Beard of the day

Hairy Chested Beard

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Ethel or Gertrude?

Naming dogs ain’t easy.

What would you name this adorable girl?

Ethel?

Gertrude?

Darlene?

What name comes to your mind?

The first three photographs were from the San Diego Humane Society website. The fourth photo is from my iPhone when I met her in person this morning. The name given her upon her transfer into SDHS August 13 up until her adoption this afternoon at 5 pm was Riley. She doesn’t respond to Riley and we don’t think it fits her.

Oh, did I forget to mention that we adopted a dog today?

This summer has been one of loss for us after first losing Mitzi back in June and then losing her brother Virgil unexpectedly last week. The better half wasn’t so sure me going from shelter to shelter was the best way to deal with my grief. I mean after all we still had 5 dogs. However I saw our girl to soon be named on the SDHS website when grieving the day after Virgil passed and was immediately taken with her.

I went to SDHS to take a look at her that same day last week and she was asleep when I found her so I went out to talk to the receptionist and find out more. Her story goes like this:

She apparently was at a shelter out on El Centro CA (about a 2-3 hour drive east of San Diego out in the desert) where they have way more dogs than adopters. SDHS contracts to take 30-40 of this shelter’s dogs headed for euthanasia monthly in order to lessen the number of dogs needlessly killed in that community. She was a lucky one on August 13. She arrived here, was spayed and then went up for adoption.

She was adopted fairly soon thereafter, but was returned back to SDHS as she reportedly did not get along with the man of the household. She was shortly thereafter adopted again and then returned after she snapped at one of the children who had swatted her with a flip flop for peeing in the house. It was after that return I found her last week.

After hearing her story I had to think about it as dogs that have bounced in and out can develop behavior issues, or ones they have can be reinforced or exacerbated. Plus was it healthy for me to bring a dog home the day after Virgil had died in my arms? The next day I was extremely busy with work. The day after when I went to look for her and she had been adopted. I was glad to hear the news.

Last evening she popped up on the SDHS website as having been relinquished by her owner. This morning I couldn’t stay away, I had to know what had happened. Apparently the third adopter had her for five days and discovered she was allergic to our girl who has yet to be named and returned her yet again.

Saved from euthanasia only to become a boomerang.

This morning I met the most sweet little girl in person. She’s about 3 years old, is overweight at 14 lbs (at her size she should weight 9-10lbs), gentle, trusting, loving and very easy going. I left to think some more and get some work done. I went back before my personal training appointment and put a hold on her until I could return. I returned and had another one on one meeting with her and the bond was made. I cried tears of joy as I signed the paperwork and then sobbed tears of joy when the adoption counselor placed my newly purchased pink collar and leash on her for me to walk her out.

She strutted proudly out of SDHS, hopped right into my car and clung tightly to me all the way home.

She may have struck out three times after her life was spared, but on her way back to the dugout she somehow managed to cross home plate. She who has yet to be named has a new forever home. A new forever home with five other dogs that accepted her right into the pack.

Standing at the back Door of her new home.

San Diego Humane Society or SDHS has not euthanized an adoptable animal since the summer of 2014. They have committed to taking in all animals from other organizations in San Diego County to prevent the euthanasia of any adoptable animal in our county. This mission makes San Diego County one of only very few counties nationwide, or localities worldwide, with zero euthanasia. SDHS also takes in animals from our neighboring counties, thus saving the lives of pets beyond our county’s borders. Without SDHS expanding their mission, our new little girl would otherwise have met an early and unnecessary death.

If you would like to support such an organization as SDHS in their no kill mission, please click HERE.

Thank you!

In Memory

In memory of our beloved boy Virgil May 5, 2002 – September 10, 2019

Virgil on his 17th Birthday Celebration 2019

Our little old man has passed on. He has now joined his sister Mitzi in a spiritual realm.

Virgil joined us in October of 2002 as a first birthday present of sorts for his older half sister Mitzi. He was from a second litter her mother had from a different father 8 months after her birth. He was an awkward looking puppy that actually seemed as if he  might have a slight birth defect. Possibly from an unhealthy mother did who had her litters to close together. The owner of the mother had him left as no one would take him and was about to take him to the humane society. I gave the guy money to have the mother fixed and I brought Virgil home to foster until I could find him a home.

Needless to say he was a hit with Mitzi from moment one.

Virgil and Mitzi circa October 2002

Our Dalmatian, Mattie, was having issues with a rambunctious 5 month old playing with a wild one year old and got snappy with him. I had a favorite line from Greater Tuna that popped out of my mouth when scolding Mattie for scolding the puppies. I sternly warned her and said “Mattie! Quit it now! …. Mattie, I’m gonna knock you into next week!” That line was used by the character Vera Carp in the funeral home scene toward her son Virgil so the original line was “Virgil! quit it now! …”

I don’t know how to cut it out of here but if you just want to see that line, start at 26:00 and run through 28:10. (This is actually the HBO production of the entire play, if you have time it’s fantastic.)

At that moment not only did Virgil now have a name, but he also had a home. That scared little dog that I took from the back seat of the marina dockworker’s car to foster had a forever home where he continued to live a long, happy and very healthy life for the next 16 years and 11 months. His home was right here with us.

Over his years here our family has lost, and our family has grown.

From left to right in front the back are: Betty, Mitzi (deceased June 2019), Abner, Virgil, Phoebe, Patsy and then Gilda (way in the back).

Others that Virgil shared our home with that passed on before him were our beloved Liver spotted Dalmatian Mattie, our sweet Chocolate Lab Diva and the rescue of our senior Border Collie Nina that was featured here on Fearsome Beard in 2014. Right now instead of here in our bed, he is there with his familiar housemates and sister that he hasn’t been with in a while.

Virgil and Mitzi in their golden years.

Virgil was a happy and healthy boy until the very end. Yesterday he was out on our patio sunning with Betty. He was mobile and out their on his own accord. It wasn’t until last night just before bedtime that he showed signs something may be amiss. He lost his balance and couldn’t stand. He was just off balance, we’ve seen that in other older dogs before and seen it pass quickly so we did not worry. We carried him to bed and he actually had a good night. However this morning he worsened and his deterioration was fast and he did not suffer. He died very unexpectedly in my arms.

He had a great life here with us as we had with him.

Virgil after a grooming cuddling with his youngest housemates Betty & Phoebe

Virgil we will forever love you. We will forever be grateful that you were part of our lives. You will live on in us as we share the love you placed into our hearts with all the others we touch.

Virgil, this is not goodbye as we will see you on the other side. Until then continue to share your love with your canine family that has been awaiting your arrival. Your kisses enrich us. Your snuggles comfort us. Your love fills us.

Virgil, I love you, we all love you.

Until then, Godspeed.

Virgil May 5, 2002 – September 10, 2019

I’ll fly away

Growing up in Appalachia , this tune is one I know from childhood.

I consider life a gift from a power, essence or spirit that I don’t understand. Part of that gift is that I don’t have to understand where the gift comes from. I get to experience the love and beauty without ever feeling in debt to do or return anything.

As I wasn’t here before my life, I will not be here after it. I will physically be gone from here and now, but not necessarily gone from what we understand to be a universe.  I don’t need to know anything more than that.

When I die I wish to be cremated. I wish for my ashes to be discretely dropped on a specific hillside above the sea on a nearby Southern California Island known as Catalina. No one is to know, but the couple of close loved ones who accidentally drop my ashes there, exactly where this spot is. As my ashes are dropped, they will start to fly out over the land and the sea. Those that find the land their home will continue to both blow into the wind as well as meld into the earth eventually eroding their way into air and the nearby sea as well.

Therefore my body and my spirit shall fly away, wash away and float away. I’ll still be here and there. I’ll be wherever I’m supposed to be.

Rising Appalachia – I’ll Fly Away – traditional live – 2012

Simple and beautiful, enjoy.

Note: If those whom I love and love me wish to gather for any type of memorial after I am gone, they are free to do so in any fashion just as long as it’s fun, celebratory, simple and this traditional Appalachian folk tune is played.

🎼 Just say to me what you want from me 🎶

Often the illusion is that the easier path for dealing with problems is to run away from them, avoid them or ignore them.

In my experience avoidance is my default. I have found that I must remind myself daily that the true easier path is to acknowledge my problem, feel that emotions surrounding my problem and then to face the problem and walk through it. Not all problems are easily resolved. However I’ve found that the only way they are ever resolved is to deal with them head on. No matter how hard issues appear, resolution is always easier and better than running away.

Lil Nas X , Fearsome’s favorite out and proud rapper, dropped this new tune this morning. I found it’s message helpful in many ways.

Lil Nas X – Panini – Official Video – 2019

Visualize what you want. Say what you want. Move toward what you want.