to get Archie. A vet-tech came from the back and went over the instructions on what to do and when. She kept looking at the top of my head like she thought it was a toupee. She handed over Archie's pain pills and instructed me to settle up the bill at the receptionist's desk, after which she would bring me Archie.

Archie was happy and wagging his tail. I didn't need to prod him to go out. He went straight for the exit. I opened the door from the lobby to the ante-room, but before I could open the door from the ante-room to the parking lot, Archie pushed the door open. Goddamn if that wasn't cute.

He acted like he wanted to go to the bathroom but didn't go when I led him to some grass. After he lollygagged around, I brought him to the car and let him jump in. Overall, he seemed OK but a little sleepy.

However, on the ride back home, Archie started whining. I thought he was in pain, poor baby.

But when I let him out of the car, he trotted straight from the side of the house to his "spot"  in the front yard. I paced behind him keeping him in my vision the whole time. With Archie, I feel comfortable letting him run free in the front yard. Unlike Dixie who will run wild out front, Archie knows his boundaries and stays within them.

Archie made it to his spot and peed, a lot. Though he was in pain on the trip back, the post-surgical recovery wasn't what hurt him. It was his bladder and bowels. He really had to go.

We went in the front door instead of the side door as we usually do. My mom and Dixie greeted him. The babies started playing immediately. Archie is doing well so far.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Archie Gives Me a Golden Shower

The pee is where the dark areas are.

Yes, Archie really did pee on me.

This weekend, we had out of state guests, my cousin and her husband. The babies seemed happy to see them when they first entered the house. But a few minutes later, something tripped-off Archie. I could tell by the way he tucked his tail, lowered his back and placed his back legs close together that he was scared.

He tinkled a little, but not much. I put him outside to solve the problem. When I let him back in, he seemed to be normal. He got in my lap and loved me. However, things changed after my cousin walked in the room and Archie could hear the husband in the other room talking on the phone. These events set him off. He was scared. Again.

But this time he didn't tinkle. He had a full-fledged pee--on the couch and me. Thankfully the couch is leather so the clean-up was easy.

Archie would calm down and grow relaxed around the guests though I couldn't understand at first why he was scared of them. He has met strangers before without any incidents. What could have scared him was the smell my cousin may have carried in. She works at an animal rescue. Possibly, Archie might have associated the multiple dog-smells on her shoes with the vet. And Archie is scared of the vet. Maybe Archie thought that instead of going to the vet, the vet came to him.

 But in the mean time, I had to take a shower because Archie gave me a golden shower.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dixie Needs a Spanking

Dixie Caught Red-handed
I still have a lot of work to do with training Dixie. Look at her expression in the above photo. She doesn't even flinch when she realizes my awareness of her position. She doesn't flinch because she doesn't realize what a naughty girl she is being.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Five Year Old (Me) Wanders Alone Into a Murder Victim's Viewing at Funeral Home

Graveyard where great-grandmother is buried

At my first funeral (I was 5), a burn victim's viewing was at the same time my great-grandmother's. I wandered alone into that person's viewing. How I rationalized what I saw is what I remembered most about that day.


During Thanksgivings, our family went to the NC mountains to see my dad's family. But in '73, my mom went to Raleigh since she was going to take a real estate licensing exam that was to take place in Raleigh soon after the Thanksgiving holiday. My dad, brother and I went to the mountains without her.

I didn't remember much about the trip from the mountains to Raleigh except when we stopped in Greensboro to get some clothes. We arrived home at dark and I didn't suspect anything was wrong until we got back in the car and headed off to Raleigh. Not fully grasping there was a death involved, I was actually happy knowing I'd get to see my mom's parents.

What I didn't know was that my mom's grandmother had a massive stroke late in the night on Thanksgiving day and died. She went quick. This would be my first experience with death.

The Funeral

We went to the wake at night a couple of days later. I don't remember what my great-grandmother was wearing but I can still see her stern face. The deceased will often retain the expression on their face they frequently kept in life. 

I also remember the smells. There was the chemical smells from the embalming. On top of that was the fragrance from the flowers. Those smells clashed. 

Had I been a normal and most importantly a well-behaved kid, the story would end here. But I wasn't, so the story doesn't.

Curiosity Killed the Cat

Being restless, high-energy and curious, I went to other viewing rooms. This is where the story takes traction.

I went into an empty viewing room, empty except for me and a corpse. I felt sad for her since no one was there to keep her company. For reasons apparent below, I couldn't tell how old the woman was.

I walked towards the middle of the room and saw something I'll never forget.

Her casket was open yet there was an opaque material hanging from the open part of the lid and enveloping the top half of the casket. 

What further scared the crap out of me was the veil she had over her face. I couldn't get a good look at her face which is what the effect the funeral director had wanted with any viewers.

A Five Year Old's Rationalization

I didn't know what had happened to that poor woman, so I made up a story to explain this odd sight. I had only seen 2 or 3 other dead people before I saw her. But I knew something was different. So, I made up the story below.

I thought this woman had done something really bad in life and was an evil person. Therefore, she was going to hell. To protect us from her evil spirits, I thought the funeral home put up those barriers to protect us from her evilness.

Fast Forward About 30 Years

I didn't tell my mom this story until I was well into my 30's. Naturally, she was stunned. She even said "If I knew you had felt that way, I would have sent you to a therapist."

I'm glad I didn't know the real story. What really happened to that poor woman was sad and traumatic.

Like Mother Like Son

You see, my mom too had wandered into that woman's room though not at the same time I had. My mom told me what really happened to that woman ( I wasn't the only curious one in the family). My mom went to the funeral director and asked what happened to that poor woman.

The funeral director told my mom about the woman's sad demise. The woman's boyfriend had beat the woman severely. He may have even beaten her to death but that much wasn't known to the funeral director. To hide what he had done, the boyfriend burned the house with the woman in it. If the beating didn't kill her, then the fire did.

The effects of the beating and fire resulted in the woman's disfigurement. The embalmer could only do so much. The funeral home director used the veil and opaque sheet as props to make the viewing as tasteful as possible and to shock as few viewers as possible.

I'm glad I didn't know the real story while I was a kid. Knowing the real story would have been harder on me as a five year old than just seeing what I did. I suppose the cockamamie story I made up was a young kid's protection mechanism.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Chick-fil-A President Pierces the Corporate Veil

Yeah, and I can't believe Liberace was gay. I mean, women loved him! I didn't see that one coming. 

I realize that I'm late to the Chick-fil-A story but I finally read an article about what Chick-fil-A did to draw the ire of the gay community. Before this, I had formed an unfounded position that Chick-fil-A executives had been using their own money and not company money to support groups advocating traditional marriage. I didn't think Chick-fil-A executives would use money from Chick-fil-A itself to support traditional marriage groups, but I was wrong.

According to a L.A. Times story, Chick-fil-A has donated millions of dollars to traditional marriage groups. I was stunned that a corporate executive would donate company funds directly to groups that are an anathema to the cultural elite. I thought for sure the Chick-fil-A president would have gone through the trouble of using personal funds to support traditional marriage groups. I'm sure the man would have gotten in trouble anyways had he taken that route, but at least he could have separated the controversy from his business. Further, he could have used the "corporate veil" defense to support his position.

One reason people incorporate a business is to separate their business activities from their personal, "the corporate veil." This compartmentalization shields owners' personal life and assets from any issues from the business side. But this wall is not impervious and can be breached. And when this happens, the owners are said to have "pierced the corporate veil."

I am amazed the company president has mingled his personal views with the company's mission after all the effort it took to incorporate the company. I'm reminded of a Michael Jordan quote when someone asked him   why he didn't make any political endorsements: "Republicans buy shoes too." Well, Mr. Chick-fil-A president, gay people buy chicken sandwiches too.