Friday, March 21, 2008

Saying goodbye

My dog Molly had an emergency on Wednesday of last week. I lost her Thursday afternoon. After a sonogram, Dr. Roger Knighton called with the bad news: She had an 8-inch diameter tumor in her heart and large tumors in her abdomen and below her lumbar. They were "leaking," as he called it, which was causing her to bleed out and filling her eyes with blood (thus her sudden blindness). The cancer was systemic and too far advanced to treat. Her breathing was becoming increasingly labored with each hour that passed. She was always stoic, which made it difficult to tell when she didn't feel well, but I am looking back and agonizing over signs I may have missed. Since then, though, I've learned that with hemangiosarcoma -- an aggressive, malignant tumor of blood vessel cells -- early detection is difficult. I'm thankful that I opted to take her home with me from the clinic Wednesday evening for what turned out to be her last night, then returning her for more tests and a sonogram the next morning. When the vet called to tell me that her breathing was becoming even more laborious, I jumped in my Jeep with Rosy, Molly's look-a-like pal and constant companion for seven years, and headed to the clinic. Once there, Molly buried her head in the crook of my elbow and I talked quietly to her. She couldn't see me, but she knew it was me. To read rest of story, go to: Saying Goodbye

Friday, March 07, 2008

First book review of Pawprints...

Here's the first review of Pawprints of Katrina (short but sweet). It's a wire story, published in the Orlando Sentinal and five other newspapers. --Cathy Spring into new pets books 3/5/2008 By STEVE DALE Tribune Media Services  Spring brings a pack of fresh stories of how dogs can improve people's lives - even when things seem pretty hopeless. Several new books also look at how we value these 4-legged friends, from heroic rescue stories of Hurricane Katrina to tales of divorcing couples who fight like cats and dogs over who gets the family pooch. Here's a roundup for your spring reading: "Pawprints of Katrina: Pets Save and Lessons Learned," by Cathy Scott, photography by Clay Myers (Wiley Publishing Inc, New York, NY, 2008; $19.99). Actress Ali MacGraw writes in the foreword: "This is an unforgettable account of the courage and boundless energy of people who realize that we human beings have an absolute obligation to help the other creatures of this planet. In seeing these images and reading the accounts in this book, we are reminded of the very best behavior of which the human heart is capable." Scott covered the hurricane for Best Friends Animal Society. She handles the description of what happened as a journalist with the sensitivity of an animal lover. These stories are so riveting that simple, straight-forward narrative works fine. Hopefully, lots of lessons were learned as a result of Katrina, and reminding us of these lessons is good. Warning: Tissue is required for this reading, though the book abounds in happy endings. To read about the rest of the books in this article, go to:

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

There goes the neighborhood...

I guess it’s time to move when the police, after detectives staked out my neighborhood yesterday in unmarked cars for four hours, took a neighbor at gunpoint into custody when he tried to return home in his truck. He apparently had spotted the unmarked cars circling the wagons as he made a turn onto the street, because he threw his pickup into reverse and tried to flee. Within seconds, he was dragged from his truck and laid flat on the pavement, surrounded by cops pointing guns at him. For five more hours, Las Vegas Metro Police personnel, wearing yellow jackets marked “CSI” on the back in bold, black letters, searched the pickup and raided the two-story home. A few weeks ago, I thought it looked a bit odd when the same neighbor had installed a camera pointing at his driveway and street. I mean, who was he hoping to nab on surveillance video in a typically quiet neighborhood? A stray cat? The cops are keeping mum about the details of what exactly went down and the purpose of the search warrant, but it has something to do with the suspect’s recent three-month incarceration in county jail for impersonating Las Vegas police and allegedly stopping street prostitutes, then, once they were in the car, robbing them. Today, he’s back in jail. If that wasn’t enough for this once-quiet neighborhood, two weeks earlier and just two blocks away, a 24-year-old woman’s murdered body was discovered. The cause of death was strangulation. Her body was found inside a car in a garage by her mother-in-law. No suspects have been arrested. It’s been an otherwise safe neighborhood for the last 14 years, aside from a distraught man seven years ago who chose to kill himself, with a single bullet, while he was housesitting in the neighborhood. Lots of subdivisions in Las Vegas used to be similarly safe neighborhoods. But as the city has grown, so too has crime, bleeding into the ‘burbs and becoming increasingly violent. Yes, it’s time to move.