Posted by: megshoeman | May 10, 2009

My Friend Squeaks

I walked the Humane Society’s 5K fundraiser (though I didn’t raise any funds :/) with my pal, Squeaks. Squeaks is a black Pittie mix with a heart of gold. Sad story: he takes his name from the time we gave him a parvo test and he made squeaky sounds when we stuck him in the business area of his backside with a Q-tip…poor Squeaks. I’m thinking of renaming him, something a titch more dignified. In any case, Squeaks had a glorious day. Free from the dark kennel walls for a few hours, he pulled me all over hell in fits and starts, stopping here and there now and then at the water stations and taking more than his share of rolls through the nice cool grass. Awesome day, good boy.



I passed all the ords my first try too. I visited all the old ladies on the list. I prayed with them, assured them there is no other, looked at all of their black and white pictures, her boy in Delaware, the daughter went to California, the sister gone before. I prayed for them and I meant every word I said. Passed all the ords, lined it all up, had my shirts ironed, used my salad fork appropriately, left the edge of the supper roll. I might rather throw a tennis ball through the change of weather, might be prouder with dog’s blood on my face. Amen.

Posted by: megshoeman | February 16, 2009

Burning All My favorite Things # 1

My uncle died in January, I was good enough for doing the funeral. Key committee people don’t answer my emails, and I’m still limping along. Hanging out with good, good dogs…doing away with a few good, good dogs (go on ahead for your last reward, Fuzzy, Majesty and Pax Charles) Good boy, Mojoe. Good, good fight.
The new Springsteen album is so beautiful that once it’s played through you’re right away impatient for 14 more songs like it…Gorgeous record to shovel shit to…makes you feel simultaneously stronger than you are and weaker than you would’ve had to become. Good spin.
Emmylou Harris leaves me speechless generally. The new spin makes you want to drink yourself into next Sunday just for heaven’s sake. And you doubt heaven and hell’s dull next to this and you think of everything you ever had and you know it was so sweet, a lot of it and you wait around for it but it never came around at all.

Posted by: megshoeman | December 19, 2008

Silly and Sillier

I hate this Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice shit. Oh, let’s all play swaps in the boiler room in the hospital…what a dull and dreary theme! I promise never to kill my TV but I’m probably soon going to get a restraining order against her. Much prefer to wind around with Emmylou.

Posted by: megshoeman | December 18, 2008

Everything Is Fine

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Racy Gracie is still learning what’s qualified as appropriate chewing material.

Posted by: megshoeman | November 23, 2008

World’s Most Beautiful Dog Found

I recognize that this gets kind of old but I can’t resist. Sorry. :o)



Posted by: megshoeman | November 19, 2008

Happiness: A Poem by Jane Kenyon


just no accounting for happiness,

or the way it turns up like a prodigal

who comes back to the dust at your feet

having squandered a fortune far away.

And how can you not forgive?

You make a feast in honor of what

was lost, and take from its place the finest

garment, which you saved for an occasion

you could not imagine, and you weep night and day

to know that you were not abandoned,

that happiness saved its most extreme form

for you alone.

No, happiness is the uncle you never

knew about, who flies a single-engine plane

onto the grassy landing strip, hitchhikes

into town, and inquires at every door

until he finds you asleep midafternoon

as you so often are during the unmerciful

hours of your despair.

It comes to the monk in his cell.

It comes to the woman sweeping the street

with a birch broom, to the child

whose mother has passed out from drink.

It comes to the lover, to the dog chewing

a sock, to the pusher, to the basketmaker,

and to the clerk stacking cans of carrots

in the night.

       It even comes to the boulder

in the perpetual shade of pine barrens,

to rain falling on the open sea,

to the wineglass, weary of holding wine.

I’ve been meaning to share that poem by Jane Kenyon. In moments of sadness, I sometimes turn to some of the poetry of Anne Sexton, a person who seemed to have been drowning in emotional pain since the day she was born. Lately though I’ve turned more instead to Kenyon’s work. Their respective poetry, I think, makes for valuable comparisons.  Both women were intimately acquainted with loss and grief, and in powerful ways.** The difference is: Anne finally gives in (She killed herself by carbon monoxide poisoning in 1974). Jane, though she stumbles along in suffering at substantial depth, catches glimmers of light and glimpses of beauty as it really is. I mean no judgment here at all: pain is pain and it would be wrong to dictate its character to another person.  Both women work with beautifully, sometimes heartbreakingly true spiritual themes. Only one finally recognizes the realest of the real for who he is, and so she waits that out.

**See Anne Sexton’s poem 45 Mercy Street for a representative view of her forever longing to get back again what she’d after all lost for good.  Listen too, to Peter Gabriel’s beautiful song in honor of Anne. That’s Mercy Street, from his 1986 album So. Hear also Grey Street from Dave Matthews Band’s 2002 Busted Stuff.


Posted by: megshoeman | November 19, 2008

Happy Sisters

My Hashbrown is a little slow- going in the BE NICE TO RACY GRACIE DEPARTMENT, but have a look at what I captured last night. They were resting easily together after a run on the park with Torrance, their brother. This makes me very happy.


Posted by: megshoeman | November 9, 2008

Torry Today

Minor boredom while watching the history of rebellious Warner Brothers Studios on PBS, and a keen appreciation of his cuteness prompted me to force this photo session with my little dog, Torrance.

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Note what forbearance the little chap displays when it comes to the one who pours the kib.

Since last night’s election of Barack Obama as president, I keep hearing folks remember Martin Luther King’s hope that his children would one day be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. I think to think that a huge measure of that dream has been realized is no stretch. It’s quite a thing, isn’t it? 


Several weeks ago my therapist told me that one of her clients confided to her that though she thinks herself fairly sophisticated and basically decent, she knows that when she gets alone with just herself in the booth, she couldn’t actually bring herself to vote for an African American person. Of course, many Americans, if pressed (some after all need no prodding whatsoever) would admit to feeling the same way. But last night, just enough of us acted with more moral wisdom than has ever been seen in the history of American politics.

I find this level of change to be really encouraging. And it leads me to hope even more that the so called “pit bull” and all dogs will one day be judged by the content of their character rather than the misconceived image of their breed. On Election Day, the shelter had a special on select animals’ adoption fees. Some long time residents had cute little 50% savings cards with themselves pictured in little Uncle Sam style top hats attached to their cage doors. Many of them were pit bulls.

As I was opening the kennels, families came in pretty steadily. I could feel their anticipation–their hoping for a good dog at a good price. And as usual, I could see their faces fall as they walked down the corridors to realize that most of our dogs are pitties. This sounds innocent enough–maybe a poodle would be nice–so what, right?  Well, but what lies beneath the public’s disappointment in pitties is dreadfully ugly–it is fear and hatred propagated by the violent acts and ignorant acquiescence of anybody but the pitties themselves.

Anyhoo, all this to say that I believe a change is going to come. One day pitties will be respected and loved for the the uniquely loyal, utterly joyful, brave and beautiful dogs they are.


By the way, my presbytery’s committee did not pass me through to receive a call. Racy Gracie’s time was basically up. Though these are extremely painful and remarkably inconvenient circumstances for me and my family, we’ve officially adopted her and things are going well. It is such a blessing to look over and see her dreaming cozily in her own bed. Here she is on the surgery table at the time of her spay operation. Of course I was there all along.


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