I was driving along the interstate when I decided to stop at a comfort station.
The first stall was occupied, so I went into the second one. I was no sooner seated than I heard a voice from the next stall, “Hi. How are you doing?”
Well, I am not the type to chat with strangers in highway comfort stations, and I really don’t know quite what possessed me, but anyway, I answered, a little embarrassed, “Not bad.”
Then the stranger said, “So, what are you up to?” Talk about your dumb questions! I was really beginning to think this was too weird, so I said, “Well, just like you I’m driving east.”
Then, I heard the stranger, all upset, say, “Look, I’ll call you back later. There’s some idiot in the next stall answering all the questions I am asking you!”
Everything I Need to Know, I Learned From My Dog
Dogs teach us many things…
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
Run, romp, and play daily.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting, when a simple growl will do.
No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout … run right back and make friends.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough.
Never pretend to be something you’re not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
A Fowl Crime
MADRID, Spain – A most unusual court case of attempted murder has captivated this historic city. A man, Jorge Fuentes, and his pet bird, have been charged with the attempted murder of his wife.
It seems Jorge trained their talking bird to try and drive his wife to suicide. The bird would constantly repeat, “End it all” and “Life is not worth living.”
The bird was brought in to court and “performed” for the judge. After hearing the bird, the judge and jury convicted Jorge.
The bird however, was not convicted because it was a Minah.
We had been on the road for fifteen hours en route from New York to California and were looking for a place to spend the night. At four different motels, however, we were told, “Sorry, no vacancies.”
Heading back to the car, my seven-year-old son asked solemnly, “Mom, are we vacancies?”
Falling For Earth
Nights in England are coal black, making parachute jumps difficult and dangerous. So we attach small lights called chemlites to our jumpsuits to make ourselves visible to the rest of our team. Late one night, lost after a practice jump, we knocked on the door of a small cottage. When a woman answered, she was greeted by the sight of five men festooned in glowing chemlites.
“Excuse me,” I said. “Can you tell me where we are?”
In a thick English accent, the woman replied, “Earth!”
Smoking Second Hand or Smoke and Mirrors
Jack and Matt are walking in the hallway after a church service. Jack wonders if it would be all right to smoke while praying.
Matt replies, “Why don’t you ask the Pastor?”
So Jack goes up to the Pastor and asks, “Pastor, may I smoke while I pray?”
The Pastor says, “No, you may not. That’s utter disrespect to God.”
Jack goes back to his friend and tells him what the Pastor told him. Matt says, “I’m not surprised. You asked the wrong question. Let me try.”
And so Matt goes up to the Pastor and asks, “Pastor, may I pray while I smoke?”
To which the Pastor eagerly replies, “By all means. By all means.”
What do you think the moral of this is?
A young ventriloquist is touring and finds himself entertaining in a small town.
He’s going through his usual run of blonde jokes with his puppet, like:
Q: Why does a blonde nurse carry a red Magic Marker?
The Puppet answers: In case she has to draw blood.
A large, blonde woman in the fourth row stands on her chair and says, “I’ve heard just about enough of your denigrating blonde jokes! What makes you think you can stereotype women that way? What does a person’s physical attributes have to do with their worth as a human being?”
The ventriloquist looks on in amazement.
“It’s guys like you who keep women like me from being respected at work and in my community,” she continued, “and of reaching my full potential as a person because you and your kind continue to perpetuate discrimination against not only blondes but women at large… all in the name of humor.”
Flustered, the ventriloquist begins to apologize.
The blonde interjects, “You stay out of this, mister. I’m talking to that little guy on your knee!”
An Eagle Kiss
Freedom and I have been together 11 years this summer. She came in as a baby in 1998 with two broken wings. Her left wing doesn’t open all the way even after surgery, it was broken in 4 places. She’s my baby.
When Freedom came in, she could not stand and both wings were broken. She was emaciated and covered in lice. We made the decision to give her a chance at life, so I took her to the vet’s office. From then on, I was always around her. We had her in a huge dog carrier with the top off, and it was loaded up with shredded newspaper for her to lay in.
I used to sit and talk to her, urging her to live, to fight; and she would lay there looking at me with those big brown eyes. We also had to tube feed her for weeks. This went on for 4-6 weeks, and by then she still couldn’t stand. It got to the point where the decision was made to euthanize her if she couldn’t stand in a week. You know you don’t want to cross that line between torture and rehab, and it looked like death was winning.
She was going to be put down that Friday, and I was supposed to come in on that Thursday afternoon. I didn’t want to go to the center that Thursday, because I couldn’t bear the thought of her being euthanized; but I went anyway, and when I walked in everyone was grinning from ear to ear. I went immediately back to her cage; and there she was, standing on her own, a big beautiful eagle. She was ready to live. I was just about in tears by then.
That was a very good day. We knew she could never fly, so the director asked me to glove train her. I got her used to the glove, and then to jesses, and we started doing education programs for schools in western Washington. We wound up in the newspapers, radio (believe it or not) and some TV. Miracle Pets even did a show about us.
In the spring of 2000, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I had stage 3, which is not good (one major organ plus everywhere), so I wound up doing 8 months of chemo. Lost the hair – the whole bit. I missed a lot of work.
When I felt good enough, I would go to Sarvey and take Freedom out for walks. Freedom would also come to me in my dreams and help me fight the cancer. This happened time and time again.
Fast forward to November 2000. The day after Thanksgiving, I went in for my last checkup. I was told that if the cancer was not all gone after 8 rounds of chemo, then my last option was a stem cell transplant. Anyway, they did the tests; and I had to come back Monday for the results. I went in Monday, and I was told that all the cancer was gone.
So the first thing I did was get up to Sarvey and take the big girl out for a walk. It was misty and cold. I went to her flight and jessed her up, and we went out front to the top of the hill. I hadn’t said a word to Freedom, but somehow she knew. She looked at me and wrapped both her wings around me to where I could feel them pressing in on my back (I was engulfed in eagle wings), and she touched my nose with her beak and stared into my eyes, and we just stood there like that for I don’t know how long.
That was a magic moment. We have been soul mates ever since she came in. This is a very special bird.
On a side note: I have had people who were sick come up to us when we are out, and Freedom has some kind of hold on them. I once had a guy who was terminal come up to us and I let him hold her. His knees just about buckled and he swore he could feel her power course through his body. I have so many stories like that.
I never forget the honor I have of being so close to such a magnificent spirit as Freedom.