The world is crazier than most people know. But I know. I was a clinical social worker for forty years. I am a witness. I retired from social work to write about the sad, the mad, and the savage; with whom I have spent most of my life. I have decided to translate these stories into fiction, because, as a co-worker once said, "You couldn't make this sh*t up. No one would believe you."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


 I define my family a bit differently from many people. The animals who live with me are as much a part of my family as the people. I do not invite them in or send them off lightly. My sister’s dog died today, and it is a blow to the whole family.

He was a member of my family for fifteen years. His name was Ethan Allen. For fifteen years, this wonderful mutt was there for my sister, as well as the extended family. He stayed with me on her vacations, as my dogs stayed with her. They were as thrilled as children to see each other, knowing they were in for an afternoon of play, treats, and driving the humans crazy coming in and out. Until recent years, when age took his hearing, he was a world class howler. My daughter, who is a world class singer, used to sing along with him when she was a teenager and taught him to change keys so that he could howl in tune. Wherever he went he left a little love glitter and a hairball.

I have reached an age where I have a real good beef going with Death. I have lost so many members of my family; my sister and I are all that are left from the original group of humans.The older generation is all gone but for one.

The animals….it is a parade of death. They were some of the best of my family, but they live for such a short time! I happen to believe that animals are without sin; so maybe that is why they can only be with us for a little while.
They are treasures, and we are blessed and bettered by them. Their simplicity of mind and heart is a call from God to be more like them and to appreciate life at its most basic level. All the rest is froth.

They say all dogs go to heaven. Of this I have no doubt whatsoever. Why  would a thing of perfection not return to its source? I'm sure Ethan will be greeted by all our other animal family members, now passed, and will have a fine and playful journey home.

Ethan’s passing is a stab to the heart. He leaves a not-hereness that can never be filled, not if my sister gets a hundred new dogs. Each dog is an individual and Ethan was one of the most individual of the lot. He will be loved forever, remembered forever and a day.

Those were the days my friend,
We thought they’d never end,
We’d sing and dance, forever and a day…
We’d fight and never lose,
We’d live the life we choose,
Those were the days, oh yes, those were the days!

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