I keep hoping that this is a very bad dream and that I'll wake up to find Alice beside me and healthy again.

I miss her so much. I honestly didn't know it was possible to hurt this much.

If you'd like to remember Alice with a donation, Tri-Valley Animal Rescue is where we'd like them to go.
Tri-Valley Animal Rescue
P. O. Box 11143
Pleasanton, CA 94588
(925) 803-7043


August 2001

This is one of my favorites. But then again, they all are. She was my number one, the one truly beautiful wonderful thing in my life. I am grateful for every day yet in shock that she is gone.

Alice made it through her surgery but didn't wake up. Today is the worst day of my life.

Farewell my sweet girl, you were the best and will always be number one.

FYI: Myelogram: An x-ray of the spinal cord and the bones of the spine. During a myelogram, a contrast material that is injected into the spinal canal is used to visualize the structures of the spinal cord and nerve roots.

I talked to the surgeon who is working on Alice and he went through the long scary list of things that could go wrong, including any number of ways that death could occur. I guess he had to but still.... One option is that there's a tumor on her spine but our regular vet is confident that isn't the case since it would've caused a much more rapid decline. Other options include meningitis but I'm still going with disc problems since we confirmed that she was having them a year ago and of course, she's a beagle.

He classifies her as a Class 3, meaning that she has good motor function in all four legs but is currently unable to walk. He said that most dogs with this classification recover and are able to walk again and have a pain free life. Which is all I want for her.

So... he's not going to call me if the myleogram shows the disc problem, he's just going to head into surgery. Meaning that no news is good news for at least the next 4 or so (about 3 now) hours. Please keep all your fingers crossed that my phone does NOT ring until then and that when it does (after the alloted time) it has good news.

We can't visit her tonight but I'll be there the second they say I can.

Alice collapsed this morning and is now at the surgeon's. They are doing a myleogram first and assuming they find a problem with her disc, will take her directly into surgery. I'm a mess, please keep her in your thoughts and prayers today.


I know I was talking about where the term The Big Apple came from recently with someone, so whoever you were, here's yer answer.

Alice: better today, still very much walking like a drunk but seems a bit better. I'm quite ready for this to be over and for her to be feeling better.

Me: started off my day with an upper GI series test that involved partial nudity (and NOT in a fun way) and a big thick barium milkshake. The worst part was the 'fizzies' that they gave me at the beginning, I thought I would barf from that. It's so misleading, this big plastic cup of baruim with a thick straw attached, as if it's going to be a fun beverage. Ha!

It looks like I'm fine, that was just my Dr.'s way of reminding me that she has the big fancy degree and I'm the girl sipping a baruim shake while the whole world gets a glimpse of my undies.


From my dad today:


Schottenstein Center -- Friday, February 8 at 8:00 pm or Saturday, February 9 at 8:00 pm
Scheduled to appear:* Bigfoot, Executioner, War Wagon, Nitro Fish, Boston Big Shot, Stuntman "Brilliant Bob," Snow Fire jet-powered snowmobile, Quad-ATV Racing

Slow loading but worth the wait: The Stupid Store: Pooping Reindeer Candy. Thanks Brad.

Alice is better today. She got more shots at the vet (and nearly gave the vet a heart attack when she started coughing a mere 30 minutes before I was supposed to pick her up, causing the vet to panic and think that her pneumonia had flared up again). The really good news is that the ensuing x-ray showed that her lungs are clear for the first time in over a year.

Today she's walking like a little drunk girl, but hey, she's my little drunk girl.

We also learned that the holistic doctor I chose likes to program NRG rocks to prevent disease and put them in the dog's water dish. We decided that he wasn't the guy for us.

Check it out! Little girls who play roller hockey. I know girls have a lot more opportunity to play sports when they used to but it's still pretty kick ass to see girls doing anything hockey-related.


When the CHP doesn't just mean California Highway Patrol: Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi. Thanks Mary.

Alice is no better today. She was shaking when I woke up so I dropped her off at the vet again. She didn't really want to move and even left some food in her bowl at breakfast, a first for my little chow monger. I had to carry her outside to pee and into the vet's office. They suspect that it's related to her neck injury and I'm just hoping we can get her fixed up soon.

Our drive home was hell -- from LA to San Jose in just over 11 hours. That should've been a 5-6 hour drive but thanks to the fucking hijackers and lowered gas prices, there we were, going 30+ mph the WHOLE 365 miles. I'm thrilled.

Alice was doing well until today, and now she's kind of a mess. She's not standing up very well and we're back to the vet tomorrow. I'm not ready to make choices about her quality of life but it seems like it's getting close. This is just not how I had imagined she'd leave us and certainly not so young.


And with that, we're off to Disneyland. See you Sunday!

I picked Alice up late yesterday from the vet. They had given her a cortisone shot that seems to have had a remarkable effect on her. No, she's not running, no, she's not jumping, but she is up and walking around and for the first time in almost 2 weeks, had NO desire to sleep away from the rest of our pack, on her throne at the foot of our bed, she wanted to be out with the other guys.

I am cautiously optimistic that she'll continue to heal.

And in the spririt of Thanksgiving, I want to mention how grateful I am for some very special dogs: For Alice, who has changed my life completely and remains the shining star of my life.
For Zeus, who is Andrea's sweet boy and who was the first dog in our lives to play with toys (of course, now the house is littered with the carcasses of stuffed toys)
For Rainie Roo, the world's cutest basset, our Ellie's 'grandaughter' and the most compassionate little soul you'd ever hope to meet
For Gus, who would surely be dead had he not caught my eye at the shelter. Today, Rainie is his best friend and he spends his days resting and nights wrestling with his pal.

It's a full house, it's a loud house at times and it has yet to be a clean house, but our house is most certainly a home, filled with evidence of a life made rich by the furry and human friends who bless our days. Thanks to all of you for being part of that richness, for the continued support, prayers and good thoughts as we faced a tough year with Alice.


Living Love

If you ever love an animal, there are three days in your life you will always remember...

The first is a day, blessed with happiness, when you bring home your young new friend. You may have spent weeks deciding on a breed. You may have asked numerous opinions of many vets, or done long research in finding a breeder. Or, perhaps in a fleeting moment, you may have just chosen that silly looking mutt in a shelter--simply because something in its eyes reached your heart. But when you bring that chosen pet home, and watch it explore, and claim its special place in your hall or front room--and when you feel it brush against you for the first time--it instills a feeling of pure love you will carry with you through the many years to come.

The second day will occur eight or nine or ten years later. It will be a day like any other. Routine and unexceptional. But, for a surprising instant, you will look at your long-time friend and see age where you once saw youth. You will see slow deliberate steps where you once saw energy. And you will see sleep where you once saw activity. So you will begin to adjust your friend's diet--and you may add a pill or two to her food. And you may feel a growing fear deep within yourself, which bodes of a coming emptiness. And you will feel this uneasy feeling, on and off, until the third day finally arrives.

And on this day--if your friend and God have not decided for you, then you will be faced with making a decision of your own--on behalf of your lifelong friend, and with the guidance of your own deepest Spirit. But whichever way your friend eventually leaves you--you will feel as alone as a single star in the dark night. If you are wise, you will let the tears flow as freely and as often as they must. And if you are typical, you will find that not many in your circle of family or friends will be able to understand your grief, or comfort you.

But if you are true to the love of the pet you cherished through the many joy-filled years, you may find that a soul--a bit smaller in size than your own---seems to walk with you, at times, during the lonely days to come. And at moments when you least expect anything out of the ordinary to happen, you may feel something brush against your leg--very very lightly. And looking down at the place where your dear, perhaps dearest, friend used to lay---you will remember those three significant days. The memory will most likely be painful, and leave an ache in your heart---As time passes the ache will come and go as it has a life of its own. You will both reject it and embrace it, and it may confuse you. If you reject it, it will depress you. If you embrace it, it will deepen you. Either way, it will still be an ache.

But there will be, I assure you, a fourth day when---along with the memory of your pet---and piercing through the heaviness in your heart---there will come a realization that belongs only to you. It will be as unique and strong as our relationship with each animal we have loved, and lost. This realization takes the form of a Living Love---like the heavenly scent of a rose that remains after the petals have wilted, this love will remain and grow--and be there for us to remember. It is a love we have earned. It is the legacy our pets leave us when they go. And it is a gift we may keep with us as long as we live. It is a love which is ours alone. And until we ourselves leave, perhaps to join our beloved pets--it is a love that we will always possess.

~ Written by Martin Scot Kosins ~

Miss Alice, the queen of my universe, has been feeling bad for over a week. Her neck has been causing her a lot of pain and we've been to the vet for more medication. Just when I think she's getting better, her front leg starts giving out on her, she sort of just slides out when she's sitting up. The vet says that's because the pain is so bad it's radiating out to her leg so I dropped her off at the vet this morning. They're going to give her cortisone in hopes that it will alleviate the pain.

Please keep my littlest, most special little doggie in your thoughts.


Here's something I just don't get. What's the logic in sending an email to someone (okay, me) then running over to their (okay, mine) desk to let them know. A few years ago when I was slightly less of a grown up, I would congradulate them on having sent that email. Today I smile but it still irritates me. I guess the thinking is that by dashing over to my desk, they'll get me to drop everything and attend to the matter that they've emailed me about. Which works, but is really quite rude. Isn't the whole point of email that the reader can attend to your message at their leisure?

News from my hometown: Did an OSU band member get jerky with Herky? Iowa's mascot is suing for $25,000-plus.

Hmmmm....On U.S. -Saudi Relations / With us . . . or against? Thanks Elizabeth


Rainie Roo, our little Cowpuppy
What is it about basset hounds that makes people want to dress them up? They're silly looking enough but yet adding that lovely hat or bow just makes them even sillier and more fun. Rainie's hat is a loaner and made for lots of laughs.

All long last, here are some highlights from this weekend's Roo-Dah parade, or the Rainie Roo-union

This weekend was fabulous. Rainie and I went to Pasadena to meet up with Dena and Walt, who raised her, and her basset mama Ellie. We also got to visit two of her littermates and they had a fabulous time. We marched (waddled in Rainie's case) in the Doo Dah parade, which I've renamed the Roo Dah parade in Rainie's honor.

I'm exhausted but expect to have some pics up later today for your basset (and weird parade stuff) viewing pleasure.


MSN Carpoint 2002 Model Year Preview has a pretty complete overview of what's coming your way in the automotive world next year.

Want to learn about Vermicomposting the fun way? Try The Adventures of Vermi the Worm. Thanks Elizabeth, I think ;-0


There are Big Important People at the office today and I can't help wanting to run past the conference room where the Big Important Discussion is taking place and do something really stupid. Like what, I don't know but the urge remains.

Lunch with the unwell
It's been a crazy day at work from the moment I arrived and I finally had time for lunch at 2:15. Realizing that I only have $7 in my pocket, I opt for a classy lunch at Wendy's. No sooner had I sat down and unburdened my sandwich from it's produce than a carload of the Unwell arrived.

Like so many of the Unwell that I came to know and love this summer in Oakland, they appeared not Unwell at first glance. But when the big guy got all worked up over a reciept on the floor, standing over it and shouting "IS THIS MINE?" I knew that strange things were afoot at the Wendy's. A closer look revealed that the woman is missing teeth and could use a flea dip and that both men don't quite grasp how to dress.

The younger, smaller man and the woman got their food (which I think was just a beverage) and headed to a table. They asked the big guy (Receipt Man) if he was going to sit with them but he said no, he was sorry but he (and his beverages) had to sit alone, over there, by the window. He also headed back to pick up his Receipt. Then the woman grabbed a helium balloon that was just floating there, as helium balloons often do and took it back to her table. I soon heard a squeak and that fart-like sound of air being let of a balloon, followed by Mrs. Unwell speaking from a helium altered voice and giggling.

I also had the unfortunate pleasure of watching Mrs. Unwell get her back scratched by the younger Mr. Unwell. That's one way to stick to a diet.


Last night we watched King of the Hill for the first time in a long ass time. It was way funnier than I remembered. Bobby took a women's self-defense class after being forced to eat dirt and the boxing class was full.

They taught him to shout THAT'S MY PURSE! I DON'T KNOW YOU!!! then kick the guy in the nads. He spends the whole episode shouting THAT'S MY PURSE! then kicking his classmates in the nads. We were weeping and I'm proud to announce that THAT'S MY PURSE! has become my new anthem.

That's My Purse!

Say, do you reall think that the Taliban is fleeing with nothing up their sleeves? Somehow I doubt that just because the opposition controls half of Afghanistan, that doesn't mean that the war is 1/2 over. It just means they're getting ready for the always-mysterious Phase 2.

Let us not forget that the WTC is now in ruins and almost 4000 of our countrymen are dead because of these people (or rather the Head Evildoer that they harbor). I doubt very much that they've turned tail and run, they're just getting ready to do whatever comes next.

It's a good thing I'm on "High Alert."

And speaking of my High Alertness, this morning there was a couple sleeping in car directly in front of my house when I came out to go to work. Since I'm supposed to be on the lookout for suspicious activities, I did my civic duty and called the po-lice to check it out.

Everything you always wanted to know about tampons but were afraid to ask, including Can a virgin wear tampons? and information about Always´┐Ż Wipes, something that the general public doesn't need to know about. I admit it, I'm weeping.


Do you speak Engrish? Thanks Brad, who seems to find gems in the late afternoon.

Looking for 10 more reasons to spay and neuter your pets? Penelope & Her Pups will make you cry but is an excellent reminder of how harmful careless breeding can be.

It looks like Rainie and I are headed to Pasadena this weekend for the Doo Dah Parade HOWLelujah Chorus. Rainie's basset mama Ellie will be there along with our dear friends Dena and Walt, parents of Ellie basset. They're also the wonderful people who raised our Roo, this will be the first time they've all seen each other since May 7, Rainie's gotcha day.

In other news, I just had my first and last bite of my first/last Balance Bar. How do people stand that shit? It tastes like mocha flavored paste -- with chips.

Doing What's Right
3 years ago, we moved into a new place and found a cat in the parking lot, limping severely and malnourished. He had no collar so we assumed he was stray and took him to a vet, then placed him with our friend brig.

A week later, we saw posters looking for the cat, who was named Tigger and had always limped severely. He had been an indoor cat until the wife got pregnant. Worried about toxoplasmosis, they threw him outside full time, which is why it took them a week to notice he was missing.

We did "the right thing" and got Tigger's people in touch with brig. The cat came back from living indoors and returned to his outdoor life.

I've always regretted that decision. Even though Tigger 'belonged' to those people, that doesn't mean they're allowed to neglect him as they were doing.

Fast-forward to our most recent foster, Gus. We saw him at the shelter almost 2 months ago, laying down on a blanket and shaking like a leaf. He's big, he's old, they thought he was very sick and he would most certainly have been put to sleep, so when his legally-required 5 day (because he was found without any collar or ID) stray hold was up, we took him in.

Covered in fleas, 15-20 lbs underweight, with a mouthful of worn down teeth thanks to a lifetime being covered in fleas, Gus came, shaking and scared yet warily trusting us, to our home. He was not housebroken and it took lots of effort to rid him of the fleas. He's fallen in love with Rainie and loves to play with toys and sleep on the couch (until recently, we didn't have a doggie bed big enough for him since our whole lives were beagle/basset sized). We'd decided that for him to get placed, it would have to be in a better situation than we could offer, otherwise he stays.

Well, on a whim this weekend, we looked in the lost and found book for his owner and there was a match, a very elderly woman who didn't know how old he is or how much he weighed (she listed 100 pounds, he was 79 when we got him). We called her and she was so deaf I had to shout, even then she didn't understand what I was saying. I got some kid on the phone who "took care of him sometimes". The kid tells me that Gus lives in their yard and would return to the backyard, even though winter and the rains are setting in. I had to ask if they wanted him back, the kid said he didn't know.

If someone had Alice, Zeus or Rainie for all this time then called me, I'd be over at their house to get her, reward check in hand before I'd hung up the phone.

This time, I'm doing the right thing for the animal. I hung up on those people after making it clear that we wanted to keep him. They're welcome to take me to court but there is no way, in good conscience I will return a sweet old dog to a life of neglect, to die outside, covered in fleas and grossly underweight, because it was the "right thing." Because it's not. I can only hope that deep in her heart, that old woman knows it too.

When we came home after all this drama, Gus was on the couch, looking out the window at us, saying "I'm home."

Yes, buddy you are, even if we have to fight for you, you're home.

Not just humans are affected by the stop-loss restriction in the military these days, a very hard working 11 year old beagle is also forced to stay on the job! Beagle's retirement on hold.


For all you trading card fans, Trading Cards: American Crusade 2001 are even better than Operation Enduring Freedom cards. I will most certianly not trade you a Red Cross warehouse for a bin Laden/Bert card! Thanks TedM


I'm absolutely lame these days. Very stressed, very tired, and ready for some rest. Good thing our big trip to Disneyland is coming up.

If you've been searching high and low for photos of dog noses, look not further: Dognose Heaven has arrived. Thanks Yvonne, purveyor of putter nases.


Just what the world needs: Enduring Freedom trading cards. I can just see little kids on the street saying "Hey Jimmy! Do you have a burned out wreckage card?"

I'm conflict-averse. I don't like to fight with people (especially folks I don't know really well, at least with Andrea I'm pretty sure that one fight isn't a deal breaker at this point) so generally I just shut the hell up if I've got a problem with them. But last night, at our team's hockey practice, the guy who had been subbing in for Gang Green that day they were such assholes, showed up at our practice. Who invited him or his Y-guy pals (who, unlike this guy are nice, even if the guy who says things like "that was before I could skate good" stands there, ankles bowed in and falling with almost every possesion of the puck, which I guess is an improvement), I don't know, but I cringed the moment he arrived.

I did my best to avoid him and succeeded until we did a scrimage, when he was on my team. I still avoided him, even sitting next to him on the bench but looking the other way as he spouted his inifnite Hockey Wisdom to other members of my team, and commenting to the guy on my other side how much I didn't like that guy. However, at one point I sat with the defense to chit chat with "The Animal" from my team, that's when it happened. Asshole man (who is of course loud, assholes must be, it's a rule) sits on my other side and says "AS SOON AS THAT PUCK IS DROPPED YOU MUST SPRINT TO THE POINT." Which I do after every face off. Naturally, my idea of a sprint isn't quite as fast as say, Marion Jones' idea of a sprint but I get there just the same and guard the point feverously (see June 5 and my left leg), as my left wing position dictates that I do.

So I ignored him and continued talking to "The Animal" when Asshole Man stepped in again to say "AS SOON AS THAT PUCK IS DROPPED YOU MUST SPRINT TO THE POINT." This time I was ready with my clever retort: I DO!.

Hey clown, fuck you clown.

Maybe next time I'll be ready with something like "perhaps you should spend more time analyzing your own game."

Yesterday was way too long. First work, then rehearsal from 7-10 for tomorrow night's concert, then hockey practice from 11:15-12:30 a.m. I arrived home extremely grumpy and tired. Today I'm a little less grumpy, but not much. That's the price I pay for a busy life.

All you basset hound lovers out there:
If you haven't ordered your Daly Drool 365 Day calendar featuring a new basset hound (or hounds) every day time is running out. It sure lifts my (the guy who sent the email, I don't have one of these yet) day to flip that calendar every morning and see another cut houndie. Information on ordering available at www.dailydrool.com.

Rainie's Mama Ellie with her human mom, Dena at the Howl-o-ween in Arizona last week.


It's true, we realized this weekend that a minivan solves all of our transportation woes (ferrying a flock of dogs, a flock of people, large objects for home remodeling, stuff, etc) but that doesn't mean that we're going to run out and buy a Windstar tomorrow or even within the next year if we can help it. That also doesn't mean that you should try and talk us into an SUV or any car of your choice, it means that we've realized that a minivan (not an SUV or the car of your choice) would solve our issues. We so want an SUV or a Passat Wagon to be the answer, but unfortunately, the Magic 8 Ball and our sources say no, that a Windstar is in the future for us.

The funny thing is, I think we'd go to an SUV or a wagon when and if we have kids. Don't ask.

For all you sausage lovers: Block and Bridle celebrates 25 years of sausage. Woo hoo! Bring out them links and celebrate!

I guess I just don't have much to say lately.


Yesterday's Beaglefest (aka Alicepolooza) was a great success, here are some of the wonderful photos that Randy and Lee took. I was touched when they made a big show of Alice's birthday, we've been through so much with her this year that it was a really tremendous thing to be there with her and have her feeling great at last (she started on a new pain medication this week and has been RUNNING for the first time in what must have been a year!!). It was a great day, one I'll always treasure.


I'm still waiting to see what the terrorists (aka "evildoers") have left up their sleeves for us. While I refuse to live in fear (what's the point? your life will still come to an end one day) I'm still waiting to see CNN.com be taken over by pictures of the newest horror to befall us and hoping that day never comes.

Any of you folks in Arizona looking for a good deed that needs to be done, here it is: Arizona Basset Hound Rescue (the good folks who brought Rainie Roo into the world) is desperate for foster homes for 3 young bassets and a really sweet 4-5 year old beagle. If you or anyone you know might be interested, please ask them to drop Dena and tell her Liz sent you. Fostering can be extremely rewarding and for dogs of this young age, would most likely not be a long-term commitment, just long enough to save these dogs from death.


Brad went to the WTC and took some photos. For me, the most haunting one is of the cars covered in soot, they look like they've been there the whole time and I can't help but wonder if they belong to the victims.

A while back, Megnut talked about what to call this horrific event, at the time she suggested IT, but more and more I hear reporters saying "September11" as one word, a noun that has ceased being a date and become the indicator of something evil and horrendous.