Doc Dave

Doc Dave

David Struckhoff    8-16-1942  —  9-16-2009

Published in: on October 16, 2009 at 4:11 pm  Comments (1)  

Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

May, 2009

Published in: on October 16, 2009 at 4:02 pm  Leave a Comment  


Petunia was a good dog.  I told her so.  Doctor Lee told her so as she slowly injected the drug that would send her to the place that good dogs go to when their lives as our companions are over. 

Petunia had bone cancer.  She was only two, very young for such a disease.  And Petunia was a precious little thing, nine pounds of perky, comical rat-terrier who loved to cuddle and burrow and dance in circles and kiss.

She had been in my life a little more than a year.  With a nudge from my sister I had found her online at a community pet rescue site.  I was looking for a little buddy for the dog I already had.  Ranger, the TEXAS Ranger, himself a stray, who adopted me many years ago and has been with me through some dark times–the illness and death of my husband, some long-distance moves, a lot of upheaval.  Ranger is getting old and grizzled now.  He is deaf, and sometimes his old bones just don’t walk the way they used to.  Petunia was supposed to liven him up, and she did.

The dog that had caught my sister’s eye online was a cute ball of fur that had been abused, but when I applied for her it turned out that she had already been adopted.  Then I saw Petunia.  Her name was different on the adoption board, but when I saw her I knew that I had to have her.  She had those silly, pointy “Spock” ears, big, luminous brown eyes, and a lopsided mask of brown and black on her face. 

It was a hundred mile drive to pick the dog up, and when I met Petunia I knew I’d made the right decision.  All the woman at the rescue knew was that the dog had been found on the street and no one had claimed her.  The poor soul just needed a home other than a cage at a pet-rescue facility.

The little character didn’t miss a beat.  She and Ranger became fast friends, and she wasn’t afraid of Hilo Hattie, the Maine Coon Cat (a thirteen-pounder) who thinks she rules the roost at my home. 

It was hard not to love Petunia.  My neighbors fed her treats and told me about her antics with Ranger, and they were as concerned as I when they noticed her begin to limp.  She hadn’t been injured, but originally the vet thought she might have a torn ligament.  X-rays showed bone cancer, though, and there was nothing that could be done that would give her any quality of life beyond a few months. 

She was a little trouper, she didn’t cry or moan, and she did try.  But even with painkillers, she didn’t want to walk or eat, she just laid by her “brother” Ranger, curled up, her big eyes dulled by the pain she was feeling. 

I had her euthanized yesterday.  It was a difficult decision.  She was so small and so brave, a part of me said to wait a week or two, but I knew that by then the pain would be even greater–and I felt that wasn’t fair to her.  

Doctor Lee was kind, understanding, sympathetic.  She had me hold little Petunia’s head while she made the injection, then she rested her hand on her side until it was time to listen with the stethoscope to confirm that the heartbeat had stopped.  There was a tear in her eye too when she said that Petunia was gone. 

It’s stupid, but I am crying as I write this.  Ranger is laying next to my chair, snoozing.  Yesterday when I came home without his “sister” Petunia, he looked at me quizzically, and at dinner-time he waited, as if he expected Petunia to clatter into the kitchen for her bowl.         

Petunia was a good dog. 


Published in: on May 10, 2008 at 12:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Avoidance Activities

God save me from the the following:

Watching Mr. Farnsworth’s Cathode Ray Tube

Law & Order Reruns

The Godfather and LOTR 

Reading Checkout Stand Magazines and Tabloids

RE-reading Gone with the Wind and Stranger in a Strange Land

Belonging to “helpful” writers’ websites

Online Shopping

Crosswords and Sudoku

Not necessarily in that order . . .


Published in: on April 30, 2008 at 12:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Some Days It Just Doesn’t Pay. . .

The heels of Solitaire’s Manolos clicked among the peanut shells on the floor.  When Bones had finished with the cleaning supplies, she dug into her Hermes bag, pulled out a roll of cash and peeled off five C notes.  “I think that oughtta cover my tab, and the rest is yours for bein’ such a good sport.”

Bones clutched the bills in one hand, his bar towel in the other.  “Are you going somewhere, Miz Solitaire?”

“Oh, I’ll be around.”  She winked.  “And when he’s done in the little boy’s room, buy that gentleman a ginger-ale with my compliments.”

“Will do, Miz Solitaire.”

When she reached the door Solitaire turned around.  “It wasn’t me, you know.”

Bones cocked his head in question.

“I didn’t write those stories on the wall in there.  Last time I was in a gentleman’s lounge it was at the Troutdale in Bristol, tryin’ to break up a fight between two stock-car drivers.  It wasn’t a pretty sight.”  She put a plum laquered fingertip to her lips, kissed it, then touched the finger to Bones’ face.  “See ya, champ.”

Published in: on April 24, 2008 at 10:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Work In Progress


This is Solitaire’s blog.  It was born April 19, 2008. 

There may be bits about the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, updates on some of my fascinating activities, maybe some enticing tidbits from my writing, or just my opnions–such as they are–about the state of affairs on planet earth.

♥  Solitaire 




Published in: on April 19, 2008 at 4:21 pm  Comments (2)