Today Was Toni's Last Day - November 27, 2018
One month shy of 13 years in the Tuhey family, and Toni had to be put to sleep. Cancer has now taken two beloved ladies in my life now, Mom and Toni. I wasn't able to be with my Mom when she passed in 2011, but I wouldn't trade a moment we had with Toni this past month. About a month ago, we were all steeled up to withstand the expected blow from our Vet that it was time to put Toni to sleep. . . Instead she got pain medicine and it transformed her back to my old dog. But sometimes things change and pain medicine is no longer the viable method. She had a very large sore open up on the underside of the huge tumor she had grown. It wasn't going to heal. Even the Vet said that it was time for Toni to go to sleep. I really love that dog. I loved Popcorn, but Toni was our first dog. She owned me. More to come. . .
I found some old pictures of my buddy Popcorn. I didn't go looking for them, but there they were. He's gone, almost 2 years now. In fact, we've had Kernel for almost 1 1/2 years now. Both Popcorn and Kernel are Brittany's (aka Brittany Spaniel's), but my oh my are they different guys, I love them both, and miss Popcorn, even though Kernel has some of his idiosyncrasies, he's not my buddy Popcorn.
Sometimes you plan, sometimes the world falls on you. Last year we sold quite a few mowers and we really weren't prepared for the season as we thought we would be. This year it's a little bit different. We have almost 20 units ready for a bath and wax when the weather permits. That quantity is growing daily, but the fact is, I'd LOVE to have all of the units ready by opening day, which I'm suggesting is March 1st, but realistically March 30th.
1989 Dodge Shelby Dakota
I thought I had purchased a nice little truck that only needed a paint job. It only had 82K miles on it, but it turns out the rear-end was a bit on the crunchy side and JR has it torn apart and it's gonna cost me another $2,000 to make it right! YIKERIES!
Goodbye Popcorn, RIP My Dear Beloved Buddy
It's been a little under 48 hours now, but around 4pm on Monday June 13th, 2016 we had to give our last mortal love to our beloved Brittany Spaniel named Popcorn. He was an amazingly sweet dog. At first, I kept my distance from him because I didn't know how long we were going to keep him. See, it was Christmas time of 2012. Toni (our other dog) and the kids were in the front of the house setting up the yard ornaments for Christmas. The scream of locked up brakes in the busy street in front of our house made the kids turn to see what was going on behind them and here came this white and liver/brown dog with long floppy years and a little short tail making his way across the street, off leash and collarless.
He came into the yard and introduced himself and proceeded to play with Toni for a short time. Megan, my eldest, came into the house to ask me what to do. I told her to grab one of Toni's leashes and one of her collars (she's got dozens of them!) and go capture him.
Well, by the time she had gotten back outside, Mr. Dog (the first name he went by) had bee-bopped next door. Mr. Dog was eventually captured by Geno (my youngest) and returned to our yard and out of the neighbors. At that point I went outside and wanted to inspect the critter to see what I might be able to deduce. Just prior to going outside, I had called the Clark County Humane Society and was still on hold when I met Mr. Dog.
He was soft. A bit damp. Looking a lot scared. Trusting us to be nice. And oh, he was willing to shake hands on a dime! Finally when the SWWHS took me off hold and I described what I had in front of me. They said, they had no reports of any missing Brittany's so I told them we'd bring him in so they could see if he was chipped and so they could take some pictures. The day was getting late, so I told them we'd put him up for the night and bring him over the next day.
Geno had found a bowl of water outside and filled it for our new buddy. Mr. Dog drank rather greedily. I went inside for something and found Toni inside. I asked her what she thought of the new dog. She wagged and I asked her if she had any ideas of what we should call him. Now, let me explain, Toni can sometimes speak English, LOL! The sound that came out of her mouth was a whiny-dog drawled sound that sounded like she said "Popcorn". I turned around with big astonishment as to what I'd heard, and I asked, "Did you just say, 'Popcorn'?" I could tell she agreed. And the more I thought about it, the more it just absolutely fit. He looked like a big blown piece of popcorn. So, I let her go back outside and I cleaned up part of the mess inside that decorating for Christmas creates. I went back outside and took the leash from Geno who had been walking Popcorn all over the yard letting him sniff and pee anywhere his nose had led him. The two together were very cute with each other.
Inside, I kept him (the dog, not Geno) on a leash, I didn't know him, and I wasn't too sure turning him loose inside the house was a good idea. I had no idea if he was even house trained, so the leash stayed on while I showed him where the water and kibble were located. He ate almost all the kibble, and there were probably 3 to 4 cups of it in the bowl, leaving maybe 1/2 cup behind. The water was his next victim. He drained Toni's water dish. I took him into the front room and he jumped up onto our love seat, which for Christmas decorating had been moved near the main window, and there he saw Geno outside. Geno's back was to the window, but Popcorn pawed at the window trying to get Geno, his new buddy's attention! Finally, Geno turned around and Popcorn's tail took off 100mph!
After the yard ornaments were placed and working, Megan came into the house and sat down on the love seat with Popcorn when she noticed he had a bad need for a bath. When Geno came in, we told him so and he jumped into the shower and gave Popcorn his first bath in the Tuhey household. The poor guy was just filthy, and had a supply of fleas to deal with. What our shampoo didn't handle, we plucked off and killed with our hands AFTER he proceeded to introduce us to the "Popcorn Post Shower Ritual" which involved him rubbing his head on EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY because that dog did NOT like his face wet unless he had gotten a drink of water! AND, if it was a drink of water, he'd let it drip all over the place too, his lips just didn't work well for him and retaining 1/2 of what he drank! Anyway, it was all so new to us, we spent the time laughing at his antic's and not drying him off. Oh he was comical! I remember at one point he stopped rubbing his head on the couch, stood on all fours, looked at us like we were the ones acting crazy! We roared even louder laughing! He was a dog that just didn't appreciate in no way shape or form a wet face!
Anyway, Megan eventually got him corralled and started drying him with a towel. About that time it was dinner time for Toni, so we threw an extra bowl of wet dog food down for him. He scarfed it up and then went and licked Toni's bowl clean after she was "done" (another story). He hopped back onto the love seat and fell immediately to sleep. All my dogs in the past have never been deep sleepers. This poor guy was exhausted. He snoozed there in the seat for another 2 to 2 1/2 hours without waking even with the kids continuing to decorate the house. For the first time in no one knows how long, he was able to rest without the risk of predators lurking. He slept hard and soundly.
During these early introductions, we came to understand that Popcorn had a knack for making any position, no matter how unorthodox, look comfortable. The poor guy was blessed/cursed with long skinny legs that he was just never sure what to do with, where to put them, and how to place them without it being . . . just awkward to see! He and his legs were kind of like a wiener-dog on stilts! But the look on his face sometimes when he slept, was absolute bliss, absolute peacefulness. When he closed his eyes, they looked like two straight lines, like you see in the funny page's when someone is sleeping. Still after 3 1/2 years, we don't know his past story, or how long he was out in the wild. But, the next 30 days we were forced to understand the likelihood that he had been abandoned.
Popcorn's evening didn't end on him sleeping the night away. I had sent a message to my wife while she was at work saying that we have another dog in the house. Toni goes spastic when Mari Dawn comes home from work each night. What was cute was watching him get caught up in Toni's energy of the arrival. He came over and introduced himself right away and pretty much informed her that he was going to identify her as 'Mom' like Toni and the kids do. She was immediately drawn into how sweet, and soft he was. He was still on a 'dog string' (aka leash) and led Geno off shortly thereafter to take a few whizzes around the yard. That time of night is when we eat dinner, it's about 9:45pm, but it's the only time we really have for family. SO, we quickly learned the "Awwwww!" of eating around Popcorn.
Our home is built very strangely, and without going into drastic detail, we're sorta forced to eat our meals on TV tray's in the front room. There is no dining room. Now, Toni has known this whole time that Mom is an easy touch for off the plate dinner treats. Popcorn noticed the action and came over and plopped his head down in her lap and rolled his eyes up to look at her from that viewpoint, still standing on all four feet and with him basically asking, "Is this cute enough for me to have some too?" Yes Popcorn, it was. It became a regular thing, daily as a matter of fact. He did it with all of us. The one thing we weren't ready for was his "take away". Toni has the softest mouth. It's almost impossible to tell she's trying to take things from you unless you're watching her, she's that gentle. Him on the other hand. . . . Well. . . No. Nothing gentle at all about his "take away," not at first anyway. He'd snap at the food, and he'd get you more often than not! But, that changed as his time went on with us. He did become a lot gentler. Probably because it meant more treats! LOL, the little turkey.
The sleeping arrangements had Popcorn going upstairs and sleeping in Geno's room. The next morning My wife and I were awoken by our bedroom door being pushed open and our new friend bee-bopping in and coming over to my side of the bed, plopping his head down directly in front of mine, still standing on all 4 feet, and giving me a soft slurp across my nose, "Good morning Man." He quickly went over to the other side and did about the same thing to Mari Dawn. After that, he went to the door, hooked the crack with his paw, opened it and left. We both shared a laugh about our new alarm clock. I got dressed and took him to the shelter where they took pics of him and checked to see if he was chipped (not chipped yet). I told them that we'd be taking care of him for the next 30 days and they gave us a big bag of lamb and rice dry kibble for him to help us out.
Later that day we ran him over to a vet we used to go to. We wanted to make sure he wasn't going to give Toni something. I mean, he had been on the street, we didn't know how long that ordeal had been, and if he had been drinking puddles and eating out of trash or hunting and eating rodents (he was a good hunter), it was likely he maybe acquired something that Toni didn't need any exposure too. The vet looked him over and found numerous issues with Popcorn. A soft tumor on his chest. Many other fatty tumors under his skin near where his collar was worn. One on his rectum that had the doc real concerned. Lots of tags all around his body, and that dog knew how to grow them! He added tags almost monthly while he was ours. The last thing the doctor advised us was something that we couldn't take to heart because, it was already happening. He said, "Don't get too attached to him."
Thirty days after posting "Found Dog" ads on CraigsList and checking back with the shelter, all to no success we kept Popcorn and made him ours by getting him licensed and eventually chipped. A little less than a year after getting him, we noticed a change on the tumor on his chest and the new vet (much closer to home) suggested removal. So, while he was there, the "shoulder pad" "fatty tumor" that was near where his collar was worn was removed and his chest tumor was as well. They checked the one near his tail and decided that because of it's proximity to his wasting muscles, it wasn't a good idea to mess with it unless it became very important. The poor guy had his shoulder, chest and parts of his butt shaved. And the places where there was an incision, with staples was right out there for us to see. He looked sad and sore those first few days. He even had a bit of a go with an itching frenzy that partially opened the wound. So, we took him back and they rewrapped him up, but better that time. He eventually started growing his fur back and after his incision was healed enough, he was able to jump back onto the furniture. He learned that if I was laying in bed reading, he could jump up there and I'd pet his shoulder and chest area (he was always an incredibly soft furred dog, but when it was growing back, it was even softer than crushed velour). That happened at least once a day while the hair was still short. And just like Popcorn. . . When he was done being pet, he'd turn around with a clumsy little bound and go back into the front room or to the kitchen or somewhere else in the house that drew his attention!
The truly sad part of that first surgery was his healing time didn't allow he and Toni to rough-house together, and that fell to the wayside and almost completely disappeared throughout the rest of his life. In the early days, it was everyday and often! It was so much fun watching those two play. It would spread throughout the house, often times starting in my bedroom with Toni on the bed, and Popcorn on the floor. They'd slap each others faces with their paws, Toni would growl, Popcorn's growl was more of a "I-yay-I-yay-I-yay-I-yay-I-yay-I-yay!" sound. Toni was always more of a jock than he, and he knew she could waste him, and he also knew she'd never back down, but he had this silly way of almost jumping into the air, do a 180 somehow and take off with a scoot out the bedroom door, around the sewing station (it's a true wonder that lamp is still working!), head through the kitchen, down the hall, stop at the back door, catch his breath, turn around and do the reverse and head back to Toni and start it up again. They'd go at it for 30 minutes to an hour, often with short breaks to go tank up on water (both of them) and then hold on and cover up, because he was just not very talented on actually swallowing all the water he'd tried to drink. . . Then it became projectile Popcorn spit during the play time not to mention both dogs sneezing repeatedly throughout the game!
That kind of rough play went on outside as well. I remember on one snowy day, Toni just about walloped poor old Popcorn completely off his feet and he reared up and the game was on! But after this first surgery, like I said, it almost all went away. We've seen the pictures of him since he's passed of those early times, and to say he aged quickly is an understatement. He turned gray, oh heck Toni's face is almost all white now, but his face was aging like a true gentleman should, the nice tasteful streaks of gray. It looked good on him! But. . . It was obvious, Popcorn was getting old.
Popcorn was unique, and he continued to grow unique stuff on his body. Just in front of both of his back legs, on the underside (his crotch area), he again started growing fatty tumors. The bill to the first surgery was paid, and here he was starting a need for another. He always had a unique walk, sorta like Red Skelton's character "Freddie The Freeloader." We all decided that he just had the wrong legs on his body. . . He was just gangly! Long skinny legs. The front knees were jointed a bit on the high side, and his feet. . . LOL, the poor guy had feet out of a Dr. Seuss book. All four of them had the extra puff and raised curl. Watching him run, or his version of run, was similar to how I previously said, he was nothing more than a wiener dog on stilts when he ran. But he was Popcorn. With all his faults, and loose fur, he was still Popcorn.
At this point, it's taken me about a week of on and off writing to get here. Last night we were talking about him again after dinner. No tears, just smiles and laughter. His head was so velvety soft all the time, and his ears were the same, yet softer and thinner. As you started petting him, you'd get down to his neck. We often would remove his collar in the house because he had an incredibly itchy neck, but that neck. . . it was as soft as the rest of him and it led to the ruff of his curled mane around his shoulders where, you could just grab handfuls of fur and Popcorn flesh and pet him as rough or as soft as you chose. He didn't care, he would be keeping a good steady beat by thumping one of his back legs on the ground repeatedly and he'd twist that head around and have the look of, "Oh yeah, that's the spot!" From there back, his fur was a steady supply of 1 1/2 to 2 inch long strands of white or liver brown curls. The liver brown spots on his back and sides, (one on his side resembled a duck when he was sitting, but wasn't quite evident when he lay down or stood all the way up), but those patches of brown were softer than the white areas. And his butt. . . It resembled little girl ruffle butt underwear. That was the area that needed the most attention because it would get matted and tangled most often.
There was just so much about him. It's been 7 weeks now that he's been gone. So many of the memories blend in to other memories. Briefly, this is what I'll add today. Popcorn loved to "Go" anywhere. We always thought Toni was the smart one, and he was the dork. But the fact of the matter is, he had a way to get things done on his own without the need for "help" which is something that Toni does, that being needing help to get in the Truck/Jeep/Van. Not Popcorn. If the seat is too high, which all of them were for her, she'd put her front feet on the side of the front seat, turn her head to say that she's ready to be lifted in the rest of the way. . . Popcorn, he'd just jump onto the floorboard and be done with it! Needless to say, Toni was Popcorn's pupil in many ways. Some of the tricks he came with, she has adopted. She'll still play the "I need help" routine on occasion, but we'll point at the floorboard and she'll go "Oh yeah!" and get in the truck. They both loved to go anywhere, and he absolutely had to have air. If he was in the back seat of the Jeep or the Truck, not so much the van, in the early days, he would rest his chin on my left shoulder if my window was down while I was driving. For some reason, that stopped, but it was one of those "Defining Moments of Life With Popcorn." Sometimes his chin would be so heavy it'd almost get sore, but when you pulled into the driveway, that hydrolock he had on your shoulder would go away and the chin goo would remain, "Gee, thanx Popcorn" was often the response.
As of this writing, our dear Popcorn has been gone for over 6 months. We love him still and still miss him. And not to steal from his story, but one of the ways we've dealt with his loss, we've gotten another Brittany. He's named Kernel in Popcorn's memory and he's 3 1/2 months old. He's a monster, but he endears himself to us often by doing things like Popcorn used to do. They'd have been cute together. More on Poppy later, and Kernel . . . Well, he deserves his own section like Toni does.
I Suck At Blogging
It's amazing how long I intend on keeping this site. I have no intention of relinquishing the former Micro League website I started. Well, it seems an awful lot has happened.
2015 was a pretty rough year. The Seahawks came within seconds and inches of winning the Super Bowl for 2 years in a row. And on that particular day, I just about broke my big toe off of my right foot! That laid me up for quite a while actually! It also led to another injury because of a med they gave me in the hospital which blew out my achilles tendon on my left side. It was also the year that my wife wrecked my truck, which I just recently discovered has a bent frame. . . Not good! And not to discount this, but a fellow I used to work for, in fact, it was his store that I was working in when I met Mari Dawn. His name was Lance, and he and his girlfriend were found murdered. Ugly stuff!
So, now we're in 2016 and I'm still dealing with things from last year, but I've tried to start a business so I can teach my son a trade, that being small engine repair. He is showing talent! He removed a riding mower's engine today. He took a few days, and we had to route an air hose to him out on the basketball court, but he did very very well! I am showing my propensity for still being a "Parts guy" and not a mechanic. I've tried rebuilding carbs, and am not having much luck, so I've started ordering new carbs to swap in and get these things up and running. We do complete tear down and reassembly of mower and deck and utensils, but sometimes one will own a service table for too long. . . #019 comes to mind! It's a 20 inch "MasterCut20" with a small 3.5hp Briggs mower that is in very good shape, except the carb is bad! A new carb for the bloody things is almost $70! So, I swapped a modern carb onto the beast, it runs! Just not too well. But anyway. . . We'll get this stuff figured out before too long (I hope!).
Oh, by the way! I dropped out of Battle Pirates about 4 months ago. Good riddance!
I've Been Notified!
It's funny, I've had this website for years, I barely use it, but I certainly do not want to relinquish it! So, the email I just got said I should do something and here I am . . . doing something! Happy New Year!
Well, I received a notification today or yesterday that I haven't been on my site for about 6 months, and since I was here last, I've broken a toe, popped an achilles tendon, had my truck wrecked, had my Jeep breakdown, had a couple of windstorms play havoc with my greenhouse and enjoyed sitting at my desk in my cubicle playing a Facebook game called "Battle Pirates." It's nothing new, it's just now I live on the game while I "heal." Oh joy.
My Goodness Does Time Fly
So, I checked my email today, and it in itself was a week old, and it let me know that I haven't been on this, my website, for a half a year! Holy cow! That just seems incredible to me!
Some Days! And This One Started Last Friday. . .
Okay, a week or so ago, it seems our refrigerator went on the fritz. . . No problem. I called my buddy Paul over at 5 Corners Appliance and he recommended a Refridgerator repairman to me named Bill. Bill came out and determined the thermostat in the freezer died, so a few days later after he receives the part, he puts the new one in and Bingo. Almost $140.00 later. Thursday and the fridge isn't cold again. . . Grrrr.
So, Bill comes out again, and lo and behold. . . Seems he jumped the gun on the diagnoses. The heater in the freezer for the automatic defroster has died. So, he'll be refunding my $$$ sometime. But, in the meantime, every 2 or 3 days we need to get the hair dryers out and manually kill all the frost on the evaporator coils so the fridge stays cool. Oh, yeah. . . The heater's not replaceable! Cool huh? (pardon the pun).
ALSO a week or so ago, all 3 of our vehicles have given us problems. The truck started missing, so I threw some new plugs in it. Took care of that, except that the #6 plug is worrisome. But, it's running well again. The Jeep has this ongoing issue with the doggone steering column. There is an ignition shaft that is in there and it keeps binding up that prevents us from turning the key far enough for it to start. So, I'm trying to install a "Starter Button" so when the key is turned on, if we press the button, the engine will crank and start. Got the button mounted. Got the wires through the firewall. Can't seem to get the right connection on the doggone starter!!
The Datsun had an oil leak. So, I replaced the valve cover gasket, then I cranked a bolt down too far, and I suspect i broke the dang thing, or messed up the threads because I had one MONSTER oil burn when I drove the truck this morning to court because. . . .
I HAD JURY DUTY! Didn't land on a jury though, so my day was over at about noon.
Got home just to find my Battle Pirates base had been flattened by a smug SOB named Punkersmurf. Normally, that's not a problem, but it was the last day in a raid event. And if I was going to be able to finangle it, I was going to seek help to start and finish T4. A flattened base, took that away. There is an unwritten rule about base hits during raid events. In every respectable group I've encountered, it doesn't happen. But it's the jerks that because of some childish personality quirk ignores the civility of the matter and does stuff like that. And despite what the avatar shows about Punkersmurf, a bald headed adult male, he acts and uses logic as a child does. It ticked me off. And I've stepped away from the game for a week or so. . .
3 Months Since Star Trek Into Darkness
Well, I will confess the venom I displayed in my previous article was a bit unfounded. I went to see the picture on opening day, as is my norm for Star Trek movies, and I expected to hate it. I liked it! It was a fun ride. There were some problems with the movie, mainly how the tribble stayed in place while the rest of the ship was spinning and people were running on the walls, etc. And the writers borrowed heavily from other movies in the history of Star Trek as well as Indiana Jones and as far as The Godfather series. . . But all in all, it was a fun ride. Unfortunately, in a recent Star Trek convention held in Las Vegas, the fans voted this movie last, and behind Star Trek 5: The Final Frontier. Can't buy that one. . . I think the message they were sending to Paramount is that we had our Khan movie, and we didn't need another. But we got one anyway.
1 Week Until Star Trek Into Darkness
Why in the world, okay even the fantasy and Sci-Fi world, did we have to wait 4 years for another Star Trek movie? Especially one that has already been made? Khan is allegedly back. . . I know it's a new timeline, and that's a fraud in itself, the temporal Prime Directive would have set things right again as was stated in Enterprise and Voyager as well. But I have to ask, why attempt to make another Khan movie? This is allegedly more of a "Space Seed" reboot, but still! Come on! It's been done! It's been done VERY well! Writers. . . make your own stories! Make your own characters! If you need a bad guy. . . MAKE ONE that is believable and build a story around him and the Star Trek trifecta (Kirk, Spock and Bones). I'll watch it, but I'm afraid to say. . . If this is the direction Star Trek is taking, this may very well be the last movie I see on opening day, ruining my record of seeing every Star Trek movie on opening day since the first one came out during the Christmas season of 1979. . . They called it - "Star Trek: The Motion Picture". It was great seeing them together again then, but the story was more like it should have been named "Star Trek: The Still Picture". . . . I'm out.