2020 killed my dog.

July, R.I.P.

July beat cancer for the first time in 2016 after having her toe amputated. She beat it a second time when she had a portion of her ear removed in 2019. This past July, she had a mammary tumor removed. Three times seems to be the limit.

In late October, she got wobbly in the legs. We crossed our fingers that it was a spinal problem. She initially responded to treatment, but she took a turn for the worse about two weeks ago when she lost even the ability to stand with assistance. It was downhill from there.

So long as she was lucid and had an appetite, I felt it was my duty to support her however I could — I couldn't justify killing my dog simply because she had become inconvenient. But I realized late last night that we had probably reached the end of the line. (I'll save the gory details except to say that cancer can be a real bitch.) I had her euthanized this afternoon, and she died in my arms.

For the better part of the past decade, July had been my shadow. Her sister, Victoria, wanted to be near me; July *needed* to be near me. She followed me everywhere and complained to whoever would listen when she couldn't see me. I can't blame her. Who else was she going to get to take her for walkies or hand her a slice of pizza?

I already feel like I'm missing something when I walk into a room and don't hear the tappa-tappa of toenails trailing behind me. I keep looking for baby, and she's not there anymore and never will be again. That will take some getting used to.

Thanks to Kelley for bringing her into my life and thanks to Mom for being a substitute Walter when necessary over the years. Thanks to her vet, Jeff, for helping me keep her around as long as we did. (Fourteen years is a good, long life for a standard poodle!) And especially thanks to July for doing your best to make 2020 bearable for as long as you could.

In happier times

I loved my girls.

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I will

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There's a learning curve

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Giving thanks for a full life

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I tell a variation on this joke each year

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Dogs are so much wiser than people

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Gallows humor: for when you're at the end of your rope

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Good news! July's back and legs are responding to treatment, and she's walking much better.

Bad news! July is now having seizures (two in the past three days).

I'll keep you posted.

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COVID 19 has reduced this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Parade to a shadow of its former self, and that sounds like a job for Superman!

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a balloon!

Most of my yard paintings over the past year have included a subversive wink at the holiday/season or current events that inspired them. Not so much here. I just thought the Superman parade balloon from the 1980s was pretty damn awesome, so I painted it. Because nothing says gratitude and generosity like corporate-sponsored marketing aimed at children. (Okay, maybe a *tiny* wink.)

Actually, it's plywood

By the way, that cityscape I'm using to hide the bottom of the ropes was an afterthought. I had originally planned that the ropes should terminate behind the rocks there at the base, but the ropes needed better bracing than I could arrange in that little space. In the future, I need to replace the skyline hiding the tie-off brackets with a crowd of Lilliputian rope handlers.

Maybe next year.

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Since today's UGA football game has been postponed (due to COVID, what else?), let's watch some movies!

170. (1824.) Guys and Dolls (1955)
Nope. I'd never seen Guys and Dolls. Now I have. (Sinatra playing a mobster again? What range!) It's pretty good, at least all the scenes without Brando. I don't have any idea what The Method would say about someone who lives in a reality where people break into song about their most intimate feelings, but Brando must have been insufferable for a few months. Sinatra must have been a saint to resist having him iced.

171. (1825.) Springfield Rifle (1952)
For the first half hour of this bland Western, you think, "why is this film about spies and cattle rustling and runaway children called Springfield Rifle?" Then they tell you and you're like, "how much did the Springfield Rifle company pay for that?"

172. (1826.) Blockers (2018)
A very modern sex comedy about a group of helicopter parents trying to save their children's virginity. Is there anything John Cena can't do?

173. (1827.) Enter Laughing (1967)
It took two tries for me to get through Carl Reiner's directorial debut (based on his debut novel). The play within the play is quality stuff, but most of the rest of the time spent in the protagonist's life can be a dull drag.

174. (1828.) The Hospital (1971)
This "modern" medical murder mystery film is a delightful black hole of cynicism. My only gripe is the abrupt, uncomfortable brutality of the scene in the middle of this where George C. Scott damn near has a mental breakdown in his office and then forces himself sexually on (a willing) Diana Rigg. That's the pivot point of the plot, and it's cynical even about honestly, but it's both too predictable and too preposterous to be satisfying.

175. (1829.) Sidewalk Stories (1989)
A mostly silent take on the sort of movie Chaplin would have made but with Black leads, which serves to underscore some of its more serious points. A good film.

More to come.

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To be continued...

 

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