A Fond Farewell To A Good Dog

IMG_0909I’m saddened to report that we lost Penny today.  Her departure leaves a hole in the family and a gap at the top of the stairs where she liked to plop down and survey her domain.

Ultimately, a rapidly growing liver tumor got Penny, but she was a dog that always seemed bedeviled by physical problems.  She had arthritis in her legs, battled inflamed intestines, and was prone to ear infections.  We knew we had reached the point of no return when Penny’s primary raison d’etre — eating as much as possible as quickly as possible — stopped working for her.  At the end, she couldn’t keep food down at all, and when that happens to a Lab you know their time has come.

We got Penny when she was just a puppy.  Richard chose the name Penny because as a young dog Penny was copper-colored.  Her family nicknames were Pen Pal and Lug Nut.  She always had a quizzical expression on her face that made me chuckle, and she was a loving and affectionate creature.  For Penny, life was like The Simpsons song:  a stranger was just a friend Penny hadn’t met.  She never let her ailments get her down.

Penny was not an active dog; unlike our prior dog Dusty Penny didn’t like to run, or play fetch, or swim.  No, Penny’s interests lay more in just being a part of the family.  Next to eating, Penny liked nothing more than sitting on the couch to watch some TV and getting a hug from Kish now and then.  She followed Kish around the house like the children followed the Pied Piper and grew anxious if Kish was out of sight, even if only for a minute or two.  When Kish came back it was like Christmas and the Fourth of July rolled into one.

Penny was well-trained until her illness caused her training to fail her, and she was dutiful and faithful to the very end.  That makes her a good dog in my book, and we’ll miss her.

15 Minutes A Day

The Lancet has published a study about the effect of exercise on longevity.  The results should embarrass every couch potato in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

The article, based on a study of a Taiwanese population, concludes that getting a mere 15 minutes of exercise a day results, on average, in an additional three years of life.  Every additional 15 minutes of exercise beyond that baseline has an appreciable positive effect on mortality.   In short, minimal effort — and let’s face it, 15 minutes of moderate activity exercise a day is pretty darned minimal — will produce meaningful results, and exercise beyond that minimum will enhance those effects.

So why don’t more people get off their butts and walk, or take the stairs instead of the elevator at work?  Instead, we’ve got people who, like Homer Simpson in the classic Simpsons episode, are striving toward a goal of being the fattest person ever to give birth or to tip the scales at more than 1000 pounds.  It’s pretty pathetic when you think about it.

Happy 20th Birthday – D’oh !

Well it is hard to believe it has been twenty years and The Simpsons is currently the longest running prime time entertainment program (just recently passing Gunsmoke) with a consistent setting and recurring characters. While other prime time shows have run longer they are all news and other types of variety programs.

I thought it would only be appropriate to have a video clip where Homer is trying to cast his ballot for president back in 2008 for Bob’s favorite candidate. Note the Ohio reference. The shows humor revolves around a wide spectrum of American society so it appeals to all generations. For example, early Simpson episodes would almost always include a prank call from Bart to Moe’s Tavern which would piss Moe off, similar to what we did as kids.

I hope it’s around for another twenty years.