My Son Chides Me for Not Blogging Enough

I missed this somehow, but back in February Avedon Carol linked to one of my entries.  Wow!  Mister Big Time, that’s me.

Conversation overheard while drinking coffee after last weekend’s bicycle ride:

“You know, kids can’t say the Pledge of Allegiance in school any more.”

“I know.  Isn’t it terrible?”

“Not the Under God part, anyway.”

“And the things they teach, like evolution.”

“It’s just unbelievable, isn’t it?”

As long as I’ve been working there, the empty dirt field on the south side of the VA hospital grounds has been home to a feral dog.  I see her occasionally, trotting in and out of the Ajo Road entrance gate, reasonably healthy looking, savvy about traffic, a survivor.  Sometimes her teats hang down and you can tell she recently had a litter.  But I have never seen one of her pups, until now.

Feral dog at VA hospital

This one’s female as well, quite young and already somewhat beat up (the photo’s very poor, taken from some distance away, but you can just make out one red ulcerated eye).  This one lives on the east side of the hospital, back by the warehouses and maintenance sheds.  I believe other VA employees put out food and water for her, but just in case I’ve been carrying a bag of dog food in my van.  So far I’ve been unable to convince her to come within a hundred feet of me, and with her bad eye(s?) she doesn’t seem to be able to see what I’m doing when I put kibble on the sidewalk.  Perhaps she finds it later and snarfs it up.  I hope so.  Donna wants me to trap her and bring her home.  Sounds like an invitation to a series of rabies shots to me.

Best spam e-mail received to date:

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Regards,
Senator James Manager.

And now another slice’o’life from the driver’s seat.  You may recall a previous photo entry about a guy who was single-handedly destroying one of the neighborhoods I pick up patients in.  This time it’s one of my patients doing the destroying.

Tucson yard

When I first started picking this gentleman up, he had no wheelchair ramp.  Just a front door, an eight-inch concrete sill, and a dirt yard (oh, and a ladder for easy roof access).  The VA has programs to help disabled patients with stuff like this, so I talked to my boss and got the ball rolling.  Two months later — pretty quick work — the VA put in a wheelchair ramp.  But enough about that.  Let’s take a closer look.

Wheelchair ramp

Within a day of its installation, the wheelchair ramp had become a porch, complete with barbecue grill.  He can’t squeeze by the grill in his chair, so he has to leave it out there next to the grill and walk to it, using the hand rails to support himself.  The knapsack lying on the ground is most likely destined for the fire pit.

Fire pit

The fire pit, filled with blackened rocks, bricks, and spray cans.  Unburned debris accumulates around it, ready to be put to the torch.

Cremated animal? Suitcase?

The water gun leaning up against the fence is probably not going in the fire pit.  I suspect they let the grandkids put the flames out with it.  What appears to be partially-cremated dog is in fact a suitcase, a harbinger of the knapsack’s fate.

Well, that was fun.  Now I’m going to take a shower, then walk up and down my street knocking on doors and thanking my neighbors for being normal.  Maybe you should do the same.

© 2008, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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