Wednesday, November 9, 2011

So Is Winning the Lottery Worth It?

Last Tuesday, Nov. 1, a lifetime friend of mine called me. I wasn’t home at the time, so she left voicemail. “Sis” lives about a mile from me, here in Florida. When I returned home, I called her back.

“Did you read today’s paper?” she asked.

“Nope, I just got home from my bike ride and I just picked it up,” I replied, asking her if she was referring to the Englewood Sun or the Herald Tribune. She said that she was referring to the Sun. I told her that I don’t get that paper.

“Have you checked the lottery numbers?” she asked.

“Yep, I check them online every morning,” was my reply.

“Someone from Englewood won the Mega Money drawing,” she said, “And I know that person.”

“Oh, really?”

“Yes, it’s me,” she said, hardly able to contain herself.

You could have knocked me over with a feather! Sis, a widow who survives on Social Security, spent $8.00 for four plays, two drawings for Tuesday and Friday (Nov. 4). The particular drawing consists of choosing four numbers from 1-44 and a Megaball number from 1-22. The jackpot begins with a $500,000.00 prize and advances if there is no winner, the jackpot can climb to $2,000,000.00.

She didn’t choose the numbers, opting for “quick picks” instead.

Lady Luck sure was with her. Sis got all four numbers and the Megaball number. The jackpot was $1,400,000.00, and she nabbed it all, being the only winner!

Her daughter drove to Englewood from upstate Florida the next morning to take Sis and her “boyfriend” to Tallahassee to collect the loot.

“I hope I never win again,” was the first thing Sis told me when she returned to Englewood on Friday. They had arrived after the lottery office closed on Wednesday and they had to stay overnight in Tallahassee. The next morning they were at the office bright and early, at 9 a.m., when the office reopened.

She told me that they were there until nearly 5 p.m.! The lottery officials did a complete background/criminal check on her. They checked to see if she was behind or in default of any child support payments. Yeah! An 84-year-old widow defaulting on child support! As if!

She was warned that people will be coming to her door with hard-luck stories, asking for money. I have NO idea why her address should be made public. One would think that a winner would not have their address revealed, especially if it’s known that beggars would become an issue.

She was told that people will try to scam her. As if lottery winners don’t already know that. She was told that she would need to open a sufficient number of accounts to be certain that FDIC would cover all of them. I had already recommended to her that she open accounts a) in her name, b) in her name and the names of each of her three children, not as co-owners, but payable upon her death. She was aware of that when she went to the lottery office.

She was told that she should to hire an attorney (I think everyone is aware of this). Her cut of Federal taxes was immediately taken out of the proceeds.

She was told that the proceeds would be wired to her main bank on Nov. 8.

Sis said the day at the lottery office was “exhausting” and that she hoped that she’d never have to go through anything like that again.

“So what are you doing for yourself,” I asked her, “to celebrate your good fortune?”

“Well, I’m going to go through my closet on Monday and toss out some older clothing and get some new things.”

Isn’t it amazing? We all dream about what we’d do with a million dollars, and this simple woman chose clothing to be first on her list.

Sis told me that she’s also treating her boyfriend and herself to a first-class cruise to Hawaii.

Joe has taken her on numerous cruises, jaunts to casinos in Florida and Mississippi in the past several years.

She also told Joe that he was taking both of them out for breakfast the next day, “and I’ll take care of the tip,” she added!

So, knowing what a winner plans to do with her winnings, what would you do if you were lucky enough to win more than a million dollars?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

So What's Not to Be Happy About?

You may have read my posts about Doris, my friend over the course of a lifetime that I posted in this area earlier in the year:

Doris called me just a few minutes ago as I was doing my work for AOL. She had an appointment with her radiologist last week and she was thrilled with the news, as I was.

"Doris," he told her, "I don't want to see you again for a year."

Long story short: Miracles do happen! Doris is living proof of it. She never gave up hope that, even though the diagnosis was stage-4 lung cancer, she'd overcome it. She never displayed any signs of feeling sorry for herself; she just continued to remain optimistic even though she was sickened by the chemotherapy; even though she lost her hair to the radiation treatments.

She is now approaching age 79, a great-grandmother and, as the image below from last month indicates, she looks radiant … every bit as radiant in the images shown in my first two articles about her, both taken in 2008. The image below shows Doris and her brand-new great-grandson, "Wagner," Doris looking more "fiftyish" than "eightyish," and with a beautiful head of hair.

I think this is an important message to all who are suffering from cancer or any other debilitating disease: NEVER give up hope. Please be sure to share this page with any friends or acquaintances in need ... of hope or faith or both.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

So Is Life a Bitch, or Is It Just Me?

I spent my day today behind the keyboard. From about 7:30 a.m. until nearly 5 p.m. I was stuck there with computer issues that I hope are resolved and working. It was a pretty heavy workday today, but I got everything done.

Then I went to my favorite gas station for the daily paper and a single can of Natural Light.

I live in Florida, and as anyone who's been here knows, it's pretty hot and humid in the summer months … but it's never too hot or humid for me. Summer is my favorite time of the year. I live to sweat. I firmly believe those Floridians who say that that they love autumn love it because they can show off their fall clothing. Me? I dress the same way all year long: Shorts or cargo shorts, sandals and a jersey shirt (those without sleeves).

Well, I got in my car in the garage, started it and headed to "Pookey's," the gas station. On my way I passed a time/temperature sign that read 76°. I didn't think much of it until I got out of my car at the station. Good grief! I thought I'd freeze my gonads off! My kind of weather is temps in the 90s and humidity about the same.

Then I got to thinking how long it'll be until next summer … or at least April or May when it'll start getting hot again. Oh so long!

Thinking further, it occurred to me that it's really quite possible that I've enjoyed my last summer. That really depressed me. If all that I have to look forward to before I die is "cold" weather, that's really nothing to look forward to. (Is it?)

I wouldn't "miss" next summer … a dead person can't miss something, but the possibility that I've already enjoyed the last summer ever got me to thinking further. Live each day and wring the most you can out of it. It'll never happen again. Don't regret things you may have done today that you wish you hadn't. It doesn't matter … that's history. Live for the next day and hope that it (and you) comes along and that it will be better.

I guess that's about all any of us can hope for. Life gives no guarantees. If we're lucky enough, we get a second chance to sort out things we screwed up. If we're lucky enough, there will be another summer to enjoy.

Perhaps it's time to forget all the ill-will we bear from others; ill-will that we have toward them. Petty crap that doesn't mean a hill of beans in the grand scheme of things, isn't it?

I guess if I apply myself (and live through it), winter, especially in Florida, won't be all that bad. It's just not my preference. I should be grateful that I'm living rather than complaining about what life deals me and what I'm entitled to. And, I kinda think that there are a lot more people like me … people who take the good things for granted and moan about what could be; what we'd like life to be.

I didn't go into the pool today. When I checked its thermometers they read 79°, both of them … but the air was too cool to suit my taste.

I'll probably go in tomorrow, if I live, and if it's earlier in the day when the sun is shining over it.

But I'll try to take each day as it comes and hope that there will be another summer for me. Maybe I'll learn by then to treat life as kindly as it's treated me so far and stop complaining, if only in my mind.

So is it me, or is it life that's a bitch. I think that I'd have to say, at least in this case, it's me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

So I'm Thinking About Lady ... as Usual

Today marks a year since my Foxy Lady died. I tried to keep busy working at my AOL job from 8 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., the time period in which I called Sunnybrook Animal Hospital here in Englewood and told them "I think it's time" and the time Lady actually left me for good.

No matter how much I kept myself busy, my mind kept wandering back to that time period and what transpired. This is all detailed in my book, Chapter 13. I was told that they had a procedure scheduled for 9:45, but that they could make arrangements to prepare for Lady at 8:45. I had no choice. The time had come. She was somewhat active and playful the night before ... that morning she was a mere shell of the Lady she had been only hours earlier.

Lady entered my life early in 2000, a little puffy ball of straggly hair, mostly white with a white, brown and black head that would eventually change to mostly white with a touch of beige here and there.

 Our first meeting, January 1999

Lady's first day in Pennsylvania, visiting my Mother's grave.

February 29, 2000. She'd already learned to sit, stay, heel ... the basics

I learned early on that dogs need their "space" too. One of puppy Lady's favorite resting spaces was under a small table that I had in the living room in Pennsylvania.

As a pup as well as an adult, Lady was always into everything. She loved to get sprayed with water, but she wasn't too fond of the Gulf of Mexico. Maybe she felt intimidated by the huge number of dogs on the "puppy beach" in Venice.
Summers in Pennsylvania were a joy for Lady, especially if I put a sprinkler outside and let her on her own. I had an  underground electric fence installed for her so that she could play all over the lawn and not risk running out into traffic. She picked up her boundaries remarkably quickly. Unfortunately another trick that she picked up quickly was learning that dirt, once wet, turned to mud. Yes, she did go through a "mud bath" phase.

It seems that all dogs have their own personality. One thing that really stands out about Lady is that if I were washing a floor on my hands and knees, she'd hop on my back, staying there until I made an attempt to get up, forcing her to relinquish her "command post."

She also had a habit of "pawing" in a begging manner, front paws flaying here and there in an attempt to coerce a treat out of me. She always succeeded.

Here in Florida, my laundry room leads to the garage. In the garage's side wall (the side that's part of the house, not the outside wall) I have a "half door." It's meant to make unpacking groceries easier. I can open that door from the garage and put my bags of groceries directly into the pantry. Lady never quite understood that door's purpose and every time I used it she'd sit on the kitchen side of the pantry, barking like the home was under attack. I stopped using that door.

Every time Lady would hear my car pull into the garage she'd station herself in the laundry room, tail wagging, to greet me. And that incessant wagging of the tail would only subside after I hugged and kissed her. Then she changed it to her "regular" style of wag. She'd follow me into the kitchen, my bedroom, office or outside to the pool to investigate what new adventure was awaiting her. Except for the day she was spayed, we spent every day of our nearly 10 years together ... together ... a duo. We all have memories like this, don't we?

Lady loved going for rides in the car. I'd "prep" her for a ride by saying, "Lady, wanna go for a ride in the car?" She'd go absolutely nuts. Eventually a simple "Lady, wanna..." did the trick.

Much of my home is tiled with a really smooth granite-looking tile. If we were in my bedroom or bathroom, she'd race out of the room ahead of me, through the great room until she reached the laundry room. It took her some time to learn how to stop on the tile. Before she learned that trick she'd find herself sliding on her butt, way past her goal: the laundry room, leading to the garage. When she "overshot" her mark, it was precious to see the look on her face, as if saying, "WTF?"

Once in the car she'd station herself, front feet firmly planted on the console and back feet on the back seat. That was her vantage point, giving her the ability to see oncoming traffic and ready herself to bark at every motorcycle we might encounter. She loved to hate them! She was always ready for a ride! She was always ready to bark!
Who's driving today? You or me? 

When Lady was tired, or not in the mood for barking, she's plant herself on my left thigh, head out the window. I found it amazing that she learned this one so quickly: There was a time some years ago (in Pennsylvania), that she spotted a cycle approaching us. Instinctively she barked at it, causing a loud ringing in my left ear.

"No barking from the front seat," I told her. "Hopsy backsy," I added, gently ushering her to the back seat (front feet on console). (Yes, I confess to "baby talking" to Lady.) Of course, by the time she got back there, the object of her "barkology" was long gone. But the surprising thing is that she remembered that she was not permitted to bark when on my thigh. I don't think that I needed to correct her more than one or two times after that initial faux pas. She was indeed my "wonder" dog.

I could go on and on. Today is a day that I'm recalling many things … things that I've never forgotten; things that I'll never forget; things that have come to mind in my thinking back on our life together.

Mostly I'm recalling how very much I miss my bundle of pure, unconditional love.

 Merry Christmas everyone!

What's that delicious smell coming from the kitchen? Chicken? REALLY? For ME? Sweet, dude!

Lady stands guard outside: Cats, stay off my turf!

All fox terriers love to relax on the back of a sofa. The ball? I'll get to it later. Now stop pointing that camera at me. I need a break.

Lady loved relaxing on her/our bed, too ... especially with a brand-new chew stick to devour!

Memories are precious and are a constant reminder of a good life, but one that was taken all too soon. I could post (literally) thousands of images that are stored on my computer ... but that won't bring Lady back to me.

Lady, I'm remembering you fondly and I'd like to think that you're happily romping with other furry creatures somewhere over the Rainbow Bridge. That hope helps keep me going.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

So What's With 'Don't Shop ... Adopt'?

I have been trying in earnest to fill a void that was left in my life last October 12, when I lost my beloved Foxy Lady III.

I have visited pet adoption, rescue sites and the like from Ohio to Texas, to right in my own backyard, without success. I'm specifically looking for a female pup, wire haired fox terrier. I know the breed well. I've shared my home with that breed since 1979.

The restrictions are many. Here is a sampling:

We require a fenced yard, prior miniature schnauzer, wire fox terrier, Lakeland terrier, Irish terrier experience, current pets must be spayed/neutered and licensed, excellent vet and grooming references and agree to training and vet care stipulations in the adoption contract. We prefer to place schnauzers and terriers in homes with children over 8 years of age. We are a Florida based organization and prefer to place our rescues within the state of Florida to owners that meet our requirements and whose primary residence is in the state of Florida. We will need to arrange a home study for each residence if you own more than one residence. We do not allow our rescues to be placed in a home where an owner leaves their dog(s) or cat(s) outside while at work, overnight or for any period of time not supervised by the owner. We do not allow our rescues to live outside. We do NOT allow dog houses, dog condos or other such structures (e.g., igloos) to be used outside or in a garage to house a pet either during the day or at night. We evaluate schnauzers or terriers with young children prior to placement. We will make an exception IF a schnauzer or terrier is well socialized and the adopter demonstrates the ability to effectively manage a schnauzer or terrier with children less than 8 years. TERRIERS: We require a fenced yard and NO children less than 8 years of age! Be careful when adopting a wire fox terrier bred by a backyard breeder or a puppy mill. A short tail, poor ear set, poor quality coat are tell tale signs of poor breeding. A puppy mill wire is not socialized as a puppy. This is very important in the development of a well adjusted wire fox terrier, Lakeland terrier, Irish terrier or Welsh terrier. Some poorly bred wires or wires used as breeders at a puppy mill develop rage syndrome when not correctly socialized as a puppy.

As of 9/29/11, we are no longer providing individual listings for our rescue wire fox terriers. Approved applicants who have submitted an application will receive a list of available wires. We took this action due to the problems caused by an over zealous, misguided rescue volunteer for another rescue group who continues to interfere with our rescue efforts. Their actions have caused harm to several wires and put the dogs in extreme danger. We will not list the wires by name until pending civil litigation is resolved. All vet and grooming expenses are paid by the adopter at time of adoption. We do not charge an adoption fee. A FENCED YARD IS REQUIRED - NO EXCEPTIONS! NO TELEPHONE CALLS! Please request an application from Please include your telephone number and address. Please read our requirements at We require a fenced yard and NO children less than 8 years of age...

I have a large corner lot. Even the least expensive fence (which would probably look hideous) would cost from $5,000-$7,000 to have installed. I can not afford such an expensive item and I do not WANT one. I have never let my dogs outside "on their own." They have always been leashed and cared for. Southwest Florida is rife with dangerous creatures ranging from alligators (which have been spotted in my yard) to bobcats to snakes, poisonous and non-poisonous, to fire-ants. I would never chance endangering my pet by allowing her outside alone. My lanai is large enough for "romp room," and my Foxy Lady enjoyed herself every day playing on it, racing around the lanai to bark at motorcycles that she learned to love to hate since moving to Florida.

A rescue source in Bradenton, FL., tried to convince me that the dog shown below is a wire haired fox terrier. Nothing in the image points to a wire haired fox terrier, from the ears to the colors to the lack of a wiry coat.

Note the difference between my Foxy Lady III at five months (first below) and at eight months. There is no similarity in color or hair texture (wire vs. smooth). Most wire fox terriers have at least a splotch of white. "Jilly" is basically brown and black with a smooth  hair texture. Jilly has the coloring of a Yorkie.

It appears that the harder I try "Don't Shop … Adopt," the more roadblocks are placed in my way.

There is an online site, Pet Pardons, that advertises many times a day on Facebook, updates such as:

Little George needs a home or he DIES sometime in the near future!!! And he needs more advocates!
He is in IRVING, TX… will you Adopt him? If not please click on his pic & hit the ADVOCATE button, thanks!!

Yet, when you click on the pic for more information, they require that you allow them to access your personal information AND post as you. See below.

That is a real turnoff. I don't want ANYONE posting messages in my name. I can get into enough trouble on my own, thank you.

I wouldn't give someone my ATM card and PIN and simply say to them, "Have fun!" Would you? It's not the same, of course, but both carry risks.

The "requirements" for "Don't Shop … Adopt," have literally turned me off in the adoption market. The adoption outlets can investigate me as much as they want to. All they'll find is that twice I spent in excess of $5,000 in five months in efforts to save my Lady II and Lady III. I'd happily let the vets who cared for those two loves of my life open their records and make them available to any adoption agency that wants the information.

But the requirements are killing me. I can understand the need/desire to be sure that adopted animals will be cared for and loved, but when will they realize that if they treated would-be adopters with a bit of respect and trust, more people might be willing to adopt.

To "lock me out" from getting further information on Pet Pardon's dogs in need will probably result in the same action by others who are seeking to adopt. Either give in to their "demands" or, as I did, close the page and move on. I wonder how many more have done the same.

I really would love to learn how others feel about the strict policies that are put in place by pet adoption centers, turning adopters away just as some pet owners abandon their pets. It appears to be one vicious circle.

So, animal rights advocates, let me know what you think. Do you think the "rules and regulations" are "too tight" or "just right"? 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

So Is This the End of the Line?

Yesterday after a nice afternoon shower, I glanced out my front window and noticed a wire lying across my front driveway and lawn.

Assuming it to be an electrical line, I called Florida Power & Light Company. I told them that I had no way of knowing if it was a power line, cable line or phone line. They were out in minutes and told me it was a phone line.

I called Comcast since they supply my phone service. The disinterest couldn't be greater. I was told that they could send someone out to check it on Monday. Yesterday was Friday.

I told the gal that I needed to mow my lawn (today) and I was not about to touch a downed line to move it from one place to another to mow. She couldn't care less. I hung up.

This morning I decided to call Verizon, arguably the most popular telephone company. I got another runaround. "We can't send a repair person to check unless it's a Verizon line that is down," the gal told me. Then she asked what color the line was. "Black," I replied, adding "I didn't know they came in colors."

She chuckled. "Do you know for certain that it's a Verizon line?" she asked.

"No, how does one go about identifying a Verizon line from any other line?" I asked.

"I have no idea," was her reply.

"Then why did you ask?" I questioned. If you don't know how to identify a Verizon line and you work for the company. You expect me, a person who doesn't work for Verizon, to identify it?"

No reply.

I told her of the major disinterest I encountered in my issue. Anyone who enters my front driveway is sure to pull the line down from the poles with their car. Again, "I'm sorry, but without knowing that it's a Verizon line, I'm not authorized to send a repairman to your home." That was her reply.

My final reply before hanging up (rather rudely): "Tell you what, when I go out to mow the lawn and shred the line to pieces with my tractor mower, I guess someone will complain that they have no phone service, and that'll get a repair person out here, won't it?"

"Yes, I suppose that will," she said.

"Thanks for nothing," I replied and kinda slammed down my phone.

Here in Florida we have numerous suppliers of phone service: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc., to name a few. I have no idea how many companies supply landlines and would have overhead lines. I simply don't have the time to spend on the phone (20 minutes with Verizon, 15 with Comcast, 15 with Florida Power & Light) to find out whose line is TRESPASSING on my property.

End of story, sorry. I have a lawn to mow and a phone line to shred.

Friday, September 9, 2011

So Ain't That Tacky?

It was a beautiful day in Southwest Florida, sunny and bright, but very humid.

I started my bike ride as I normally do, parking my car, getting two 20-ounce bottles of water attached to my bike, one in a water holder, one attached to a crossbar with a bungee cord. Camera (not my cell phone camera) hanging from my handlebar, I started. I hoped to get some better shots of my newfound friend, the alligator, that I spotted yesterday.

I was met with headwinds from the South, but they were worse from the West. So, since my routes require both directions, I took the longer courses South and the shorter courses to the West, thinking at the time how easy it would be returning North and East.

I felt rather secure since I just got a new tire and tube for the front wheel last week, and the tube has a device to inhibit flats ($9.95).

Mile one was nothing remarkable. Mile two, I anticipated where I would be when the odometer hit mile two. Between miles two and three I stopped when I heard "Emmy," a huge German shepherd, barking as she emerged from the garage of her home.

I stopped, put my kickstand down and proceeded  give Emmy her expected pat on the back, butt and head as she sloppily kissed me on the face. She's one of the few friendly dogs that I meet from time to time in the course of my rides. After a few pats for good measure, I pointed to her lawn and told her to "go home now." She complied, stopping for a moment to squat and pee on her way back to the garage.

I finished miles four and five without incident.

As I was about halfway into mile six, in a cul-de-sac that I often ride around, trying to accumulate mileage and avoid headwinds, I suddenly heard a hiss. Looking first to my left, then my right, fully anticipating seeing a snake somewhere in that circle and seeing none, I stopped.

The hissing continued. I looked down at my front tire and saw a rather good-sized "tack" (for lack of a better word) on the outside of my front tire.

Instinctively I pulled it out and the hissing became more pronounced. I quickly shoved it back in to avoid more air loss as I tried to evaluate how far I was from my car. I thought it might be about two miles. 

I took the fastest possible route back in the direction of my car, thankfully having to head only North and East, without headwinds. It was roughly 1.65 miles back to the car, and by the time I got there, I was pushing the bike under a now-baking sun with no sign of the breezes that I encountered while on the bike.

So, between riding and walking, I had to settle for just short of eight miles today.

I know how to ride a bike, stop a bike, park a bike, but I haven't a clue how to change a tube on a bike. So, tomorrow will begin with a trip to the local bike store for a new tube (unless they can patch it). Then I anticipate a long bike ride as I attempt to make up for today's "lost" miles as well as my goal mileage for tomorrow.

Isn't life marvelous? Imagine what it would be without all its diversions. Like maybe heaven!

So Where Were You on 9/11?

On September 11, 2001, I was at a convenience store buying Pennsylvania lottery tickets. The store was located on Mickley Road in Whitehall, PA., just about a five-minute drive from my home at the time.

As I recall, I had just finished paying for my tickets and when I glanced up I spotted a TV showing a plane crashing into a skyscraper.

I said to the clerk, "What are you watching? That looks good!" thinking that I'd tune it in when I came back home. He told me what was happening.

What I'd seen was the first plane that crashed into the North Tower at the World Trade Center. I felt what could be best described as my heart dropping into some vast pit in my stomach. For a few minutes I stood there, not moving, actually unable to move.

At one point it occurred to me what I had said to the clerk, and I felt a sharp twinge of conscience, realizing that hundreds of people had died in a single instant the moment the first plane hit. They hadn't had a second to react.

Customers began to build up in the store, all watching in shock, and as much as I felt I should stay to see what would take place, I forced myself to leave, shaking and talking to myself on the way home. My Foxy Lady was with me. I know that she was aware that something had upset me as she tried to kiss me all the way home, and, I think for the only time in the 10 years we shared together, I gently brushed her away.

I was still working full time for AOL, and honestly, I don't recall working or doing anything but watching TV that day, though I must have. I do know that nothing could tear me away from the TV for the rest of that day, well into the night.

It wasn't fascination … it was disbelief in the fact that this could happen in America. I'd seen dozens of war films over the years, yet nothing compared to what I'd see on TV: people falling and jumping out of the towers to their deaths, looks of disbelief on the faces of ash-laden people running from the site, fire, smoke swirling everywhere. This was real, not a movie, and like it or not, I was a part of a piece of history. I relive that day every time I hear the term "9/11," or see TV clips from that day I find it difficult to watch. Yet I realize that I must … and that I must never forget what happened that day; how many lives were lost and how many more were changed forever.

This video is extremely graphic, but I watched it as a reminder of what once was: two towers reaching skyward; thousands of lives snuffed out, many without a chance to say, "Lord, forgive me for the life I lived, and please welcome me into your kingdom," or "Honey, daddy loves you. Please don't ever forget daddy," and thousands more goodbyes that were never uttered. There simply was no time.

To those who died in New York, D.C. and Shanksville, PA., that day: thank you. You are my heroes. To the survivors of those who are no longer with us, although we haven't met, you have my greatest respect and admiration, and my condolences as the anniversary of 9/11 nears.

We can only hope that something similar will not take place this weekend.

Please feel free to share a memory or two of that fateful day as a reply. This blog might still be around 100 years from today. Let those who come after us know what we felt. Let them know that we cared. We all have a story, don't we?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

So What's a Birthday All About, Alfie?

I had occasion to read of a person's disappointment in lack of guests for an apparent recent birthday … people who said they would stop by to celebrate, but obviously did not.

The person indicated that it hurt.

Got me to thinking … again … about the importance or lack thereof for celebrating birthdays.

When I was born, I had nothing … NOTHING to do with it. I don't know if I was planned or if I was the result of a casual, but not too carefully thought out romp in the hay. I was merely the outcome of a plan or the result of a romp that had no particular motive in mind except that it was probably something that the participants thought of as a good idea at the time.

Sure, I was there on my birthday. That's probably why it's called my birthday. Yet I was not responsible for me being there.

I'd like to think that I was a welcomed guest at my "coming out" party, and, if I was planned, it's quite likely that I was welcomed. If I was unplanned, however, it kind of boils down to the inevitable consequence of casual sex. I was just "there," neither planned and possibly not welcome, but grudgingly accepted (and becoming "used to" in time).

So when my birthday comes along, should I be expected to celebrate a deed that I was not involved in or should I throw a party for those who are directly responsible for me being: my parents?

Cynical? I don't think I am. I just see no useful purpose in getting bent out of shape because people aren't slapping me on the back and "attaboying" me for something I had no part of. I had nothing to do with it.

Sure, it must be nice to get congratulatory cards or emails with well-wishes or presents, but in the strict sense, it's my parents who should get those. They are the two who were responsible for me.

If I made it to the "big 5 oh" that's great. But it's no guarantee that I'll make it to the bigger "6 oh" … if I take care of myself, I might. That might be a reason to celebrate the day that I was born on. I took the first steps to live a reasonably good life to get me to 60. Right?

Before you decide to regard me as a curmudgeon, think about it. What part did  I play in being born? What part did you play in your birthday? Think further about it. What, really, is there to celebrate?

Oh … if today is your birthday, happy birthday!

As always, comments and opposing  points of view are welcome!

Monday, August 29, 2011

So Am I a Nutcase?

I saw the most amazing thing yesterday at about 5:45 PM. I was sitting on the top step of my pool; enjoying the day just cooling off after a two-hour plus bike ride by watching the clouds drift by, northwest to southeast.

All of a sudden I saw my "Foxy Lady III" in the form of a cloud. I could make out her ears, one eye open and her nose, along with her paws as if she were romping heavenward.

I ran to the garage and my car, where I keep my camera, to capture the cloud. But, by the time I got back to the pool, it had separated and dispersed somewhat, and I was no longer able to see my Lady in its formation. It was strikingly like the photo below, but in reverse, facing the opposite direction.

 It was really beautiful, and to me, it was as if she was sending me a message, "I'm OK, and I'm happy."

I miss my little girl something terrible. It's more than 10 months since I lost my buddy. I don't know if "all dogs go to heaven," but that cloud reinforced my hope. I know that our minds can "suggest" things like this; however, I prefer to believe that what I saw was real.

I wish I'd been able to capture it so that anyone who reads this doesn't think that I'm some kind of nutcase. But then, maybe I am a nutcase. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

So I Really WAS a Winner!

A few weeks ago I mentioned (not here) that there was a "second chance" series of drawings by the Florida Lottery for Monopoly "scratch-offs" that didn't produce a winner. Each ticket submitted was multiplied, offering between 120 and 180 chances for the drawing.

Long story short: I wound up with 49,200 chances to win $10,000 or a Florida vacation and $1,000, or $200 and a Premier Edition Monopoly game or a Premier Edition Monopoly game.

I won a Monopoly game … no dollars.

I'm not a board game player; cards yes.

So, on the advice/suggestions of several people, I decided to contribute the game to the Englewood Community Hospital … until I received the game yesterday.

It's a BEAUTIFUL game board. It's all wood with a green felt surface to toss the dice onto; gold-colored metal player pieces; two drawers to house the "money" and houses/hotels and game cards.

I've decided that instead of donating it to the Englewood Community Hospital, I'd try to sell it. The Florida Lottery Commission told me that its value is $300 as a collectors' edition. The game board does not fold in half. It's one piece and HEAVY!The doggone game must weigh 20 lbs! I've seem some advertised on for $900 to $2,499.99!

My reasoning is that in the hands of many people of varying age groups, such as at the hospital, the board would be marred and lose its value to collectors in no time.

Instead, what I hope to do is sell it to a serious collector who would keep it for the "prestige" only, and with the amount I receive I could buy perhaps a half-dozen or so "regular" games to donate to additional facilities. There are loads of hospitals, hospices, Boy & Girls Clubs, etc., in Englewood and nearby cities.  I'm hoping that an asking price of $300 (plus shipping) will result in a sale to someone who'd really appreciate a Collector's Edition without the need to spend the money for those advertised on Amazon.

I think it makes more sense to do something to make more people happy rather than a limited number at one hospital.

I know that $300 isn't chicken feed, but if anyone who reads this knows of someone who might be interested, please let me know.

I'd be happy to donate any excess (not enough for an additional game) to my local Humane Society.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

So When Does Silver Turn to Gold?

My friend over a lifetime, Doris, called me yesterday. We communicate at least once a week.

In 2010  Doris was diagnosed with stage-4 lung cancer. She never smoked, always took care of herself, eating properly and the like. Lung cancer is the last thing one would think would affect a person like her.

A stage-4 diagnosis doesn't offer much hope. It's virtually a death sentence with life expectancy at diagnosis being approximately eight months.

Yesterday Doris called to tell me how pleased she was with the Realtor that I recommended for her and her husband when they decided to sell their beautiful country rancher and downsize into an assisted living community where they purchased a smaller residence. Doris' husband, Ben, has had a decline in health which was the motivating factor in their decision to downsize. Their property was just too much to maintain (in-ground pool, large lot, long driveway for shoveling snow), etc.

They had closing on the sale yesterday, and they were extremely pleased with the way Jeff, their Realtor (, handled everything. The buyers were the first people to see the home. There was no haggling over price or insisting that the sellers pay the buyers' portion of fees, etc. The process was seamless.

Jeff sold two of my previous homes. I vouched for him because he's extremely reliable. He got my asking price in both instances and  I couldn't be more pleased.

Doris and I kidded about her sending the check to me. I told her that I'd take good care of it; that I love spending money, especially if it's someone else's.

As we were bantering back and forth, Doris said, "Oh! I forgot to tell you. I went to the oncologist on Monday and got the results today. He said that there is no sign of cancer. Everything is clear." This was a cautionary check-up that followed equally good results last April.

It was almost as if the closing of the home overshadowed the wonderful news about her health. She hadn't even told her son yet. "I forgot," she admitted, sheepishly.

We both laughed over that.

I asked her if her hair had grown back fully since she'd gone through surgery, radiation and chemo treatments. She said it had; that it's thicker than ever, and curly.

If I had been able to see her, I'd say that she was "beaming" over the two joyous reasons for celebration that took place on the same day.

As I questioned in my earlier post regarding Doris, "Is there a silver lining in life's clouds?" I suppose in Doris' case the silver is in her hair. Her life now appears to be "golden."

Some stories do have happy endings!

Monday, August 15, 2011

So I Didn't Go Biking Yesterday

I spend a lot (and I mean a lot) of time in my pool. After my daily bike rides, with temperatures in the mid to high 90s, I look forward to cooling off for a couple of hours in the pool.

The pool deck is pure white, and after each rain, the dust at the top of the pool cage transforms into gray "dirt" on the deck and areas of the cage. We've had quite a bit of rain lately, and I noticed that the deck, as well as the cage, was taking on that grayish look.

So yesterday, I bypassed my bike ride in favor of pressure washing the deck and pool cage. It took nearly four hours of nearly non-stop work. The only times I stopped were when the pressure washer ran out of gas and I had to let it cool before refilling it.

My pool boy, Pedro, spent Saturday and most of yesterday in the pool, cleaning it from top to bottom. He's seen below finishing his 1 ½ day task. Unfortunately I forgot to remove the thermometer from the pool and Pedro, apparently mistaking it for a treat, tried to eat it. Instead, he killed it. When I removed the thermometer, it showed a final reading of 105°. I didn't know that the poor thing was dead until I put it in the freezer of my refrigerator in the garage and when I removed it this morning, it showed a temperature of 100°, which was clearly wrong. The highest temperature ever in my pool was last summer when it topped off at 90°.

So, today I'll bike to the pool store to replace it, getting two things done at once.

After the work was all done, I stood back with pride and admired the results. The deck is once again pure white as well as the pool cage. I then went into the pool and swept the small bits of remaining debris toward the drains for them to suck the dirt into the filter (which will be cleaned today).

Although I enjoy my bike rides immensely, I derived much pleasure from knowing that I did something positive by putting the bike ride on the back burner and getting something accomplished that I can also get pleasure from: looking at a clean pool, deck and cage.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

So My Tractor Mower Died

My riding mower (Sears) finally bit the dust two weeks ago. While I sat at home lamenting the loss and waiting for a Sears serviceman to come and perform the autopsy, I was unable to mow my lawn. I mow it twice a week during Florida's rainy season (currently).

I was fortunate enough to find someone to mow it one day last weekend, and it was starting to look shoddy since done, too much unlike the way I keep my lawn.

Last evening Sears called and told me that their man would be at my home in the "window" of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Well, that's pretty much a picture window. Most servicemen provide a two-hour window.

Well, he showed up shortly after noon and the post-mortem was performed. It was not good. Seems it needed a new engine. I use the term "new" loosely because the price that he quoted me (after collecting $108 for his service call), was $1300 plus change. And that was for a reconditioned motor, not new!

Before he left, the kind man handed me a card that was good for $90 off the price of a new mower, if purchased within two weeks.

After I was able to pick my jaw up off the floor, I quickly Googled "Sears" in order to review the prices of their new (really, truly new) lawnmowers. Well guess what? They ran $1300 for a new one, the same size and features of my dear departed mower. It included a two-year warranty. Less the $90, that would have been $1410, plus tax (seven percent, mind you, in Charlotte County, FL.) or $1508.70.

So, I contemplated driving 11 miles to Sears and getting a new mower. All this time between funerals and decision-making, my grass continued to grow, at what seemed to me, and unreal rate. Heard the expression "Watching grass grow"? Well, it appeared that I could actually see that happening.

On my way eastward in my covered wagon, I stopped at my local Home Depot, which is only three miles away (Donna Deacon, if you read this, you'll appreciate that, I'm sure … it might help your stock options).

I checked out comparable mowers and I found an Ariens with a wider cut, greater horsepower and all the features that I had on the Sears model (except for the clock/mileage meter) including the coffee cup holder. (Tell me, who drinks coffee while mowing the lawn in 98° temperatures?

With the help of a nice young man and a stunning young female assistant manager, I wheeled and dealed, having the balls to ask if Home Depot would consider the $90-off offer if I bought there. To my surprise, the assistant manager agreed! Not only that, but they offered me a FIVE-YEAR service contract for a total of $1486.16!

So, at least in my mind, I saved having to drive eight miles beyond Home Depot to get to Sears, instead, taking the deal on the spot. (Sears, cry your heart out!)

In addition, I saved a $59.95 delivery charge, slated for Saturday, by renting a Home Depot truck ($19.95 for 45 minutes, with tax at 7%, $21.34 for a total of $1507 plus pennies). The good folks at Home Depot loaded the mower on the truck for me. And, I drove off into the sunset … wait! That's another movie. I drove home, had a friend help me to unload my treasure and I returned the truck to the Home Depot. Score: Home Depot 1, me, 1, Sears 0.

I was surprised when the gal at the refund counter (not the stunning young assistant manager) asked me for a receipt for the gas that I deposited into the truck. The stunning young assistant manager told me specifically that there would be no gas charge since the distance that I had to travel was less than 10 miles.

I sheepishly smiled at her and said, "I was told that there would be no charge for the gas," adding that the dashboard indicator in the truck told me that the truck gets 40.2 miles per gallon. I asked her how I should have (without a calculator) determined how much gas to deposit for a round-trip of six miles.

She had no ready reply and cancelled out the charge for fuel. Score another for me!

All-in-all, I think "I done good" today although I may find myself crying later tonight when it hits me that my net worth dropped $1507.50 PLUS the $1.07 cost of a Blockbuster CD (to help me not cry tonight) plus $6.95 for a Subway tuna sub (foot long) so I wouldn't have to cook after mowing the lawn while trying to beat an approaching tropical storm that dumped a good 2" of rain in the pool (and much needed for the lawn).

Did I get the lawn done before the storm? Yep!

So, folks, how was YOUR day?

Monday, July 25, 2011

So a Well-Known Author Plugged My Book!

Amy D. Shojai, nationally known authority on pet care and behavior and author of numerous books has graciously "plugged" my book on her Web page blog site.

We haven't met in person, yet she kindly shared her page with me. That is an uncommon act of generosity (for me) as I've run into many roadblocks in trying to get more reviews posted regarding my book. Reviews are, to me, the life's blood of a book; its destiny indicator as to its success or failure.

I just want to express my thanks for Amy's selfless act of generosity and kindness. It's only proper that I do so, publicly.

You might want to visit her blog at for further information on her books, valuable, timely information regarding pets and pet care and helpful topics for all things pet-related. Sign up as a follower of her site and receive email updates each week.

Share the love! And while you're on my page, please feel free to invite your friends to stop by, set a spell and enjoy! I'm certain that Amy would not object to you referring friends to her page, too!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

So a Little Self-Promotion Doesn't Hurt

I'm rather pleased with sales of my book to date. As a matter of fact I've begun writing a second book, tentatively titled "From Flab to Fab!" It's a book dealing with exercise, eating and drinking properly and cutting a small amount of calories from daily intake in an attempt to lose weight.

I'm hoping that it does as well as "Crossing the Rainbow Bridge … Your Pet: When It's Time to Let Go," although that book will always remain number one in my "book."

Speaking of "Crossing," I have now published it at, precisely at and I'm offering a 26% discount by using the code SSW25 at checkout. The list price is $9.99. It is not available in  paperback at that site. Download samples are also available.

Supported versions include the Kindle, epub, the Nook, Sony and more. It will also be available at Barnes and Noble as of next month.

If you haven't read it, this is your opportunity to get it at a reduced rate for your favorite "reader." The discount offer is good through July 31.

In addition, if you have a Web site, you can post a link to my Smashwords page and earn an 11% affiliate bonus for each book sold from your site.  Just post this link to get started:

Current reviews (all 5-star) are a good sign that people are enjoying my work. Reviews are hard to come by. Asking some people to post one is like extracting teeth. See below for all 16 reviews to date:
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, July 15, 2011
Liz - See all my reviews
This review is from: Crossing the Rainbow Bridge: Your Pet: When It's Time to Let Go (Volume 1) (Paperback)
This book was a really easy read and a total tear jerker! I would read a chapter, and cry, and have to put it down, and give my dogs a hug before going back to reading. As an animal lover, it really touched my heart, and I will remember this story always. It let's you truly appreciate your dog as your best friend. I know when the time comes for my dogs to go, I will think back to this book that gave me hope. 

I highly recommend this book to read, as it will touch anyones heart as it did to mine. Well done RJ!

5.0 out of 5 stars A "Touching Tail", June 29, 2011
Leslie M. - See all my reviews
This review is from: Crossing the Rainbow Bridge: Your Pet: When It's Time to Let Go (Volume 1) (Paperback)
This book was definitely a tearjerker. A book for any animal lover, although very sad it leaves you with the hope that you will one day join your own furry friends on the Rainbow Bridge. A short read, very to the point but touching at the same time.

5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming story, June 27, 2011
Marvine E, Dethloff (PORT CHARLOTTE, FL, US) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Crossing the Rainbow Bridge: Your Pet: When It's Time to Let Go (Volume 1) (Paperback)
This book was a gift from a friend, who knows I come from a family of animal lovers. I thoroughly enjoyed the warm story, as it parallels each of our lives with ups and downs, good times and bad, celebrating the loyal friends we all enjoy so much. The scenes were so true to life, showing the warmth of a close family, and proving that the joy and comfort our pets bring us through the years greatly overshadows the sadness and heartache that comes at the end of their lives. 
This book is a quick read, requires a few tissues through the chapters, and would make a great gift for a fellow animal lover. I have purchased a few to share with family and friends.

5.0 out of 5 stars Ultimately Uplifting, June 16, 2011
David C. Svatos (Washington, DC USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Crossing the Rainbow Bridge: Your Pet: When It's Time to Let Go (Volume 1) (Paperback)
RJ's thoughtful short novel tells the story of a family's love for one another and how one little dog makes them whole. It gives us all hope that death does not separate us from loved ones. I read in one sitting and never put down. Well done RJ.

5.0 out of 5 stars Comfort in affirmation of one day being united again., June 14, 2011
Julie Cenci - See all my reviews
This review is from: Crossing the Rainbow Bridge: Your Pet: When It's Time to Let Go (Volume 1) (Paperback)
This book is spellbinding ...I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next. Although this story was an easy read for me, its deep storyline emphasizes the unpredictability of life. Robert has created a wonderful tool to prepare ambivalent pet owners regarding when it is time to let go of an ailing or aging pet. Most readers will find comfort in the affirmation that they will one day be reunited with all those who have been lost and are held dear. With all the experience that Robert has in writing and editing for AOL, it is no surprise that he would produce a book of this quality. Great Job! When will the next book be out?

5.0 out of 5 stars Crossing The Rainbow Bridge, Your Pet: When It's Time to Let Go,May 22, 2011
Amy - See all my reviews
This review is from: Crossing the Rainbow Bridge: Your Pet: When It's Time to Let Go (Volume 1) (Paperback)
As a dog lover who grew up with dogs and lost one of my big loves and best friend just a year ago, I was a bit anxious thinking about reading "Crossing the Rainbow Bridge" as I knew it would open old wounds. 

While very difficult to read certain parts, I found that Robert's story gently led me through and I was able to experience the joys of pet companionship on a new level. I laughed and I cried and felt more deeply connected to my dogs of the past and my current dog Kona than ever before. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a love for dogs, has suffered great loss or ever pondered what happens after we leave this physical life! Thank you Robert for this moving story ... here's to Lady! 

5.0 out of 5 stars A Validating and Essential Book, May 16, 2011
HummingbirdMind - See all my reviews
This review is from: Crossing the Rainbow Bridge: Your Pet: When It's Time to Let Go (Volume 1) (Paperback)
Described by others as a "quick and easy read," this book was neither quick nor easy, but it was an important and enjoyable read. As another said, it took me a while to finish it. I kept picking it up, reading a little -- grabbing for a tissue -- and then looking at my beloved, aging pets in a new way -- especially my late mother's Golden/Chesapeake Retriever mix, Lucy, who is preparing for her own crossing. This is not just a story of a family and it's dogs. If you pay attention you see that it is a story about the journey all of us share with our four legged friends. And, it is as much a book about humans as it is about our pets. It's packed with life's experiences and hope.

5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, Heart-warming, A Story of Faith & Love, May 14, 2011
Cathleen Mccormick (Upstate SC) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Crossing the Rainbow Bridge: Your Pet: When It's Time to Let Go (Volume 1) (Paperback)
In Crossing the Rainbow Bridge, Robert Scott speaks to all of us. It's a story of love, joy, loss, sorrow, survival, and faith. Robert used his personal experience of losing a beloved pet to weave this story and create a lasting legacy in honor of his sweet dog, Lady. With this story he also left the rest of us a heart-warming story of how love and faith will carry us through all of life's challenges, loses, and grief. Who is this book for? Anyone who loves a good read. Anyone who loves their pets. Anyone who has struggled to keep going despite unbearable loss and grief. This is a lovely, good read -- enjoy!

5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and Real...for Anyone Who's Loved and Lost, April 26, 2011
Julia L. Wilkinson (Alexandria, VA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Crossing the Rainbow Bridge: Your Pet: When It's Time to Let Go (Volume 1) (Paperback)
"Crossing the Rainbow Bridge" tells the story of a young family and their loves and losses as the years go by. It deals with a delicate subject -- death -- with tenderness and sensitivity, and in a very "real" way. 

The book is a quick read and I got through it quickly, wanting to know what came next for Dan, Cathy and their little family. Anyone who has loved and lost a pet -- or indeed any living creature -- will be moved, and most likely, ultimately uplifted, by the novel. In a culture that shies away from dealing with death, I believe this book will be comforting and also enlightening for not only adults but young adults and teens as well. 

A Book for All Pet Lovers, April 11, 2011
Cheryl "League for Animal Protection of Hunti... (Long Island, NY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Crossing the Rainbow Bridge: Your Pet: When It's Time to Let Go (Volume 1) (Paperback)
RJ Scott is an amazing storyteller. This blend of reality and fiction is exactly what every pet owner needs. You can't go wrong with this book. It completely resonated with me. As a pet owner and as an animal rescue volunteer and advocate, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It should be on the bookshelf of every pet lover and in every library. Bravo and well done to the author!

5.0 out of 5 stars A++++, April 8, 2011
Donna9331 "Donna" (Cincinnati Ohio) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Crossing the Rainbow Bridge: Your Pet: When It's Time to Let Go (Volume 1) (Paperback)
This book captivated me from the first page..."authors note" through the very last page. I read it in one sitting...couldn't put it down! 

It takes you through all the important events in a couples life...the good, the bad, loving, losing, and well, let's just say I won't spoil the ending for you, but just tell you that it ends the way ALL animal lovers hope for. If you're looking for a book that can show you the good in the bad, and in the end, ultimate happiness, this is the book for you. 

Buy it, you won't be sorry :)

5.0 out of 5 stars Crossing the rainbow bridge, April 3, 2011
Jeffrey F. Burnatowski "J. Burnatowski" (Pennsyvania) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Crossing the Rainbow Bridge: Your Pet: When It's Time to Let Go (Volume 1) (Paperback)
If you are dog lover and want a hearfelt book this is the one. Knowing the author and animal lover Robert Scott transforms his work for others to enjoy. The book has many twists and turns and ups and downs, and shows us how our pets will be a part of our lives forever. Best to you Bob! 

Jeff Burnatowski 

5.0 out of 5 stars Crossing Rainbow Bridge by: Robert Scott, April 1, 2011
Cheryl Graham - See all my reviews
This review is from: Crossing the Rainbow Bridge: Your Pet: When It's Time to Let Go (Volume 1) (Paperback)
Wow, the book surprised me. I LOVED IT! Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll need to know what is happening next. Great Job!

5.0 out of 5 stars Unconditional Love, March 31, 2011
Patricia Manescu Becker - See all my reviews
This review is from: Crossing the Rainbow Bridge: Your Pet: When It's Time to Let Go (Volume 1) (Paperback)
Wow! I could not put this book down. The joy, the sorrow and the joy....makes you realize what an impact our pets have on our lives. Life goes by so fast and taking time sharing it with someone special (who gives you unconditional love) is priceless. Great Job, well done RJ Scott.

5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING, heartfelt, touching book - a must read for pet lovers!,March 23, 2011
Morgan Bramlet (McLean, VA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Crossing the Rainbow Bridge: Your Pet: When It's Time to Let Go (Volume 1) (Paperback)
We cannot say enough great things about the touching and heartfelt new novel by tech pioneer and animal advocate Robert Scott. The story is one you won't soon forget, and leaves the reader with a profound and wonderful bittersweet memory. Anyone who has ever had a pet will LOVE this book, and should buy it immediately. Kudos to Mr. Scott for an incredible first novel! Well done! 


Eileen and Morgan Bramlet 
Washington, DC

A Delicate Subject, July 14, 2011
M. Shelto "Bocker the Labradoodle" (NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Crossing the Rainbow Bridge Your Pet: When It's Time to Let Go (Kindle Edition)
A delicate subject on every pet owners mind. Written in a compassionate and heartwarming way. We all make our own decisions but this book helps us to understand and realize deep down inside what we decide is right. A heartfelt read whether a pet owner or not.

5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming and Moving, May 1, 2011
Pam Hilton - See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Crossing the Rainbow Bridge Your Pet: When It's Time to Let Go (Kindle Edition)
This is a heartwarming and very moving story about when it's time to let go, whether it's a pet or family member. The author writes with passion and compassion about the difficult decision one makes when a pet's quality of life deteriorates to the point when they're just "existing." I recommend this book to anyone with a pet.