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March 10, 2010

Losing My Battle Buddy

Shortly after The Spousal Unit informed me with his customary elan that there was one last deployment in the offing, my friend Carrie gave me a Battle Buddy necklace. Because it was summer (and because I'm constitutionally incapable of doing the normal thing), I doubled it up and turned it into an anklet.

Military wives talk a lot about the need for a support system when a loved one deploys. We rely on friends, neighbors, family, and most importantly other military wives who've been there and know the drill.

I haven't written much about this deployment. That's fairly typical for me. The more something bothers me, the less likely I am to want to discuss it. I deal with situations I can't control by attempting to ignore them. If I'm lonely, I clean the basement. Again. If I'm feeling sorry for myself, I clam up. I don't really want to talk about my feelings. I don't want other people feeling sorry for me. Like dour Pete Longstreet, I just put my head down and try to bull through it.

That's had a real effect on my writing because all this silence about things I can't control doubles back on itself after a while. It raises a barrier between you and your feelings and in the weeks and months that follow, that wall grows stronger and higher with each stifled thought. The thing is, though, some things can't be put off forever. I'll be muddling along and suddenly up from the graveyard of my subconscious shoots the dreaded zombie hand, fingers twitching menacingly as it thrusts upward through the compost of my soul. And I just know that if I don't deal with it, it will stir up the dust bunnies under the daybed and shrivel the houseplants.

Or the two week old green peppers in my crisper will begin speaking in tongues when I open the refrigerator door. And don't pretend that hasn't happened to every single one of you because I happen to know better. So much for the Super Woman act. When the Dreaded Zombie Hand appears, even the strongest of us know that the jig is up.

There was an omission in my support system. I left out someone who has been there for me through three deployments now: two that lasted a year and one I'm nearly 6 months into. I didn't intend to leave him out. It's just that sometimes you don't fully appreciate how much a loved one means to you until he's no longer there to remind you that you were never alone.

Unlike my other battle buddies, he walked on four feet instead of two. But his ears were always ready to listen and his heart was bigger than one might expect for someone who weighed a whopping 16 pounds soaking wet. As it turned out, it was his mighty little heart that failed him.


Sausage came to live with us 13 years ago. We bought him from a neighbor who had a sign in her yard:

Dachshund pups: 35 bucks

He was the runt of the litter. Originally we had wanted a female and she had another litter coming. Certainly it would have been more convenient to wait. But it was Christmas Eve and all his brothers and sisters had been adopted by loving families. No one wanted him. How could they have known that they'd passed over the best of the bunch?

He came into a home occupied by an aging beagle in the last months of her life. We'd hoped a puppy would perk her up but Sausage quickly became the bane of her existence. Molly had a bad hip and it must have galled her no end to be stalked by a pesky 2 pound bundle of doofyness who thought he was Rocky the Flying Squirrel. Sausage adored Molly. I wish I could say she returned his affection but that would be a lie. Still, she was unfailingly gentle with him no matter how he pestered her. He would take a running start and launch himself through the air, paws spread in all four directions water bug style, eventually making contact with a tiny "plop". After several weeks of this, poor Molly had finally had enough.

I've never forgotten the sight of her gently flipping him on his back and pinning him to the carpet by his outflung ears. An almost imperceptible growl and an extremely severe look were enough to ensure that he never jumped on her again.

mmm_dog.png How do dogs do that? How do they know that babies require different rules? In his final weeks, Molly was amply revenged. My two year old grandson was utterly obsessed with Sausage. At least 10 or 15 times a day he would burst into the room where I was working, grab Grandma's finger, and drag me to wherever poor Sausage was cowering. I would acknowledge that there was indeed a dog in the house and my grandson would toddle off, satisfied. From time to time, he would decide that the dog needed a large object placed on him while he was sleeping. Like Molly had done so many years before, Sausage responded to these assaults with patient resignation.

Unlike our experience with Molly, being around my grandson seemed to perk Sausage up. He did things we hadn't seen him do for months: climb stairs. Run. His little candle burned so brightly that I began to wonder whether part of the ailments he'd been plagued with recently weren't due to loneliness? With the boys and my husband gone, there was only me. Perhaps I had neglected him?

But the improvement in his health and energy was an illusion. One evening as my son and I worked to assemble a china hutch for the kitchen, he began throwing up. Or at least that's what we thought: surely he'd just eaten something disgusting. In the space of a few hours he went from bad to worse and I took him in to the vet around midnight. But I had no idea how bad things had gotten. I thought he'd get some stomach medicine and rally as he always had before.

They gave me a cardboard "casket" to carry him home in. That struck me as funny in a way. The box was many times bigger than he was, and as I dug a hole in my son's back yard on a blustery morning I had spaghetti Western visions of myself in a long calico dress on the prairie, wind blowing my hair into my eyes as I struggled with the frozen sod. Always the drama queen.

Sausage would have understood that I was laughing at myself and my one woman pity party. He understood a lot for such a small beast. He was the one who always saw the worst of me. My irritable flashes when he ceremoniously disgraced himself at the customary place under my dining room table. My shouted, "YOU ATE MY STEAK!!! YOU LITTLE THIEF!" during the last deployment when I put down my grocery bag to answer the phone. All the times when too many weeks of silence came pouring out in a flood of self-pitying tears.

If you want to know what real love is, get a dog. They are always faithful, always kind, and above all always forgiving. Even when you don't deserve it. Especially when you don't deserve it. They will wait up for you after everyone else has gone to bed: tail thumping the carpet madly as you walk inside after a long day at work.

The stud muffin in his bitchin' ski jacket. Always a hit with the ladies...

The silence in my house reminds me that I was never alone, even though there were times when it felt like it. Not while my battle buddy was there to stick a cold nose on my shins when I least expected it, or snuggle contentedly in my lap as I dozed on the sofa in the evenings.

Or steal my blankets.

There is nothing worse than a cold, wet nose on your shins. Except, perhaps, wishing you could feel that icy cold nose just one more time.

Posted by Cassandra at March 10, 2010 12:14 PM

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Oh, Cassie... *hugs*

Posted by: FbL at March 10, 2010 02:46 PM

I am so sorry, Cass. This was a beautiful post that had tears coming down my face. Much truth in all of your words. ::hugs::

Posted by: wifeunit at March 10, 2010 02:46 PM

You do know that grieving over the little dog you're burying is not being a drama queen, right? I hope you do. I'm so sorry about this news. I don't know what arrangements God has made for animals, but I insist on believing He takes care of dogs when they die.

Posted by: Texan99 at March 10, 2010 02:49 PM

He was loved, and he knew it. We all knew it. You blogged about him because you loved him. What a loving tribute. Dogs are truly, unconditional love.

Posted by: Cricket at March 10, 2010 03:01 PM

He was such a joyful little beast :)

One of my other favorite memories is of walking him when we lived in the city. I lost track of the number of folks who would actually roll down their windows and yell, "WEINER DOOOOOOOOOGGGGGG!!!!" as they drove by.

Heh. And thanks, guys.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 10, 2010 03:03 PM

As long as you have memories of the weiner dog, he will always be there in your heart and soul.

It's hard to lose a friend. It is a real struggle to go on when that friend thought you were the greatest thing there ever was. But going on is what they would want you to do. Think of the wagging tail and the pitter patter of the little feet and the unadulterated happiness both of you felt when you were together, and know that one day, you will see him again and it he'll look at you like "Mom, where have you been? I have been waiting for you." At least that's what I hope for.

Posted by: kbob in katy at March 10, 2010 03:22 PM


Posted by: Cassandra at March 10, 2010 03:28 PM

So sorry to hear about your pooch. It never gets easier (Yorkie #6). It helps to refer to the "Rainbow Bridge" knowing that our devoted animals are waiting for us to join them when our time comes.

They never ask for much in return for so much love and devotion. That is their legacy.


Posted by: vet66 at March 10, 2010 04:51 PM

What they said. Some animals make us better people by their presence. Sounds like Sausage was one of them. Kind thoughts headed your way.

Posted by: LittleRed1 at March 10, 2010 05:25 PM

My condolences, Cass. It's been just over three years since I lost Sophia. I still miss her. I think it would have been harder if she'd been my only pet. I dread the thought of the next time it will happen. Abby & Tipsy are 13 and starting to show their age. Junior is 11. Right now, he's lounging between me and the laptop. Pets aren't just animals, they're family...and we miss them after they're gone.

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at March 10, 2010 05:29 PM

You have my condolences, Ma'am. I've shed tears as my cats have died, one by one, through old age or sickness.

Get another pet/friend, when you're ready, and no guilt over that--you're not replacing the one you've lost; you're getting another loved one/partner (yes, I know you have a partner who's currently deployed; this is another partner. For both of you.)

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at March 10, 2010 05:37 PM

Sweets to the sweet. Farewell.

Posted by: spd rdr at March 10, 2010 05:42 PM

I am sorry for your loss and more than a bit envious. I have a couple of cats and they are nice co-owners (not to mention relatively low maintenance for a divorced Dad), but I have always maintained that a puppy is the only form of love you can buy and bring home. Hang in there.

Posted by: Barry at March 10, 2010 05:49 PM

have always maintained that a puppy is the only form of love you can buy and bring home.


I have no complaints. I was lucky to have him for so long. I miss him terribly but that is no more than he deserves.

Puppies will have to wait. I'm not ready yet and also I don't think it's right to exclude the spouse from the puppy selection process if that's what we decide upon.

I would like another doxie someday, though.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 10, 2010 06:08 PM

I'm so sorry, Cassandra.

Posted by: Elise at March 10, 2010 06:37 PM

Oh, my. My sympathy, too, Cassandra. Remember the happy lickings and jumpings and ambushes from under the sofa. Would that we were as good as dogs think we are. {{{Hugs}}}

Posted by: htom at March 10, 2010 07:08 PM

(((hugs))) and more (((hugs)))

Posted by: olga at March 10, 2010 09:12 PM

Oh, Cass, I am so sorry! I'm sending hugs of comfort as you deal with the loss of Sausage. Been there, done that - the hurt never completely goes away, but it does soften over time as I'm sure you know...

Posted by: Kat at March 10, 2010 09:37 PM


{Author Unknown }
We have a secret, you and I,
That no one else shall know,
For who, but I can see you lie,
Each night, in fireglow?

And who but I can reach my hand
Before we go to bed,
And feel the living warmth of you
And touch your silken head?

And only I walk woodland paths,
And see, ahead of me,
Your small form racing with the wind,
So young again, and free.

And only I can see you swim
In every brook I pass.
And, when I call, no one but I
Can see the bending grass.
Your little friend is free now.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at March 10, 2010 11:49 PM

I'm so sorry. We have Border Collies and I know how badly it hurts when the time comes to say good bye. I wish there was something I could say or do to make it better, but condolences are the best I have.

Posted by: Pogue at March 11, 2010 12:29 AM

My condolences.

Posted by: Foxfier at March 11, 2010 01:46 AM

People bewail the anonymity provided by the Internet and fail to see the flip side -- continuous interaction with the same folks for years results in you knowing them fairly well, without ever having really seen them (except in photos stored in online repositories) or heard their voices. They become friends -- "invisible friends" to be sure, but that doesn't change the fact of friendship.

Your pix and postings over the years described the li'l Weinerbeast well -- now we're gonna miss him, too...

Posted by: BillT at March 11, 2010 03:20 AM

So sorry! Your poor pooch and poor you! They puncture our heart with those needle sharp teeth and keep us alive thru the valley of the shadow of death sometimes. And I will never forget your funny descriptions of him in the snow while you shovelled...A big and sympathetic virtual hug. I wandered around like a zombie for weeks after our pooch died 2 years ago. Still suffer from phantom Dog Syndrome, thinking he will be at my feet or around the corner or stealing food off the table or whatever. I like the Mark Twain (sic?) auote about "When I die, if they don't let dogs into Heaven, I want to be where they are..."


Posted by: retriever at March 11, 2010 07:15 AM

So sorry. Lengthy earlier condolence swallowed up by browser. xxx and a big virtual hug. He will be waiting for you in Heaven, marking the outline of your new backyard and fluffing about in the snow when you shovel there...

Posted by: retriever at March 11, 2010 07:20 AM

What a great story of your beloved wiener dog. I can really understand your loss, and your feelings over his departure.

Years ago, when I lost my first dog, in the mid 1950’s, I was crestfallen. I took it as “my loss”. Over the ensuing years I watched other family members loose pets, including dogs, cats, birds, and most recently my daughter had me bury her pet rat.

Sometime between my first dog’s demise, and the birth of my children, I came to see in a deep way that our pets’ death (and their lives) are not losses, but gifts from God. Their shorter lives, except of parrots, teaches us that we must live each day, and express our love and thanks to each other since none of us knows how long we have.

So, in a strange way, in dying, our pets give to us one more time.


Posted by: JACK at March 11, 2010 08:39 AM

Though no one else will ever wet your shins the same way again, and while they remain dry while your heart sombers, may your home be filled once more with prancing wet noses.

Posted by: Boquisucio at March 11, 2010 09:44 AM

Your pix and postings over the years described the li'l Weinerbeast well -- now we're gonna miss him, too...

Bill has the right of it, Cass. Yours is the first dog I have wept for that I did not ever meet. And I will also second the statement that mourning over burying a pet is NOT being a drama queen. I absolutely bawled as I buried our 13 year old Lhasa girl. I cried as our 17 year old Pom was put to sleep in my arms. Tears were shed as I buried our last boy at age 14 after one cold, rainy night when he got lost and confused in our back yard and could not find his way back inside. I am even crying now for your little boy. And that's going to be a bit hard for me to explain if anyone in the office notices. I can't say I rightly care about what they think at the moment.

I am truly sorry for your loss.

Posted by: MikeD at March 11, 2010 09:49 AM

Thank you :)

When I was growing up we had a German Shorthaired Pointer named Baron. He was a funny dog. He drove my Mom nuts when my Dad was at sea. She used to tell the story of having a recurring dream where a big, brown rat with a red collar was following her around, gazing at her with piteous eyes :p

Baron got sick when I was away at college. I've never forgotten catching sight of my Dad's face months later. We moved a bookshelf at the top of the steps to clean under it and out tumbled this disreputable old tennis ball. As it bounced down the steps, I could see the pain in my Dad's face. He left suddenly and didn't come back for a few minutes.

Though that's not why I wrote this essay, I feel so much better about losing Sausage. Sometimes it really is true that we can't do everything alone.

Thank you, my dear friends. Bill got a lot of things right.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 11, 2010 09:57 AM

As one of my favorite authors said:
"Shared pain is lessened; shared joy, increased — thus do we refute entropy."

Posted by: MikeD at March 11, 2010 10:18 AM

I'm so sorry.

Posted by: Maggie at March 11, 2010 10:28 AM

Those who don't know might read these thoughts, and think: "Oh what pitiful stuff."

But we know better...

I wept like a child when my Buff went ahead of me to the Rainbow Bridge, and I've shed tears for every lifespark who did the touch and go (all "rescued")...

Right now, big dog Ice is the "designated pal" - she's the one who touched her nose to my hand in the middle of the night when the nightmares come. She's the one into whose fluffy white coat I snuggle when things get overwhelming for a few minutes...

And I shall weep for her when she passes (hopefully in the far distant future...)

Hugs to you for your loss...

Posted by: SGT B at March 11, 2010 10:59 AM

I did ok until that last "cold, wet nose on your shin" line... and then I lost it. Damn it. I am so sorry, Cass.

Posted by: AFSister at March 11, 2010 11:15 AM

Oh, Cass - I'm sorry the Wiener Beast has gone on. As others have said, (((hugs))).

Posted by: MathMom at March 11, 2010 11:49 AM

I feel your pain. Still hurting over my dog... gone these two years.

Posted by: Richard W at March 11, 2010 02:46 PM

It's been almost exactly 3 years since our dog chased off after a deer, and was found by the side of the road the next day. We held out for three miserable weeks before getting a new puppy.

That fixed things right away. Looking back, I don't know why we waited so long!

Posted by: JohnW at March 11, 2010 03:04 PM

I do want a puppy. Very badly, in fact.

I'm going to wait until The Unit gets home, though. I want him to have the chance to weigh in (though I know he'd love any dog I brought into our home). Still, it's nice to be consulted. Thanks for the advice :)

Posted by: Cassandra at March 11, 2010 03:07 PM

in dominus patri, in spiritus sancti.

Posted by: ry at March 11, 2010 03:39 PM

So very sorry, Cass! I still miss my kitty, and it's been a year :-(

Bill - the proper term is "imaginary" friends, not invisible :-)

Posted by: Barb at March 11, 2010 06:10 PM

Hi Cass ... sorry to hear about your battle buddy. Its always tough to lose a dog; my wife and I think fondly of the many dogs we've had. Each had his/her own personality making them unique and memorable. I know having them around when I was deployed in Iraq helped Susan cope. I'm sure the two dogs we have now will also help her through my next trip down range.

Interesting that you plan to wait for your hubby's return to get a new dog. When I left for Iraq we had two dogs, a Lab and a Maltese (her baby) while I was over there I got an email from her with the subject "can I keep her" and attached was a picture of the cutest beagle she found as a stray and took in.

Posted by: Frodo at March 11, 2010 06:27 PM

Mike (you probably don't know him) and I met for the second time (or maybe the third) after all of our years of exchanging email and postings on BBSes (ten, twenty thousand messages?) Bawling on each other's shoulders ... we settled on "efriends".

Posted by: htom at March 11, 2010 06:33 PM

Cassandra -

"Be thou comforted, little dog, Thou too in Resurrection shall have a little golden tail."

- Martin Luther

I fully expect heaven to populated with books and dogs. Sausage will be there, fat and sassy and ready to greet you again.


Posted by: Deana at March 11, 2010 09:16 PM

I'm sorry, Cassandra. We had to put our dog down recently--she was fourteen years old with such severe arthritis she could barely get around anymore. We were all heartbroken, but *especially* my dad. I hadn't seen him that broken up in years.

I remember reading a sentence somewhere: "Get a dog. You will never find that level of trust and love in a human face." How true that is.

Posted by: colagirl at March 11, 2010 10:22 PM

We love them, they love us. It makes the world a better place. So sorry about your buddy. {{{Hugs}}}}

Posted by: Oh Hell at March 11, 2010 11:29 PM

I hope Sausage does not mind hanging with an Army Wiener Dog - Fountain's Eric the Red. Eric was mom's favorite son, and slept with her for almost 17 years. But when dad was home, he was daddy's boy, especially in the later years. He passed a few years after dad retired from the Army, and was working at a university. Mom says dad - Infantry, Airborne and Aviator of 32 years, would get in from work for the next few days, pour a glass of wine, and then sit on the back porch and cry. What a great dog...What a great dad. I am sorry for the loss of your canine companion. LF

Posted by: Larry Fountain at March 11, 2010 11:36 PM

Oh wow - Sausage dies AND Bill gets a lot of things right? More than a person can handle.

I am so very sorry about Sausage. I didn't grow up with human brothers and sisters but I had canine ones and losing one was like losing a sibling. Hugs to you, my friend.

And those barriers and walls you speak of...yeah...I could use a dog.

Posted by: HomefrontSix at March 12, 2010 03:26 AM

...those barriers and walls you speak of...yeah...I could use a dog.

Yeah, I'll bet you could. I am a big fan of hounds. I like them because they have the world's softest, silkiest ears, and they love it (and you!) when you rub them.

I have had a lot of talks with my dog when there was something I needed to talk out, but knew it wasn't a good idea to give voice to. They are good listeners.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 12, 2010 05:32 AM

Larry, Sausage would be proud to hang with an Army Weiner Beast :p

Frodo, when a beagle shows up on your doorstep I'd say you have no choice. They are sweet and lovable beasties.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 12, 2010 05:34 AM

Bill got a lot of things right.

Blind squirrel. Acorn.

Posted by: BillT at March 12, 2010 01:31 PM

Oh honey, I'm so so sorry to hear about Sausage. *hugs*

Posted by: Nicki at March 12, 2010 02:07 PM

Dammitall. Sorry to hear it. Prayers for you and your Spousal Unit, Male Gender Type.

Posted by: Wollf at March 12, 2010 05:44 PM

I am very sorry about Sausage. But I pray that God protects your Colonel and keeps him from harm. Deployments can be tough--some tougher than others.

Posted by: philip at March 12, 2010 09:36 PM

It's funny you mention hounds...I've been thinking about getting a Basset Hound for a while now.

Posted by: HomefrontSix at March 13, 2010 03:30 AM

They are very funny dogs. My Marine neighbor when I was in quarters in HS had a basset. I loved his ears!

Posted by: Cassandra at March 13, 2010 09:41 AM

Very sorry, Cass.

Posted by: lex at March 13, 2010 10:21 AM

So sorry about Sausage's passing, Cass.

Posted by: Mongo at March 13, 2010 11:01 AM

I've been a sometime lurker for a long time. SO sorry about Sausage. Our fur-family are so important. They need so very little and give so very much.

Sausage is over the rainbow bridge, likely tormenting Molly once again.

Posted by: Kris, in New England at March 13, 2010 11:50 AM

likely tormenting Molly once again

Heh :)

It really was comical to watch them. I felt so sorry for poor Molly, but also for the little guy who pestered her constantly, hoping she would play with him.

If she hadn't felt so bad, I think she would have. I'd like to think that in heaven all afflictions melt away and she would be able to romp and growl ferociously and play.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 13, 2010 12:15 PM

From another doxie owner (or should I say owned?), deep condolences on your loss. Funny how even as they steal your blanket and bury themselves in it, they forever burrow into your heart...

Posted by: Steeljaw Scribe at March 13, 2010 02:19 PM

I miss waking up to find Jordan snuggled up against me at night. I had to carry her in to the vet as she could no longer walk. Then, after the vet did what he had to do, it was time to pay the bill. But I couldn't hold the pen to sign the check.

Sorry to hear it, Cass. Godspeed. I think it was a country song I heard that said "If there's no dogs in Heaven then I don't want to go."

Posted by: RonF at March 13, 2010 06:51 PM

I believe they are whole, and waiting to see you again, tails wagging, tongues lolling out and joyous yips and kisses.

Posted by: Cricket at March 13, 2010 07:49 PM

Dang. I haven't had a dog since my good old Lab Maxine checked out on me in the 90's. Makes me want to get another mutt...

Posted by: Luton at March 13, 2010 09:03 PM

I went to the Soldiers' Angels barbecue in San Antonio. One of the soldiers brought his 12-week-old bulldog puppy. His name (the puppy...) was Gillian. He was just adorable.

Our pets are more than "just animals". They are family. It hurts when they have to leave us. With time, it gets easier, and we are ready for a new furry family member. But, when it is new, it really sucks...

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at March 14, 2010 03:35 AM

We waited 5 months after losing Kirby before we decided to get Knuckles. I hope I can have a dog until the last moment of my life but would hate to leave one behind for others to deal with. The older I get the more I wonder, "Do I have time for one more puppy?

Don't wait. Consult with Spousal Unit via email, if you think it wise. I'm sure he wouldn't want you to be without a "Battle Buddy".

Posted by: Sloan at March 15, 2010 07:33 AM

I'm so sorry Cass. I knew he wasn't doing well, but I kept hoping he would make it until The Unit got home.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at March 15, 2010 10:17 AM

Just...damn. Somehow these magnicent friends of man make us stronger and then weaker, at the same time. Condolences all around to his family and friends.

Posted by: Frank at March 15, 2010 05:25 PM

Sorry to hear your Battle Buddy lost his personal battle. So, so sorry... My sympathies and EMPATHY. I grew up with a miniature long-haired dachshund named Joey (clown) von Little-sniffer. Wiener dogs sure are characters, eh?

You wrote a very moving tribute to the cuddly creature. I should have written 40 posts ago, but (embarrassingly) was too tearful and in the wrong venue. (I feel so "metro" sometimes).

Had to put down our Golden about 9 years ago. She got valley fever and suffered mightily. Great family dog. I would even put up with the minuses (i.e., dropping dead birds or live hedge-hogs at my feet; regurgitating yard lizards recently eaten whole; clawing down the back door--$50 repair--to get family comfort from a thunder storm) to have her back again!

The CINC and I were tearful on the drive back home from putting Amber-dog down. Both of us wondered about the fate of such a wonderful "family" member who taught us so much about unconditional friendship, comfort, and joy. Wifey noted a rainbow in the sky. "It's a promise of God", I commented wishfully.

[Ed. note: Sorry about the delay in approving this. To combat SPAM, all comments to posts close after 5 days. After that, I have to approve them and if I'm off doing something interesting like raking leaves I don't always notice that I have comments in the approval queue. Thanks for the story. Made my eyes all misty, but in a good way.]

Posted by: ziobuck at March 18, 2010 04:26 PM