Monday, May 30, 2011

So if They Can, Why Can't We?

I just had to make this short film a part of this blog's history.

When I hear people refer to animals as "stupid beasts" it infuriates me. Then I come across a beautiful clip like this and I melt into a puddle ... thinking of my Foxy Lady.

I hope that anyone who sees this blog and watches the film will be similarly touched.

Friday, May 27, 2011

So What's Memorial Day All About?

Memorial Day: Merriam-Webster defines it as: May 30 formerly observed as a legal holiday in most states of the United States in remembrance of war dead.

To me, it’s a lot more. Memorial Day should honor not only the war dead, but anyone who has served our country in any capacity as well as their loved ones.

It should also honor those who were injured in the line of duty, in many cases changing their lives dramatically: having to live with a missing limb, limbs, eyesight, hearing etc. They were injured serving us. We cannot dismiss that fact.

It should also honor the families of those who served: families who suffered losses due to the death or a son or daughter, in some instances multiple losses from a single family; husband or wife, mother or father: families whose lives were changed dramatically.

It should honor the payroll clerk or the PX employee, and all others who served our country in any capacity; each who did his or her job, his or her part. Even though they didn’t face combat, they served. If they served honorably, their service should be acknowledged and they should be honored along with those who gave the ultimate sacrifice: their lives, along with those who suffered injury yet survived.

We can honor the dead from recent and past wars. Those dead will not know that they are being honored. Or, we can honor the living and the dead from recent and past wars. We can celebrate with the living and honor the memory of their loved ones while honoring the living too.

It simply appears to be the right thing to do. Everyone cited above is a hero in their own special way. Why not honor all the heroes?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

So There IS Light at The End of the Tunnel

I have the tools to track the sales of my book via,, Expanded Distribution Channel and Kindle sales (including those for Great Britain and Germany) online. No sales have been reported in either Great Britain or Germany to date, however overall Kindles have spiked greatly!

I’ve had several pleasant surprises this week. It looks like sales via those areas have sudden up-ticks in the paperback version!

I seriously attribute this to reviews that have been posted regarding the book. There are 11 for the paperback version so far and (only) one for the Kindle version. More to come, I hope.

Additionally, I heard from a veterinarian’s office located in Venice, FL (the background for my book), that it’s really being well-received. I’ve placed copies in that office, and all of the office staff has read the book (or is in the process of reading it) and every response has been beyond positive!

All copies that I’ve placed there have sold, and they want me to replenish their supply!

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to provide a review at I have no doubt that each one of them was instrumental in the increase in sales, and I want you all to know how much I appreciate your input!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

So the Rapture Didn't Happen

It was a sad day today as I rode with a friend to a crematorium in Punta Gorda, FL, to deliver the body of a 77 lb. dog to the facility for cremation.

An earlier blog tells of a funeral home here in Southwest Florida that caters to animals as well as humans.

I didn’t see the dog. It was a male, named Harley. It was wrapped, ready to be cremated. As I helped my best friend, Frank, to lift the creature off the “lift” it was on, I gave it a gentle pat … the body was still warm. I felt that warmth. I felt the unconditional love that it had given his owner. I got teary-eyed.

I wanted that brief moment with Harley to be special to him. I wanted him to know that someone, someone other than his human owner, cared.

Then I touched the crematorium. It was warm. It contained the remains of yet another pet that someone in Southwest Florida cared enough about to have their pet cremated. I don’t know if it was a cat, a dog, a bird or what it might have been.

When Frank and I placed Harley’s still-warm body into the freezer for cremation on Monday, I noticed that there were four more bodies, smaller bodies, in the freezer. Again, I didn't know if they were cats, dogs, birds, snakes ... I had no idea.

It occurred to me that the time was shortly after 6 p.m., the time for the “Rapture,” and I couldn’t help but hope that the animals in the freezer, along with the one that had been recently cremated … the one whose remains were in the crematory “oven” were somewhere in the area of “The Rainbow Bridge.”

I couldn’t help but hope that someday, those precious animals, along with their loving “humans” would be re-united at “The Rainbow Bridge.”

I thought of my Foxy Lady … and tears flowed. I miss her oh so much. I wished that the “Rapture” had taken place; that I would be re-united with her in a happier place.

It didn’t happen. Hopefully, in God’s time, it will. I love you Lady, and I miss you.

So What if I'm Still Here Tomorrow?

So, what if the rapture does take place later today? Will I remain behind to suffer six months in a hellish condition until the world dissolves into nothingness?

Will you?

I like to think that I live a good life. I don’t go out of my way to hurt anyone, although I’m sure that I still do, unknowingly. But those hurts aren’t physical. I don’t physically abuse or injure others. I don’t instigate fights (I’m too old to win one anyway.) Unintentional hurts are usually ego things; misunderstandings between two humans who merely don’t share the same opinion/conclusion about a given topic.

I don’t cheat or steal. If a cashier gives me change for a $20 and I only gave them a $5, I’m honest about it and return the excess. I pay my bills on time, although I tend to bitch and moan about things like the cost of gasoline, high property insurance and the like, inequities in local and national government laws, etc. I'm still responsible. I never take advantage of others. Is that enough?

I’m not a regular churchgoer … having been indoctrinated by the Roman Catholic Church and “walking away” from it some years ago after my eyes were opened.

Does that imprint my soul as being evil and not worthy of God’s grace?

I’m not a snob. I have several homeless friends, or perhaps I should say “acquaintances,” since the homeless don’t tend to discuss their private lives or share as average people do; panhandlers I’ve met in my travels. I’m not too good to sit and chat with them, or share a cold beer if I’ve just bought a four-pack. That sure beats them drinking their piss-warm brew that’s been out in the sun all day along with them. Does that make me wonderful or, as I’d like to think, an average Joe who merely cares about others, some more than others?

I don’t wish harm, injury or death to others. Even bin Laden’s death didn’t elate me. I took it as God’s will that the man would no longer be capable of planning evil deeds that would take the lives of more innocent people. Is that enough?

I’m kind to animals … oh God I’m kind to animals. I really enjoy their company more than I enjoy people much of the time. But animals, I’ve been told (by the Catholic Church, of course), have no souls. So what good are they?

Well, for one thing, they offer love without strings attached. Unconditional love, some call it. 

It’s always been a wonderful feeling to return home to find my wonderful Foxy Lady, eyes fixed, looking directly at me in anticipation as I entered the laundry room from my garage. Tail wagging, thinking perhaps, “Is he going to take me for a walk? Are we going to play? It is almost mealtime. Wonder what he’ll give me. Maybe he’ll open a beer and let me lick the top of the can. Or, maybe we’ll go into the pool. Oh I depend on that man so much, and I love him so much!”

Maybe we should be more like dogs: eager to offer love and oh so quick to forgive. Would that be enough to “save” me?

I’m reliable and dependable when it comes to my work; my employer. I don’t “pass” on things that I don’t like doing. I give my time for what I get paid.

So if tomorrow comes and I find myself surrounded by heaps of discarded clothing, crutches, abandoned wheelchairs, prosthetic arms, legs, eyes, etc., and in the company of millions of other wretched souls like me I guess I’ll have little else to do for the next six months but sit around thinking, “Where the HELL did I go wrong?”

Thursday, May 19, 2011

So Whatcha Afraid Of?

So you’re reading this blog. Why not sign in and become a “follower”?

It’s nice to know who is reading your blog.

And, I promise that I won’t tell anyone that you’re a “fan” of sorts.

One day you might stop by and find something truly interesting here!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

So What Does an IDIOT Do About Chest Pain?

Last Thursday, while three miles into a 20-mile bike ride, I was making a left turn from one street onto another. As I made the turn, directly in my path was a huge snake, about 4 ½ feet long … maybe longer if it had been stretched out straight. I did not recognize the kind of snake it was, but it wasn’t one of those harmless “black racers,” so typical of Florida.

Because of last year’s incident with an Eastern Diamondback Rattler (see earlier post), I reacted quickly to turn around. My left brake failed, locking, and tossing me onto the street.

Before I realized what happened, the snake was long gone, and I was trying to get back on my feet (actually back onto the bike).

My left forefinger was bleeding badly. The inner side of my left knee was scraped and bleeding. My right kneecap was bleeding pretty badly and my right elbow was badly scraped, but not bleeding. I really did not hurt badly. I was more shaken up over the snake than anything … the snake that was probably in the next county by that time. The reason for the multiple "injuries" was the fact that in addition to the fall, my bike landed on me.

I continued my ride, finishing at 20 miles, and not feeling badly at all, except for the areas that had bled. There was a bit of soreness, increasing in my right elbow and shoulder.

Saturday morning I felt a bit of pain in all the aforementioned areas, but all-in-all it wasn’t too bad.

Fast forward to Sunday morning at 8:08 … I was sitting at my computer doing my work for AOL. Suddenly I felt a rather severe pain in the middle of my chest, extending to the same area of my back.

I felt no rapid heartbeat, no sweating or chills, no pain in my jaw or left arm, and although the thought of a heart attack entered my mind, I was somehow strangely calm, just hoping the pain would stop. 

I sat quietly at the computer and did a Google search on “heart attack symptoms,” but nothing truly matched what I was feeling. However, a sub-link leading to an article on GERD that matched my symptoms more than the link on heart attacks. The pain was entirely gone within 20 minutes.

Long story short: I’ve been going to a physical therapist several days a week since February. I had an appointment slated for yesterday at 1 p.m.

When I got there, and Todd (my therapist) asked how I was doing, I told him that he was going to be disappointed in me and I related the tale to him.

Todd replied, (paraphrasing): “If you had told me that you went for a 20-mile bike ride, then for a 5-mile run, went home and mowed the lawn and moved the refrigerator all by yourself, I’d be disappointed in you. There’s nothing wrong with being scared by a snake and falling off the bike. Shit happens!”

He pointed to a chart on the wall and showed me the muscles that governed the area around the heart and proceeded to physically work on me in those areas, followed by work on my knees and right elbow and shoulder. There was a lot of popping and cracking going on.

When I left his office, I immediately noticed that I was having difficulty steering, even though my car has power steering. Similarly when I left a business establishment, I had difficulty pushing the door open with my right arm. It felt like it was lacking strength. I’ll address this with Todd at my appointment tomorrow.

The message to be found in this post? Well, I was remiss in not going to the ER room after Sunday’s episode. It could have been a bona-fide heart attack, and I could very well be dead today. I guess I was lucky … that time.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

So Here's Another Review

From Cathy McCormick of South Carolina, posted at

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!

Friday, May 13, 2011

So Here's a Review

From Margaret Leinweber, Whitehall, PA., received via U.S. Mail: Mrs. Leinweber does not have an account, thus was unable to post her review at that site. She sent this to me along with payment for her book. Her son, Clint, is the oncologist who treated me some eight or nine years ago.

Robert Scott's "Crossing the Rainbow Bridge," brings a love story of pets & people whose love for one another demonstrates how that love overcomes grief and enables us to find peace and that's somewhere over the rainbow. A quick and enjoyable read!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

So if Two Proved Lucky, Will a Third Be a Charm?

Several months ago, a resident of Florida's Panhandle won $3,000,000.00 when that amount was displayed along with his winning number on his $20 Monopoly scratch-off ticket.

Jody Massengale, 39, of Panama City appears to be a lucky man. Yet, he continued to play the lottery after his $3 million win.

And, he was lucky a second time!

His second win, playing Florida's Billion Dollar Blockbuster game, won him an additional $10,000,000.00. The ticket cost him $20.00.

Massengale was quoted as saying it was "awesome" to have won twice. He opted for a one-time, lump-sum payment for his $10 million win, netting approximately $6.5 million before taxes.

Personally, I don't think I'd feel a need or desire to continue playing the lottery if I'd won the original $3 million.

How many jackpots would you need to win before being convinced that you're lucky? If you won $3-million, would you continue buying scratch-offs?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

So Mother's Day Is Missing a Mother

Missing: One Mother.

Answers to the name of Mother, Annie, or (lovingly, and only to me) Annie Gooch.

Last seen on December 5, 1995, at rest in a casket, looking as beautiful as she did in life, but finally at peace, free from the pain of a heart that failed her.

Above: Mother in 1994

A generous reward is offered for her return.

UPDATE: Wait! There's an APP for that!

Found: One Mother.

After years of searching and investigating, Mother, Annie, or (lovingly, and only to me) Annie Gooch was found, safe and sound in God’s care in heaven.

Above: A bite to eat at Christmastime mid ‘60s

She is reported to be happy beyond belief in the company of those whom she loved on Earth: parents, brothers and sister, my brother, friends, co-workers, pets, former neighbors and many more.

We cannot communicate well. I understand that the signal from cell phones cannot reach heaven, regardless of what our carriers tell us.

         Left: Mother and Foxy Lady II, early '90s

I learned that there is a new APP, however. It’s called FAITH. From what I have learned, if I accept the application, one day I will join my Mother in her new home. The APP is free!

I understand further that the APP was invented by and is being offered only by One Source, Jesus Christ, Who is believed to have redeemed everyone who has FAITH and believes that by giving His life so that we sinners can be saved.

I’d like to believe that my Mother was sinless; a saint, but to hang on to false beliefs serves nobody. Romans 3:10:  As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one.

To me, she was as near-perfect as a human could be: She loved me and my brother unconditionally. If we ever did or said anything to hurt her (and rowdy teenaged boys can easily accomplish that), she, much like God, would forgive us in a heartbeat.

Unfortunately, we humans often fail to recognize love, often referring to it as carping, complaining, “bitching” and moaning. We sometimes close our eyes to love, yet God opens those eyes, in His time, giving us the time to mend our errant ways. He IS a GOOD God!

After all, He chose my Mother to join Him in eternal peace and joy.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mother. I love you more than ever and I look forward to the day when we meet again.

Yes, I have the APP!

Mother's Day, 2011!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

So What Do You Think About Funeral Homes That Cater to Pets?

Does your area offer a service like this? A local funeral home here in Englewood, FL, along with its affiliated branch offices offer a “Pet Passings” service.

The service is meant to respectfully handle the remains of household pets. They work with local veterinary offices to pick up the pets’ remains and they arrange for them to be buried or cremated. There is a special “Pet Passings” area in a bona fide “people” cemetery reserved for pets.

The image below shows that area at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the cemetery, the Gulf Pines Memorial Park.

For cremated loved ones, they offer a number of services with a variety of urns that include the furry loves one’s paw print, a picture of the pet and more.

Their services are priced reasonably. The ashes of cremated pets are returned to the owners in a wide selection of containers, ranging from a traditional pine or oak “jewel box” urn to many that are far more elaborate. The one shown below costs $134.20, and it represents a wire haired fox terrier, like my Foxy Lady III.

Many people, like me, are “parents” to our pets, and to lose one is every bit as traumatic as the loss of a “human” child would be.

My Lady’s remains rest in a pine box with a photograph of her. No “replica” of her would work for me. There is no dog on Earth that is the same as my Foxy Lady.

Does a funeral home, or homes, in your area offer a similar service? If so, do you feel that is “going too far” or are you of the mindset that feels nothing is too good for your pet … the pet that gave you UNCONDITIONAL LOVE for the time that God allowed for both of you to share your lives?

I’m of the opinion that if my Foxy Lady III loved ME so much, I couldn’t possibly toss that love aside.

She’s in my heart to stay.

Monday, May 2, 2011

So Here's a New Area to Review My Book

Stop by, take a peek, take some surveys and share the link with your friends ... especially your animal-loving friends.

So Bin Laden Is Dead

It’s taken a long time for bin Laden to be removed from the face of the Earth, but will his death change things?

It certainly won’t bring back any of the innocents who died at the World Trade Center, Shanksville, PA, or at the Pentagon. It may serve as a kind of healing balm for the survivors of those heroes, but will it end the “War on Terror”?

I don’t think so. Bin Laden had nearly 10 years since 9/11 to share his plans to destroy the United States with other radical extremists who are equally as evil as he was … although perhaps not as well known.

Any “surprise” plans already in the making have most likely been shared with the other unholy bastards who will most likely follow in bin Laden’s footsteps.

This shouldn’t surprise anyone: Evil begets evil.

Because bin Laden is dead should not be cause for any country to let its guard down. We could very easily be attacked while rejoicing, saying the Pledge of Allegiance “in one voice,” or while listening to the great Kate Smith singing her wonderful ‘God Bless America.’

Al Qaeda WILL take steps to avenge the death of its fallen “Arab holy warrior.” It’s only a matter of time. It might start with baby steps, attacks in other countries, or it might be one major leap right here in America, but as much as I hate to suggest it: It will happen, and when it does, it will be another disaster, perhaps even surpassing 9/11.

All countries in the “civilized” world need to band together as one, each doing its part to protect the others. The militant Arab world will not forget. The rest of the world can not afford to become complacent. Already Arab leaders are voicing their disapproval of the action taken by the United States.

I hope that this incident will not become a “badge of honor” for politicians: “We were responsible for …,” “It was on our watch,” and the like. Yes, the president approved the action, but the honor should go to the brave Navy SEALS who PERFORMED the action to bring bin Laden down. And although the fatal shot was apparently fired by one person … the entire team deserves to be honored and credited for the act.