Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

It's a Dog's Life

Among the dozens of glossy catalogs on slick paper Jackie has received in recent weeks is one exclusively for dogs and cats. One might think it impossible to fill 170 pages with gifts for our four-legged friends but I assure you it can be done.
The message is simple: You may cut back on gifts for friends and family owing to the state of the economy but don't skimp on things for your pet. If you believe the ads and TV commercials these no longer are Christmas gifts, being holiday gifts instead. This is in keeping with what people now call "the holidays."
Now I have had a certain amount of experience with dogs and in my opinion the mutt was never born who gives a damn about the holidays, Christmas or otherwise. To them, every day is a holiday. Gifts, especially those that are edible, is something they do care about, of course. As for little booties to protect their feet from the snow and all the other stuff in that catalog, no self-respecting dog would be caught within a mile of them.
Take Casey, whom came into my life as the puppy pictured above when I was a callow youth of eight years. That would have been in 1933. A cute little fellow as a pup, Casey quickly developed into a street dog at a time when currs were aloud to run loose. He would leave as soon as someone let him out in the morning and seldom be seen again before supper time. As often as not he came home filthy, wet and smelly, occasionally covered with burrs, sometimes cut and bruised from a battle with another mutt.
All someone had to do was utter the word "bath" and Casey disappeared under a bed or in some dark corner of the basement. Had some well-meaning person attempted to slip booties on his feet or even tie a little sweater on his back I hate to think of the consequences.
As he grew older, Casey developed a new habit. He would rest his chin on the lap of a wary visitor and then throw up. This was disturbing to my father, who was always out to impress people, but not in the way Casey had in mind.
Casey's only visit to a vet came when he needed to be stitched up after an encounter with the neighborhood chow. He never once was served dog food from a can or package. Instead he greedily consumed anything left over from dinner.
So the point of all this is that Casey, who lived to be fifteen, would have been unimpressed by everything in the catalog aside from things he could devour. This, I feel, is an attitude and outlook shared by nearly all the dogs on earth. Their idea of a holiday gift would be having someone leave a raw steak unattended for a moment while they were within striking distance. The things in that catalog wouldn't be worthy of even a sniff.


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