Tuesday, April 26, 2011

So Who's Afraid of a LIttle Dump?

My Foxy Lady III wasn't all that impressed with the swimming pool when she moved to Florida. She had never seen a pool before moving to Florida.   Yet she would often lie on the lanai for hours, just staring at the water as the skimmer moved it around the pool. It seemed to fascinate her. Or, she'd toss a ball or two into the pool and just watch them as they circled the pool.

I bought her a "boat" float and she enjoyed when I acted the part of a tugboat, pulling her around the pool safely within the boat.

Lady also  had a habit of tossing some of her toys into the pool, then rushing to the other end to rescue them from certain drowning. Sometimes she fell into the pool in the process. Funny moments!

Above: Rescuing her teddy bear from certain drowning.

Yet, when I decided to relax for a bit on MY float, Lady would follow me around the pool as the water flow took me in circles, and she would paw and scratch at the edge of the pool, begging to join me atop the float.

"Take me for a ride, please?"

If I didn't notice her, or if I ignored her, she sometimes took the initiative and as my float got closer to the edge of the pool, she'd simply step on my chest and enjoy the ride.

She was normally quite steady and she'd proceed to give me loads of kisses and sometimes settle, lying down on my stomach. She was a small dog and it wasn't a burden.

But there were times when she couldn't contain her excitement and she'd lose her balance, fall into the pool and start doggie-paddling toward the steps. Then she'd shake the excess water off and lie down in the sun to dry.

Other times, as shown below, she got over-excited for some reason lost her balance, dumping both of us into the pool.

Depending on where we were in the pool, sometimes I'd need to guide her toward the steps or downright rescue her. After her ritual of shaking and drying, she'd often return inside the house as if saying, "Screw this! I didn't need that dump!" and retire to her bed, looking every bit the angel-pup that she is today.

When I look at Lady's pictures (and I have thousands of them), it brings back such wonderful memories ... bittersweet moments that can be no more. Yes, although more than six months have passed since I lost her, I miss her terribly.

Monday, April 25, 2011

So What's in a Number?

Well, if the number is TXu-1-725-705, it's the certificate number that is registered with the Copyright Office, in accordance with title 17, United States Code. It attests that the registration has been made for the work known as "Crossing the Rainbow Bridge Your Pet: When It's Time to Let Go," written by Robert Scott.

It's the copyright for my book that immortalizes my Foxy Lady III, showing me as the author of the book. If I were to die today tomorrow (or today, for that matter), my Lady would live on in my work for as long as the United States of America IS the United Stated of America.

That gives me a great sense of pride (not a bad kind of pride, mind you, but a pleasant sense of accomplishment).

My book is perhaps the greatest thing that I could have done for my Lady. She was the inspiration for it, urging me, after her death, to pour out my feelings in words.

Lady left my life on October 12, 2010, yet she lives on in my heart, and in my work. She'll never know that, but I do, and that gives me a feeling of "worth."


It's consoling to realize that when my allotted time on Earth has ended, someone, somewhere,  may come across the book that I wrote in one of the times of deepest despair in my life.

That's a good thing!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

So What Is This Thing We Call Easter?

So what is Easter? Is it pink, blue, yellow (pick your color) "Peeps," or is it a fake grass-filled basket of milk chocolate bunnies, peanut butter eggs and jellybeans? Or is it a fluffy bunny that became a member of the household that will eventually grow and perhaps be ousted from the house because it's become too much of a "bother"?

I see loads of "Happy Easter" messages and keyboard graphics on Facebook. Are we being wished a day of Peeps and other candies or is the "official" start of spring and rebirth the message behind the greeting?

Or are we rejoicing in the fact that a humble man who died on a cross several thousand years ago overcame death and rose to life early on that first Easter Sunday? Are we rejoicing in the knowledge that if we place our faith in that man/God, we too can be assured of an eternal life after our mortal existence ends?

I'm not an overly religious man. I do believe in God and I do believe that His Son rose from the dead. I simply don't make it a point of subjecting everyone else to my beliefs ... except for today. I realize that my time on Earth is limited and it could very well end before I'm done writing this blog. 

I'm not the kind of person who needs anything that I post on Facebook to be liked or "copied to your profile ... for an hour." 

I'm a simple person trying to live a simple life without hurting others in the process. I know that "good deeds" alone will not "save me," but I'm set in my ways.

I hope that I've chosen the right path and that what I do on a daily basis is acceptable in the eyes of God.

So, if I've offended you in any way, or if this post offends you, I ask for your forgiveness, in the same way I ask God to forgive my shortcomings.

Happy Easter (without the Peeps and candy-filled baskets)!

Happy Easter celebrating Jesus Christ!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

So How Many Pleasant Surprises Can Occur in a Week?

Yesterday held another pleasant surprise for me.

I made a proposal to a veterinary clinic in Nokomis, FL, offering my book for them to sell to their clients and they accepted my offer on the spot!

I'll be donating a portion of all sales for books supplied by me to go toward services provided for clients who have difficulty paying their veterinary bills or for emergencies brought into the clinic by Animal Control.

Their only condition was that I not place the book for sale with places like PetSupermarket, a place where I also offered my proposal two weeks ago ... but that company never got back to me. Their loss! :D

It's a win-win for both me and the clinic!

Friday, April 22, 2011

So What's So Hard About Answering Email?

I guess it's because I'm older, but I recall the days when I received a letter in the (US) mail, I'd read it, toss it to the side in a "to-do pile," replying when I felt the urge.

In these days of email, it's so much more convenient to answer on the spot. A simple typed reply, a quick click on Enter or Send, and the "to-do pile" ceases to exist. 

But that's me.

Once in a while, when I'm really busy, I mark the mail "unread" (on AOL) with a firm resolve to reply as soon as possible, which I do ... always on the same day that I receive it. I figure that if someone cared enough to send me mail, they deserve the same courtesy ... as prompt a reply as possible.

It surprises me, however, in these days when everyone has a Blackberry, or an iPhone, or any number of devices that are designed to make life easier, there are many people who don't respond to email.

I guess this is one of my "bitchy" days, but yes, it does annoy me. I'm not asking anyone to pay 44¢ for a stamp, or to lick an "icky" stamp or to run to the post office with gas approaching $4. a gallon or to write a best-seller. I'm simply looking for a reply to my well-intentioned mail.

Maybe life has become too easy for us, and it's easier to just click "delete" on email, but yes, I am often disappointed when days or weeks go by without a reply. And I'm referring to numerous people, not merely one.

What's the solution? I dunno. As they say, "you can lead a horse to water ... but ..."

Maybe we should go back to the days of the Pony Express when any correspondence was a treasure ... something to look forward to, even though the reply might take weeks or months to get to the addressee. :D

Thursday, April 21, 2011

So, DOES God Work in Strange Ways?

For several weeks, on a nearly daily basis, I've been traveling 12 miles one way to a post office in Placida, FL, to mail out copies of my book that are ordered online. Yesterday on my way back from that post office, I spotted a post office "general store" that was barely six miles from my home.

Today I stopped at that facility instead of traveling the extra six miles to Placida.

As I always do, I informed the person who attended to me, the owner, Maureen, that the contents of my packages were books. I told her that I didn’t want the “media” rate, but first-class, which is mere pennies more than the media rate, but gets to the buyer much quicker.

I told her that I was anxious to get one to St. AugustineFL, by tomorrow, if possible; that I was hoping to have a review posted at Amazon.com after the weekend.

She asked me if I wrote the book. I admitted to doing so. She then asked me what the subject matter was. I told her. She told me that she stocks a book on “healing” after the loss of a pet that has been selling like hotcakes!

She asked me if she could read one of my books. I happened to have a draft copy in the car, which I gave to her.

She looked at the cover, then the back. She flipped through it, stopped at the page that contains the poem, ‘The Rainbow Bridge,’ and said to me, “I’d like to stock a supply of your books. I have no doubt that this book will sell.” 

She didn’t mention a number; I didn’t ask. I was too excited!

I’ll be stopping by tomorrow to get the details.

God really does appear to work in strange ways, doesn’t He?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

So Does Every Cloud Have a Silver Lining?

My friend Doris, a non-smoker who was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer last year, just called me.

We communicate at least once a week. She lives in Pa., where I did until six and a half years ago. We've been friends for a lifetime.

Doris had surgery, chemo and radiation therapy last year. She had a follow-up CT scan earlier this week and the results are great; there is no sign of cancer! Her oncologist is extremely pleased. He told her to return in four months. If her condition remains the same her clip will be removed.

She was (understandably) thrilled and so was I!

So ... is there a silver lining in life's clouds?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

So What Does a Book Review Do?

A book review can make or break a book. It provides potential readers with an overview of what others who've already read the book thought of it.

Every person who writes a book hopes for good reviews. That doesn't always happen. One negative review can make a  potential buyer think twice and make the decision not to "waste" their money.

To date, in less than a month since my book was released, there have only been six reviews so far. In my case, I'm thrilled that they have all been positive. Right now I'm on cloud 9. But that is bound to change. There will be those, I'm sure, who will find something disappointing in the book who will post a negative review. That will hurt. But that's part of life, isn't it?

This link provides an overview of both me and my book: https://www.createspace.com/3507642

If you are interested in my book, it can be purchased at the link shown above, at Amazon.com (also available there in Kindle format), or directly from me. To order from me, send mail to "rjscottiii@aol.com." Payment can be made via PayPal>rjscottiii@aol.com.

For books ordered directly from me, the cost will be $15.00. I'll take care of postage, sent first-class to you. If you want it signed, you can indicate specifically how you want it signed at PayPal.com. 

If you do order it, I'd really appreciate if you would post a review at Amazon.com, where you can see the current reviews, reproduced below:


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!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars A++++, April 8, 2011
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 :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Crossing the rainbow bridge, April 3, 2011
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 
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Crossing Rainbow Bridge by: Robert Scott, April 1, 2011
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!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Unconditional Love, March 31, 2011
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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

So What's for Sunday Dinner?

Tammy was a mutt. She was a combination of shepherd and God knows what. She was a remarkably intelligent dog, a leader, who provided me with 20 years of joy.

Heidi, Tammy's little buddy,  was a schnauzer, the follower of the pair.

It was a beautiful Sunday morning, and before I prepared to go to church, I put a small pot roast on the stove top to brown and braise it in preparation for baking it after getting back home from church.

My range was one of those that "pulled out" to expose four burners when in use, or to push back in, flush with the counter when not fully used, exposing only the two front burners.

After the braising/browning was done, after turning the burner off, I left it in the pot to absorb some of the stock.

Then I showered, shaved and got ready for church.  After Mass, I generally hung around the rectory to help count the collection. 

When I got back home several hours later, I was surprised that I wasn't greeted at the back door by two barking dogs, eager for attention and ready to be let outside. The house was quiet. Ominously quiet. 

Slowly, cautiously I moved from the kitchen, through the dining area, through the living room and into the carpeted hallway leading to the bedrooms. 

As I approached my bedroom I spotted Tammy and Heidi lying on the bed, appearing to be dead to the world. Next to them rested the remains of the pot roast. A guilty-looking Tammy looked at me, then at Heidi and back at me.

She looked guilty, but she really didn't seem to care. She was the larger of the two dogs and she apparently got the lion's share of the manna from heaven.  She was satisfied. Boy, she was satisfied. Can you say "burp" in dog?

Heidi, on the other hand didn't display a trace of guilt. Instead, she displayed a look of pure joy. Her already chubby tummy served as proof that she wasn't left out of the affair.

I didn't shout. I didn't scold, and I certainly didn't spank. Of course I was annoyed and disappointed.  However, inwardly, I found it amusing that Tammy had discovered a way to remove the lid from the pot (and that she obviously waited until it was cool enough to do so), retrieve the roast and take it to the most comfortable area of the house to "party."

Instead, I gave each of them a pat on the head and butt. That slight reassurance removed any guilt that might have remained as they began to romp and play on the bed while I changed out of my Sunday's best.

I then picked up the remainder of the pot roast and returned it to the kitchen. They'd had enough protein for the day. The leftovers would supplement their meals for the next few days.

I've always been a softie, a pushover, with my dogs, but in all honesty I don't think they ever took advantage of that. They were simply my dogs and I was their human. We were family and that suited all of us just fine. Personally, I liked it that way.

At this point you might be wondering what I had for that Sunday dinner. I drove to McDonalds and picked up a couple of burgers and some fries. And no, I didn't share.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

So You Want to See a Dolphin?

After finishing one of my daily bike rides, I drove to the beach to enjoy a cool beer (or two) and read the paper.

My reading was interrupted when I glanced up from the gazebo I was stationed at, and spotted several dolphins, merrily at play. There are a number of luxury homes/condos in this particular area, with yachts anchored, at the ready for impromptu trips into the Gulf, at a small inlet directly off the Gulf of Mexico. Here dolphins can be seen on nearly a daily basis, and they're a joy to watch.

Most of the time they display a curiosity that would put a cat to shame. They approach humans without fear, entertaining them with their antics. And they're "encouraged" by the attention that they get. Some of the humans have fresh fish at the ready to entice the dolphins to venture closer.

Only one can be seen below; the others were submerged.  But I've had the pleasure of spotting four or five in a group, "romping" much like a dog at play. When I spotted a large group, generally they were actually in the Gulf of Mexico, too far out to get a decent image.

In the instance shown below, as the critter departed, it left amidst applause from the onlookers, who were obviously pleased with its performance. Me? I cracked open another can of beer in celebration of the ceremony, finished my paper and its puzzles and returned home. 

There is always something to enjoy on Florida's "Sun Coast." 

So Some Creatures Are Nicer Than Others

On another trip down the Cape Haze Trail, about two miles into the return trip, I spotted a mother bobcat, trailed by a cub. I was perhaps 40 feet away from them. I stopped, got off my bike and readied my camera.

They were walking away from me, so I slowly followed getting set to take a good picture. Suddenly the cub turned and looked toward me. Then it began walking toward me. I was delighted!

Then, the mother turned, and when she saw the errant cub, she also turned and began walking in my direction.

I'm a trusting sort of person; I wasn't at all concerned. I meant no harm to either cat.

However, the mother was not as trusting. She was concerned. When she got to the cub, she gently nudged it into the undergrowth. Then she positioned herself as indicated in the image below and stood, just looking at me: not menacingly, but as if to say, "Hey dude. That's my kid. Don't get too close."

I respected the cat. I stood at my bike for a few minutes, just admiring the beauty of a non-human mother as she protected her offspring just as any human mother would.

The image below shows the cub safely in the underbrush as directed by mother bobcat.

So I'm Not Nuts About ALL Creatures

There I was, biking down the boring Cape Haze Trail. I say "boring" because nothing truly exciting happens on that 11-mile round-trip trail. Same old trees, same old blacktop surface every time.  Occasionally I can spot part of a house if it's far enough away, not hidden by the tropical growth.

But, occasionally the boredom is broken by curiosity. In this instance, several months ago, I spotted a snake on the 6-foot wide blacktop surface. 

I'm accustomed to seeing dozens of black "racer" snakes along the trail. They're harmless and generally "back up" when they see me heading their way.

The snake shown below mystified me. I couldn't determine what kind it was, so I stopped my bike, grabbed my camera and took four shots from various angles.

As noted above, the trail is six-feet wide. The picture was taken approximately three feet from the snake. If the snake were stretched out straight, it appears that it was about 3+ feet long. The thickness in the middle led me to think that it had just gotten done eating, possibly the reason it didn't attempt to strike. Whatever! I'm happy about that!

When I got home, I signed online and looked for information on this snake. It turned out to be an Eastern Diamondback Rattler! As I read the description and looked at the photo, the remaining hairs on the back of my neck stood at attention. It occurred to me only then how very close I was to a possible strike and bite that could have proved deadly.

Another snake below: My proximity to it can be noted by the cap on the top of my water bottle, mounted on the handlebars where that arrow points. I never did determine what type of snake this was.

Note to self: When in doubt, turn around and peddle your butt off. Don't look for trouble!

Monday, April 11, 2011

So, Yes, I'm a Dog Lover!

And I have been most all of my life. As a very young child I liked cats, but that was before I met a dog.

I learned early on that cats are self-sufficient. I didn't know what that meant at the time, but I must agree.

When I got my first dog, I also got a friend. A buddy, a pal ... a someone who WANTED me around; who WANTED to be with ME.

I wasn't lonely after that. I could always depend on my dog to be around. Cats don't think the same way.

Don't get me wrong. I still like cats ... but my heart belongs to my dog friends, and likely always will.

I love their spunk, their impulsiveness, their bossing me around and almost always succeeding. I enjoy their dependence on me, giving me responsibilities that require slightly more than a can opener, a can of cat food and a litter box.

I love the way that dogs shove their butts up to my hand for a caress. It matters not that they don't purr. They do SLOBBER ... and that's a positive thing. One hasn't lived until one is slobbered upon by a dog that is craving love and affection. And their tails wag without end: a constant reminder of their love ... AND a good substitute if the air conditioner ever fails. A living fan!

I love the way dogs "ask" for treats. They don't "mew" or "meow." They BEG! They impose a guilt trip on their errant owners if the owner is munching on a bag of chips, for example, without as much as offering them one measly chip! Those eyes look directly at the owner as if to say, "What am I? Chopped liver? Don't I rate a stinking chip?"

Can a dog lover refuse a chip to a "starving" dog. Nay, not at all. 

A loving dog owner tosses a chip to the dog while stuffing a half-dozen into his own mouth, hoping to finish the bag before the "dog friend" finishes hers and begs for another.

Yeah, I suppose dogs are here to stay in my life.

At the moment I'm friendless, dogless. I lost my precious Foxy Lady III last October 12 after a months-long bout with renal failure. I'm debating whether I want to bring another dog into the household, and while I'm on the winning side (meaning yes), I've set some conditions.

As I get older, I realize that the chances of a new puppy outliving me are great. I want to be sure that any new friend that enters the house will have a fair chance at life. I want to make provisions for her care in the event of my death.

I've written a book that was published recently. Read about it here: https://www.createspace.com/

My condition is that if the book fares well enough for me to feel secure that my new friend will have that "fair chance," I will bring a new little girl into my home. 

I so crave the unconditional love that a  puppy or a fully grown dog offers. And, even though I'm getting  older, I genuinely feel that I have more than enough love left in me to make a new ward in my life know that she's loved, and if it's God's will, have a full life with me. If not, I want her to know that there is someone out there who can and will provide the love and care that my early death would end.