Friday, 17 February 2017

Art in the Sky

From my friend Kathy who lives on Manhattan.   She titled it "Art in the Sky".

Thursday, 16 February 2017

A gift, and a message.


From Harry and David

This lovely gift arrived at my home today.   The label stated that it was from "Maria"..  I do not know anyone named  "Maria"  but I have a friend in Cambridge MA whose name is Mary.

I often call her "Maria".  She often calls me "Miguel".

So I suspect that my Cambridge friend is the originator of this lovely gift from the  firm called Harry and David.



I received a Facebook message today from a man who I care for, like, and respect.  We have not seen each other in at least twenty five  years.  Here is what (God bless him) he had to say:

So sorry to hear about your beloved animal friend passing... Penne looked like the most adorable, lovable "mutt" anyone could have!

I am certain you have experienced the magic companionship of pets in many ways... One which I found amazing was their ability to know when you are hurting, and will nuzzle a bit closer or give extra love in their own way...

Magical creatures, aren't they?

I hope you can consider another, in your own time... Many Penne's out there could use the famous "Povey hug!" In their lives...

My long time friend was spot on about Penne.  She was indeed "the most adorable, lovable "mutt" anyone could have! "

More importantly I was tickled pink by his reference to the "famous Povey hugs".

A friend (Benjamin) who is a Priest in the Church of South India (I met him when he was studying in in Cambridge, MA), often says that he remembers my hugs.

A parishioner (was she in Cambridge or Pittsfield?) once said that i was a "master of the sideways hug".

That was such a great compliment


There are scary full frontal hugs, often initiated and forced by males, with a ton of below the waist pressure.

There are affirming, safe, and welcoming hugs, sideways on, by which two females, or two males, or a female and a male express tender, gracious and affirming care,

I trust that my "famous Povey hugs" have mostly been safe.

And there will be a day on which another "mutt" will enter my life. He/she will not be another Penne. But she/he will enjoy my safe hugs, and I will be blessed by the loyalty and affection of him or her.


NOT YET. First I have to drain my reservoir of tears for "the most adorable, lovable "mutt" anyone could have! "

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Thank you

Penne at Ken Thompson Park, Dec 2016

Thank you for so many Facebook messages. e-mails and 'phone calls.  They have been kind, gracious and understanding.

It's been a sad day, and there are many yet to come.  You know that and I know it too.

I've been thinking today  that we all believe our dogs to be unique, special and one of a kind.

That's because they believe us to be be unique, special, and one of a kind.

It's a mutual thing!

You have all been so very kind and understanding,  I am grateful. Don't feel that you must reply to this.  I am deeply assured of your care.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Goodbye dear Penne

Penne at Ken Thompson Park last December
Some of you know that Penne has been in quite a bit of ;pain in recent days. Through X-rays we discovered this was because she had two compressed disks in her spine.

(In truth this condition probably began 15 months ago when my niece and her boyfriend were visiting from England - there were days on which we had to cajole Penne to jump up into my car).

Penne has been on Carprofen for just over a week, giving her some relief from pain.

The vet, who had taken blood tests last Friday, called me this morning to say that she should no longer take this anti-pain/anti-inflammation drug, because after only four days on it her kidneys had already been compromised.

I came home from a meeting today and Penne could not stand up.  When I tried to lift her, she screamed with pain.

A bit later she struggled to get up, and she staggered outside to pee and poop.

The time had come.

I wanted  to postpone the hard decision, but she was not going to get better.  My best wishes and love for her could not possibly have exceeded her pain.

I called the vet.

Her Uncle and Aunt, Ron and Char came to say good-bye to her.  She has spent so many very happy hours in their home when I have been away.

I dosed her with a lot of pain medicine, so that she was able to get into the car for her final journey.

At the Veterinary practice I stayed with her until her sedation kicked in.   I caressed her and talked to her until she slumped to the floor.  I left the Clinic before the final euthanasing injection.

The Veterinary Staff  were sweet. gentle and gracious.  They have known her for so long.

As I drove home I wanted to call the Vet and say "no, no, don't give give her the final shot".

And then I remembered her pain.  It could never be cured,  And at 16 years of age  (9 with me) she deserved to be pain free.

I had a friend with me this evening, Deacon Allan Rogers from St. Boniface, so that  I would l not be alone. That was good.

Many of you met Penne.  I am so grateful for the ways in which you showed her such great affection. She won all our hearts.

I have shed many tears.  There are many to come.  I do not relish the thought of waking up tomorrow without seeing her big brown  eyes, and watching her tail wag as she greets me.

DOG  and GOD.    Our dogs are god-like.   They show us unconditional love.


My sister in law Ange, my niece Louise, and my friends Susan and Lisa have recently traveled this sad path.   They know and understand my tears.

Monday, 13 February 2017

The curse of dementia; the blessing of care.

One of my new  (since 2006) friends went off to assisted living this afternoon. He, like I, is a retired Priest of the Episcopal Church.

He is moving into the dementia which is connected with Parkinson's Disease.

Our mutual circle of friends have wanted to believe that his onset of dementia has been sudden.

In truth there have been "signs along the way" which we have either not seen, or have chosen to ignore.

A recent incident (which could have placed him in great danger) alerted us to the knowledge that his dementia was deep and troubling.

Most fortunately he had previously signed legal papers, allowing another of our friends (who has rendered stellar service) to act on his behalf in a situation such as this.

So this morning my friend's bits and bobs of furniture were moved to his new home this morning, to await his arrival this afternoon.

I sat with him for three hours this morning at his home, as all this was happening.  He is sad to be leaving this home (since 2002), but he also knows that this is for his best.

He had moments of lucidity, and moments of confusion.

I asked if he would like to pray with me.  He said "no".

Two hours later he said  "O.K. now you can give me a blessing".

He very much wanted me to accept a gift of his copy of the  "St. Augustine's Prayer Book".  This is an unofficial book for the use of  Episcopalian Priests who are of the Anglo-Catholic/High Church ilk.

That's not my tradition  (I am a  liberal Evangelical/Low Church Minister),

But I accepted his gift as a token of our relationship as good friends, and as brother Ministers/Priests in the American Episcopal Church.

When a brother(or sister)  is in need it's not the time to discuss theology

That was my day.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

How do you spell relief?

I have been under a bit of stress, arising from circumstances beyond my control,  I've needed a bit of TLC.

As I chatted with my brother Martyn  in Bristol UK) yesterday afternoon he said  "you need a Ron and Char fix"

He was darn right.    I was happy to tell him that they had already invited me to their home last evening,  for some R and R.


Thanks to my Massachusetts friend Judy Beers I met Ron and Char when I moved to SRQ in 2006.

They are the creme de la creme.

My English family members - Maureen, Bern, Jean, John,. Martyn. Wendy, Sam, Ruth,  Dennis, Janet, Steve etc who have met R and C would agree without question.

My new (since 2006) SRQ friends Ben (dec'd), Bob, Betty, Mike, Charles, John, Gordon, Bill, Patrick  etc   -  the list goes on and on -  have also met R and C and they agree that they are the tops,


So there I was last night, down at their home in the Gulf Gate area of SRQ

Ron's brother and sister in law, Bob and Claire from Beverly, MA were also there -  and that was very good.

Char knows that I like lamb chops, so we feasted on them.

Char does not particularly care for Brussels Sprouts, buy she know that I like them,so they too were on our plates.  (That's hospitality for you).

I stayed for just under two hours because I needed/wanted to be back at home with my "poorly": dog Penne.

But I drive home with a lighter spirit, knowing that in retirement I have been be-friended by splendid people, and that I am not alone in SRQ.

Last night.   Some of you may have seen this photo' on Char's Face Book page.  This version has been cropped and re-formulated by me, leaving out much of Bob Thompson  (sorry Bob!)