April 16, 2017


Hello lads and lassies.  just a few things here to get out in the open…for no particular reason other than to, um…get them out in the open. Right.

Our little Shi-tzu, Dukey, came down with canine distemper last week.  Letting him play outside, chasing the kids around on their scooters, seemed like a good idea at the time, but…there was/is a nasty distemper outbreak going through our village now.  And Dukey, at 11 weeks old, is stricken.

I have pictures of him, taken recently.  But I prefer to remember him this way.


This was taken just 12 hours before symptoms set in. Canine distemper (sometimes called hardpad disease or rockpaw) is a virus that all animals can get, right from the air they breathe.  Learn all about it here.  It’s very deadly and very contagious.  Dukey was given just a 20% chance to live.  At this hour (2:45AM) he is still down.  His two sister siblings have already died. Sympoms include, but are not limited to:  Lethargy, muscle spasms, seizures, fever, and night wimpering.  Duke has them all, though his seizures are only petite mal in nature–some paw twitching, ear twitching.  His sisters’ were grand mal all the way, and both died within 24 hours of diagnosis. Dukey has been suffering for almost a week now.  I would put his chances of survival at 50%.

On a much lighter note, earlier this year I got to talking with my two young daughters about folklore and urban legend in Ohio, the state of my birth.  The girls were born right here in Manila, so my stories from home almost always interest them.  But this time may have been a mistake.

I told them about the bloody Mary legend.  You know, the one about mirrors in dark rooms. You look at your reflection, chant “Bloody Mary” seven times…and BOO!  A witch appears in the mirror to tear off your head!  Or other some such nonsense.


The girls have been fascinated by it ever since.  So what do you think they did?  Tried the enchantment in their own house once the unflinching Manila sun went down?  Waited until they were alone and significantly scared?


They found a mirror in a church, DURING prayer, and THEN tried it. You have to picture that for a few seconds, please.  Let it sink in. People are praying to Mary, mother of Jesus…while right behind the whole congregation, my girls are moaning:  Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary…

Yeah.  Not cool.  They were whisked from the church as quickly as possible.

I gotta run, too.  NBA Playoffs, Cavs vs. Pacers, game one. No chanting, though, I promise. Or will us Cavs fans be demanding coach Ty Lue’s head later on?


Update: Our Dukey was euthanized this morning. 11:30AM. Goodbye, little one. I’m sorry we didn’t have more time.