Saturday, July 10, 2010

Remembering Buster

One of my favorite blog-buddies, is having a rough day. Froggy wrote this morning of the grief and loss she is enduring from the passing of The Labrador Girls.

Buster showed up in my life in 1997, he was underweight and had sore feet from walking. I had gone to lunch and when I returned the office was abuzz over this poor bedraggled dog that had appeared. One of the sales-mammals went to the store to get some food for him and there was discussion on what we were going to do with him. For me, there was no question… I stopped at the store on the way home and got doggy shampoo, a brush, a collar just for him and his own dish. He was a popular addition to the family, even though there were some idiosyncrasies we had to get used to. The girls, who were about 3 at the time decided his name would be Buster. I’m thinking that may have just been the first name they could think of shortly after watching Arthur on OPB, naming him after Buster Bunny. I’m thankful Dora had not yet gained popularity.

The Boy (3) & Buster
I took Buster to the vet to make sure he didn’t have a chip and to find out what ailments he had. He didn’t have a chip: but the vet noticed significant scaring on his face and shoulder and healed fractures; none of which had the benefit of veterinary care. I also learned that he only weighed 50 lbs, and he should have weighed around 90 lbs. We got him there, and then some.

I mentioned idiosyncrasies… once he got his vim and vigor back (he slept a lot at first) he dug holes and he RAN. He would not come when his name was called. We figured that was because he hadn’t yet learned his name. But… it never changed (a common issue with Labs). I learned the best way to get his attention was to jingle my keys and start the pickup. Buster would come running and jump in the back of the truck, many times I would stop the engine and take him in, as I wanted when I called him. But I also wanted to reinforce the behavior, so I would take him down to the river for a run. He would fetch the training buoy, telling me his former family had perhaps been hunters. I guessed that he may have been left behind by these hunters when he wouldn’t come when he was called (grin).

Buster was a tremendous member of our family for 8 years. The last couple years weren’t easy for him. He was blind and deaf, possibly due to the frequent ear infections. He had a route he would take out through the house and out to his potty-grounds. If something was moved, it was funny and sad when he would run into that object. The kids got used to being the “guide dog” for Buster. That last trip to the vet was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. Even though Jack joined our family in 2008, we still miss Buster.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Show me your papers!

The federal government announced yesterday that it is going to sue the State of Arizona over their ill-conceived immigration law. Here are a few talking points of my own…

  • Something needs to be done. It’s not President Obama’s fault… It’s not President Bush’s fault… It’s not their fault that immigration reform has become a game of pandering to the various special interests. It seems that 60% of voters are going to be pissed over whatever is being discussed. But, doing nothing for so long is getting us to where we are.
  • Pres. Obama says that people who come here and work hard to participate in our economy should be rewarded. Yes, with a simple path to citizenship. These people have been working and paying taxes, social security and greasing the economy without taking anything back should be given a chance to come in and get their papers.
  • Arizona is dead wrong in their efforts to circumvent the federal government by making their own set of immigration laws. Enacting laws to protect what isn’t theirs would be like me pressing charges for someone breaking into my neighbors’ house. Arizona says they are just protecting their communities from criminals. Great, then there should be countless local laws they could be enforcing. If the individual is in the country illegally, then turn them over to INS.
  • I’m sorry, there is no way this isn’t a racist law. They will be targeting the brown people. They will be stopping and hassling the brown people… period. That’s what this is all about… the brown people.. the people who look differently and talk differently.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The State regrets to inform you…

…that you’ll be losing everything very soon.

Most people were focused on getting out of the office for the long Fourth of July weekend when the State of California announced that all 200,000 state workers will have their wages slashed to the current minimum wage, $7.25 if the state budget isn’t passed before the July payroll goes out. Gov. Schwarzenegger says this isn’t a scare tactic, but the only thing they can do in light of a 2003 California Supreme Court judgment that says the State Comptroller has no obligation to pay salaries when there is no budget.

Oregon, like California has taken a slash & burn approach to the state budget. Recently, the Governor of Oregon ordered an “across the board” 9% cut in state services. I cannot imagine what would happen if the cuts had gone so far as to cut my monthly salary down to $1,240!

Just keep digging…

The big news story here in Oregon the Kyron Horman saga. The child disappeared on June 4th after his step-mother reportedly dropped him off to school for a science fair. The case started just like every other missing child story… the parents show up on TV begging for the return of their child. Only in this case, the step-mother never shows. The police say everyone is cooperating… but the step-mother is interviewed numerous times.  Bio-mom flies to Portland to join the media circus… daily coverage on the national morning shows and cover stories in national magazines. The authorities keep saying they believe Kyron is alive, but nobody is saying what gives them that assurance.

Over the last several days Kyron’s dad has filed divorce papers AND a restraining order against the step-mom and bio-mom has been begging her (via TV) to tell them what she knows. This morning… it’s being reported that step-mom has tried put a contract out on dad not just once, but multiple times. She allegedly offered their landscaper “a large sum of money” to kill her husband because she felt he was cheating on her.

Whenever one of these cases pops into our national consciousness, I think back to Susan Smith. That overly dramatic mom who strapped her kids into their car seats and rolled the car into a lake then went on national TV, bawling her eyes out (sans tears), telling us a mysterious black man had carjacked her babies.

I really hope that Kyron is still alive… but the crazy zigs and zags of this case have me thinking he’s strapped into the back of a car in a lake somewhere in NW Oregon or SW Washington.