Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Sad Tale of Howard the Duck

Howard, Ben and Jerry are three wood ducks that live at the Opryland Hotel. Wood ducks are different from other ducks, because they don't quack - they just squeak.

Unfortunately, Howard is now a dead duck. His little duck body was found last week by a hotel employee.

Howard was a good duck.

Many people don't know that his full name was Howard John McCain.

Howard was often a loner.

Sometimes he didn't move so well.

He was also a maverick. When the other party of ducks (Ben and Jerry) was mean to him, he often tried to cross party lines to make peace and to cooperate with the other side.

He once had a swimming mate named Sarah. Sarah could see another section of the hotel from her house.

But, alas and alack, one day Howard was heard from no more.

In the words of the poet, Henry Waddlesworth Duckfellow:

One time Howard had a mate.
But then, by a sad twist of fate
A pizza choked her really bad.
She died, and made him very sad.
For many months he did not speak;
He never quacked and rarely squeaked.
But then one day - this is no joke -
He didn't quack or squeak; he croaked.

Why I love animals

Often in the course of conversation I am questioned to why I have so many pets. JANE, HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY HAVE SO MANY HAIRY, DISGUSTING ANIMALS IN YOUR HOME? My could you not?

I have walked the walk of an animal lover since I was very small. I would bring a lost dog home only to be told by my parents to take it back where I found it. Animals and I have always had a connection and I find that they are the purest form of unconditional love in this often loveless world. I have looked into the eyes of countless homeless and abused animals and have seen such need for a simple kind touch or kind word. Pretty simple by anyone's standards and so easy to fill this need. This is why my question to you would then could you turn away from those needy faces and worry more about some dog hair or dirt on the floor?

My need to help these helpless creatures of God is about love...simple, unconditional, unselfish love. Yes, my house is probably dirtier than yours; yes, I have more hair blowing across my floor; but I wouldn't trade any of this for a perfect house. Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder. Nothing more beautiful than one of my cats sleeping in the sun on my table or the excitement I see on my dogs' faces when I return from a quick trip to the store. Few humans have ever shown that excitement whenever I walked into a room.

Contrary to popular belief, I do love humans too. But it's not a contest...I can love humans and animals equally. I thank God every day for that wonderful gift. Amen.

First Blog: It's Lilla's Fault

Well, our friends Lilla and Neal in Colorado have a blog. I guess it's really Lilla's blog. She is an excellent writer! (Check out

Lilla has been bugging us to start our own blog, and telling us how easy it is to do, so tonite I decided to try it. After a couple hours of trying, what you see is how far I've gotten. There's a lot to learn, and my patience level varies, so I don't know how fancy we'll be.

It is kind of fun, and an opportunity to be creative, informative and keep in touch.

This will be an occasional production at irregular intervals.

Chances are that Neal and Lilla could be the only ones to read it. But, for what it's worth, here it is.

Just remember, it's Lilla's fault.