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Lady Lucia
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Published Tuesday, December 17, 2013 @ 5:25 PM EST
Dec 17 2013

We said goodbye to Lucy (Lady Lucia) today, less than two months from her 16th birthday.

Since March 4- when she developed focal seizures- our schedule was pretty much dictated by her.

When Lucy decided it was time to wake up, we woke up. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've slept past 6:30 am in the past ten months.

The household schedule was arranged so that someone was always around at 9 am and 9 pm to administer her seizure medication. And we never left her alone for more than four hours.

From 7 pm to about 10 pm, her place was on the living room couch, where she'd watch tv and snooze. When she thought it was time to go to bed, we went to bed. And the next day, we'd do it all over again.

Things changed on Sunday. She didn't want to eat, and was only mildly interested in the cheese in which we wrapped her drugs. She spent the entire day under my desk. Her occasional excursions to survey the back yard stopped.

Yesterday she stopped drinking water and making her bathroom trips.

This morning, she woke us up at 4:30 am. I took her downstairs and put her out in the yard with the other dogs. Instead of her usual morning constitutional- walking the perimeter of the yard, inspecting the fence- she laid down in the snow at the end of the patio and didn't move. She didn't even correct the Shih Tzu puppy when the little one started barking at her and licking her face.

I picked her up and brought her inside. She sat stoically next to my chair, her old, cloudy eyes unfocused and yet looking at something. I said her name, softly. She wagged her tail, but her gaze remained steady.

I'd seen that intense, focused stare before, and my heart sank. She was concentrating on the next place, her destination. And it was time.

She was quiet during the car ride. She wagged her tail when the lady in the white coat entered the room.

She gave us sloppy kisses. Her mom held her close, and, with a relieved sigh, we felt her leave.

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Dogs' lives are short, too short, but you know that going in. You know the pain is coming, you're going to lose a dog, and there's going to be great anguish, so you live fully in the moment with her, never fail to share her joy or delight in her innocence, because you can't support the illusion that a dog can be your lifelong companion. There's such beauty in the hard honesty of that, in accepting and giving love while always aware that it comes with an unbearable price. Maybe loving dogs is a way we do penance for all the other illusions we allow ourselves and the mistakes we make because of those illusions.

When you have dogs, you witness their uncomplaining acceptance of suffering, their bright desire to make the most of life in spite of the limitations of age and disease, their calm awareness of the approaching end when their final hours come. They accept death with a grace that I hope I will one day be brave enough to muster.
-Dean Koontz


Categories: Dogs, KGB Family, Passages


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Ho ho ho...
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Published Tuesday, December 17, 2013 @ 12:08 PM EST
Dec 17 2013

Granddaughter Joelle and Santa meet for the first time. Both seem favorably impressed.


Categories: Holidays, KGB Family


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Quotes of the day: William Safire
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Published Tuesday, December 17, 2013 @ 4:32 AM EST
Dec 17 2013

William Lewis Safire (December 17, 1929 - September 27, 2009) was an American author, columnist, journalist, and presidential speechwriter. He was perhaps best known as a long-time syndicated political columnist for the New York Times and the author of "On Language" in the New York Times Magazine, a column on popular etymology, new or unusual usages, and other language-related topics from its inception.

His list of grammar and usage rules, which appeared in the New York Times on November 4, 1979, was later published in book form and has been widely distributed- usually without attribution- on the Internet.

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  • Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read.
  • Don't use no double negatives.
  • Use the semicolon properly, always use it where it is appropriate; and never where it isn't.
  • Reserve the apostrophe for it's proper use and omit it when its not needed.
  • Do not put statements in the negative form.
  • Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
  • No sentence fragments.
  • Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
  • Avoid commas, that are not necessary.
  • If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
  • A writer must not shift your point of view.
  • Eschew dialect, irregardless.
  • And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.
  • Don't overuse exclamation marks!!!
  • Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
  • Writers should always hyphenate between syllables and avoid un-necessary hyph-ens.
  • Write all adverbial forms correct.
  • Don't use contractions in formal writing.
  • Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
  • It is incumbent on us to avoid archaisms.
  • If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
  • Steer clear of incorrect forms of verbs that have snuck in the language.
  • Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixed metaphors.
  • Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
  • Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
  • Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
  • If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times, resist hyperbole.
  • Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.
  • Don't string too many prepositional phrases together unless you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
  • Always pick on the correct idiom.
  • "Avoid overuse of 'quotation "marks."'"
  • The adverb always follows the verb.
  • Last but not least, avoid clichés like the plague; seek viable alternatives.

Categories: Quotes of the day, William Safire


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