Tommy Red

Tommy Red
The Progressive Killer

Our motto ...

Leave the (political) party. Take the cannoli.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

Right now 6 Stella crime novels are available on Kindle for just $.99 ... Eddie's World has been reprinted and is also available from Stark House Press (Gat Books).

Sunday, December 27, 2015

David Rawding’s Taking on Water … Giving Women a Pass … Momma Stella turned 86 …

Amici:

Taking on Water, by David Rawding … James Morrow suffered child abuse as a kid and he’s retained a hair trigger temper he has to suppress at all costs. As an adult, he's a social worker sifting through the paperwork of child abuse cases. He’s married a beautiful African-American woman, Maya, who is also a detective. The action takes place on a small New Hampshire coastal town called Newborough, which has become a launching pad for some of the epidemic heroin flow our country faces nationwide.
 
While the local kids are at risk from the infusion of heroin, the local police can’t seem to get a hold on the drug trafficking. Early on Maya saves a few fellow officers when she shoots and kills a drug dealer during a drug raid. James spots a potential child abuse victim, Kevin Flynn, and inserts himself into the family when he notices the kid has bruises. Kevin’s father, Tucker, is a lobsterman struggling to survive a dying business. James befriends the Tucker family to learn what he can about Kevin’s condition.
 
I love learning from books and Rawding’s Taking on Water does a terrific job describing the life of lobstermen; from their daily difficult routines to the economic, climate, and familial challenges they face. The author also highlights the problems of earning a living in an unforgiving economy; how the pressure to survive a laissez-faire mindset and structure can easily lead men astray. Rawding touches on several social issues in this novel, including economics, survival, child abuse, drug addiction and law enforcement.
 
There are no spoilers here, but the twists in this book are wonderfully dark. I thought the ending was a magnificent touch. This was a book I purposely took my time reading (4 days) and I found myself anxious to get back to it day by day.
 
Taking on Water is a noirish view of what can happen to men when their industry suffers a slow but steady death. The spiraling concomitant effect it will have on one good man when his world is suddenly and brutally shattered is both terrifying yet righteous.
 
 
 
Giving Women a Pass … The same way I understood how African-Americans would vote for Barack Obama no matter what back in 2008, I accept the same from women regarding Hillary Clinton. I don’t think either was (or would) necessarily be the smart choice, but I accepted votes based on race then and I accept votes based on gender now.
 
Obama was supposed to lead a resurgence of liberal politics that would lift all boats via progressive ideas. Many chose to ignore his Wall Street money for the sake of a first half African-American/half white president. So it went (including his promise to curb Wall Street).
 
Hillary provides an opportunity for women to experience their first female President and many are more than willing to ignore her track record on pretty much everything. So it may go.
 
There are also some women who refuse to take the bait and vote against their self-interests for the sake of a gender victory (my wife included).
 
I understand the desire and won’t fight the former unless asked to in Facebook debates. A word of caution for those looking for that debate: you better believe I’ll point to her defense of a child rapist (during which she joked about getting him off), her willingness to stay with a husband through several sexual scandals, including one he eventually perjured himself in, and her ever-changing shifts in positions regarding everything from her desire for restrictions on some abortions to her changeups on marriage equality (all always directly coinciding with shifts in the political winds).
 
Her being on the corporate board of Walmart can be ignored by some, but it will never be ignored by me (where was her advocacy for female employees then?). Nor will her consistently wrong insistence on regime change not come up in those debates. Regime change has failed miserably twice now (Iraq and Libya) and she was in favor of one and an architect of the other.
 
Frankly there are too many flip-flops on policy to take Hillary Clinton serious beyond the gender factor, so I no longer bother unless provoked.
 
Middleclass women who want to shoot themselves in the foot, have at it (you have my condolences and respect). If you can’t see the forest for the trees, nobody can make you see it.
 
Middleclass women willing to see the bigger picture, right on!
 
 
Momma Stella turned 86 on December 26th, and we had a party in her room. I got to see my cugino Jason and his wife Alison, Disney (Zia) Fran, my son Charles, his wife Leslie, and the co-star of the show, Evelyn Amelia Stella.
 
It was a great time … and yes, she called me a stupid ass, a moron, a shithead and a dopey bastid, but those are words of affection for her Sonny Boy ... and yes,
 
I love my Mommy!

—Knucks

MSNBC finally speaks truth to power … what sends democrats scurrying under their beds.


Monday, December 21, 2015

The Silence of the Dems …

Amici:

This past weekend Bernie supporters proved Bernie Sanders right. "When millions of people stand together, there is nothing we can’t do."
 
I’m not sure how many millions stood together after the bogus DNC suspension last week, but there were enough voices from the left on social media to back down the DNC Chair, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (hereinafter referred to as “DWS”). 
 
But where were the rest of the democrats? Why aren’t they upset about the HNC/DNC? Why do they not voice their disapproval at the way this primary is being handled?
 
25-6=19 debates wiped clean from the debate schedule (as compared to 2008). Weekend debates during the football season, including playoffs, the Star War release weekend and holiday shopping. A DNC/HNC made up of former Hillary people and relatives of DSW (see the several articles about just who the vendors running the database are).
 
Yet most democrats, especially those who call themselves “liberals,” seem to have lost their voices. These are democrats who claim they want Bernie, but they’ll vote the lesser of two evils should Hillary win. It's a fair enough choice, but where was their angst at their party's dishonest primary tactics? They don’t seem to mind the corrupt process that has made a total mockery of democracy.
 
For people who are so stubborn about their insistence on fair play and a level playing field, they seem to have shielded their eyes and/or turned their backs on their principles.
 
The silence is deafening and it speaks volumes to me. Where have all the democrats gone who went ballistic at GOP Congressional redistricting? Are they really okay with what the DNC/HNC is doing?
 
Some are terrified of the GOP bogeyman … they point to the possibility of a Trump or Cruz Presidency (as if they’d accept any of the others over Hillary). They ignore the fact that the carnival barking from Trump is totally unconstitutional and could never happen. They shit their pantaloons and ignore their own party’s corrupt primary. The fact they are so afraid of a GOP their own party more mirrors than deflects is mind boggling.
 
While both party frontrunners talk shit to sway their base, democrats ignore their frontrunner’s constantly shifting positions. And suddenly they seem fine with Hillary Clinton’s insistence on yet another regime change, this time in Syria. It is a policy that has consistently proved a horrendous failure and the most destabilizing factor in the Middle East. Hussein and Gaddafi weren’t enough for Hillary Clinton. Now she wants to go one more, including risking a No Fly Zone with Russia in the mix.
 
As stated on MSNBC just this morning, nobody seems to care what Hillary Clinton and/or her gestapo in the DNC do. They seem fine with everything and anything. They remain terrified of nominees that haven’t been nominated yet. They forget that some of the most damaging economic policy came from Bill Clinton (i.e., his repeal of Glass-Steagal and his NAFTA free trade policy). The economic crisis of 2007-08 was directly connected to one, and the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs to the other. They forget that one of the architects of our current failed Middle East policy is their frontrunner. They are more than fine with her campaign finance; that it comes from the very banks and corporations who have turned American democracy on its head. They ignore her countless scandals and abuses of power. It is as if her claim at the Benghazi hearings is their new mantra: "What difference does it make?"
 
 
I have to applaud people who look at the corrupt political process we have to live with and refuse to vote. I say they’re smart not to waste their time. Why bother when corruption is accepted wholesale? Why get all worked up when it just doesn’t matter? To fear the GOP while your own party nearly mirrors it, and in many situations has acted even worse, is nothing more than hysteria. It is something I’ve noticed when it comes to democratic voters, not all, but enough seem to embrace political hysteria.
 
They embrace hysteria about a potential GOP president and ignore their own parties abject corruption.
 
This is is the first election in my lifetime where an honest candidate with a 40+ year history of liberal consistency is on the democratic ticket, even though he had to join the party to get there. So-called liberal democrats applaud his efforts, yet go silent when his efforts are thwarted at every turn. They are the same democrats who could say nothing more than “they were disappointed” when President Obama failed to go after Wall Street, when he failed to support the public workers union in Wisconsin, when he re-engaged in "the wrong war at the wrong time in the wrong place," when he made a mess of Libya, and oversaw the horrendous income inequality gap widen daily during his two terms.
 
I titled this post the Silence of the Dems, because what I witnessed this past weekend on social media was a deafening silence from some liberal democrats that baffled me.
 
 
My bad. I should’ve known better.

—Knucks

This is what loyal democrats ignore. This is why the difference between both parties is negligible. This is why the country is fucked.


Saturday, December 19, 2015

"When millions of people come together, the DNC is fucked!"

Amici:

BERNIE supporters, last night was our tea party moment. We proved that the DNC cannot win without the left. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Hillary’s henchwoman, was sent a powerful message last night when social media was filled with our collective voice. Ignore us and continue to sabotage our campaign and we’ll ignore you (the DNC and Hillary) come the general election. Many of us threatened to either boycott the general election in 2016 or vote for the GOP candidate (whichever lunatic they nominated). We proved that BERNIE has been right all along … “when millions of people come together, there’s nothing we can’t do.”

We are a powerful political voice and should NEVER accept the lesser of two evils again.
GO BERNIE, GO!
 
And just look at the "coincidences" in this fiasco.
 
Let's hear it for Debbie Wasserman-Schulz, the Gestapo of the DNC ... she just handed Bernie the nomination.
 
And while this Hillary shill and the corporation he works for (MSNBC) tries his best to spin this against Bernie, undecided voters get to see the media bias that bought Hillary Clinton a long time ago.
 
Nice try, Johnny ... you just proved how "progressive" MSNBC is ... totally in the tank for Hillary ... how's it feel being the token fool?
 
GO BERNIE, GO!
 
- Knucks

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Putin Factor … Book Review: John Crow’s Devil … Stamkos to Toronto? ... BERNIE OR BUST!

Amici:
The Putin Factor … bet yous thought this was about Donald Trump, huh? Well, it may well be in the end, but it’s not for this post. This is about how the corruption of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and her rule of the Democratic National Committee (hereinafter referred to as the “DNC”) have gone the one extra inch it took to sway all those voters in Casa Stella to swing from extreme left to whatever knucklehead the GOP manages to nominate. The DNC can consider it a protest vote against their corrupt management of what is supposed to be a democratic process. Bad enough that in 2015, when we’re supposed to be the model for democracy around the world, we still have closed primaries, effectively shutting out at least half the voting public, but now that WE THE PEOPLE (Democrat and Republican alike) allow a former co-chair of one candidate to rule the roost over the entire process, going so far as to eliminate 19 debates (as compared to the last Democratic primary, when Obama vs. Hillary saw 25 debates), cutting it down to just 6 (with 3 of the 6 being held on Saturday nights during football/playoff season) [with a threat to eliminate candidates from the DNC debates should they decide to debate on their own], now the DNC Head Gestapo in charge of blatant corruption is threatening to bounce Bernie’s campaign from access to … well, here’s how one online news source (usuncut.com) that isn’t tied directly to the DNC put it: “The DNC hires a group to manage their database and firewall between the campaigns. They screw up and some low level Sanders staffer sees and reports it. Nothing is saved or printed out and now the DNC is withholding crucial access to voter data until the Sanders campaign can prove it doesn’t have the data from the Clinton campaign and won’t release access to voter data unless somehow the Sanders campaign can prove a negative – that they have destroyed data they don’t have. Which is impossible.”
 
 
So, for those democrats still shitting their pants over the possibility of a Republican winning the Presidency, here’s what’s going to happen at Casa Stella (plus some other family members). I was going to vote for Jill Stein when the DNC finished sabotaging Bernie’s campaign, but now that they’ve clearly showed themselves for the corrupt pool of political skanks they are, the DNC can count on at least 4 votes going directly against the DNC coronation queen over to the GOP candidate (no matter which lunatic they nominate).
 
So, for the loyal democrats who thought they were being so clever by asking me if I could live with a President Trump, Cruz, Fiorina, et al … here’s your answer: GO GOP, GO!
 
The left could’ve learned a valuable lesson from the tea party by forming its own coalition (no matter how much scared shitless Bill Maher advised against it). Look at how further to the right the GOP has been moved by the teabaggers (and thus dragged the Democrats along with them). Hillary is a progressive and I’m a skinny motherfucker.
 
But loyal Democrats tend to shit their pantaloons when it comes to their never-ending whining about “the lesser of two evils” … they accept the disgrace Hillary Clinton has been her entire political career. No matter she’s a hawk. No matter she’s a corporate sellout. No matter she’s been involved in one scandal after another. She’s the lesser of two evils.
 
Here’s my advice to loyal Dems. Grow a fucking pair already. You’re not being afraid of ISIS is a good thing, but then you ruin it by being afraid of a potential GOP president and therefore won’t send a collective message to the DNC that would alert them to the fact that they don’t get to ignore you anymore. Now they’ve gone one further. At the first “hint” of a possible political revolution within their loyal ranks (Bernie Sanders), they turn into a politburo.
 
Fine, as soon as Hillary secures her corrupt crown, I’ll be doing my best to register as many independents as I can and/or sway as many liberals as I can to protest what Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and the DNC have done to democracy. I’ll do my best to get them to vote for whichever lunatic is running against the DNC’s Queen of corruption.
 
Now, hopefully the backlash from this absolutely disgraceful DNC maneuver will be so strong, more Democrats will protest come the primaries and vote for Bernie Sanders instead of the corporate shill/war hawk (and mother of all no-shamers), Hillary Clinton.
 
 
John Crow’s Devil, by Marlon James.

Although this novel takes place during the 1950’s on the island of Jamaica, it seems more fitting today than may be comfortable. It’s a good vs. evil tale of two preachers, but even the good one has issues (he’s a drunk). Hector Bligh is the Rum Preacher who was kind of put into his position in a plantation environment’s by the plantation owner. When a fire and brimstone preacher, Apostle York, arrives in town one day, everything changes. The fire and brimstone version of a preacher has more severe issues than Bligh, although they’re revealed over time.
 
After York beats Bligh to a pulp and sends him on his way, the Apostle wants to know “Who’s ready to be violent for the Lord?”
 
While Bligh soaks his head and heals his wounds in the home (and later arms) of a widow, York takes control of the town’s parishioners. A gang of five becomes York’s muscle. One of the five becomes something else for York. The common thread between both preachers seems to be guilt over sexual inclinations, a fitting touch considering men of the cloth are supposed to be above the common fray. There’s always a form of witchcraft (or maybe it is witchcraft and/or delusion) alongside the appearance of birds, but ultimately it is an adherence to religious beliefs and the manipulation of those beliefs which relate to the insanity of today’s world; the self-righteous manipulation of people to stand on one side or the other.
 
 
Stamkos to Toronto? … He’s an NHL superstar who most often plays 110 MPH, but is known (at least to my eyes) to do some pretty stupid shit at times (i.e., trying to split defenders, sometimes as many as three, while on a rush), toss a puck out in front of the net while in the defensive zone … hog pucks for shots when there are better options.
 
Look, there’s no denying his speed and aggressiveness. I stipulate he’s world class, and his slap shot is as good as any in the game, including Ovechkin’s. The problem with Steven Stamkos, as I’m seeing it, is not that he wants more money. Hell, the owners aren’t putting their health at risk. In most cases, an NHL player’s shelf life is very short, and even for those who go on to have longer careers, they’ll be fortunate to walk without limps (never mind talk with their original teeth). The bottom line is that all the hype and praise thrown Stamkos’ way seems to have affected his attitude within the organization. I don’t blame the man if he has a problem with the front office and/or the coach, so if he wants out, good luck to him. The recent tweets and all the other negotiating gamesmanship, whether his agent suggested it or not, none of it helps the team. I’d like to believe Stamkos is still a team player.
 
But what if he leaves? I think Kucherov will fill his shoes just fine, and we can always use another solid defenseman (should we manage a deal). We’re still young and talented enough to be a force in the league, maybe enough to catch a break and find our way back to the tournament … and if not this season, then the next for sure. I’ll take a topline defenseman and a first round draft pick and thank Mr. Stamkos for all his efforts thus far. I’ll even wish him luck, but if he’s going to play tweeter-war with the front office, I’d rather he just upped and left, but not for the front office’s sake (I’ll RARELY take their side) … it’s all about your teammates, Steven. Always.
 
 
Bernie or Bust! … Amici: I’m starting a new political movement: F the DNC!
 
Please feel free to join the party. Simply put, this is our mantra: Bernie or Bust!
 
Bernie supporters have had to put up with nothing but corruption from the DNC. The time has come to push back and PUSH BACK HARD.
 
We all know who the co-chair for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s run against Barack Obama was in 2008 – Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. So how fair can it be that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is now running the DNC? Does anyone not see the obvious conflict of interest?
 
Well, it’s too late to do anything about Schultz now, but let’s take a look-see back to 2008, when there were 25 debates amongst the Democratic candidates. That was a good thing, a very good thing. Voters had the chance to see and hear their candidates 25 times. But now that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is running interference for her BFF, there are only 6 debates, 3 of which were scheduled for Saturday nights during college and professional football seasons (the last of those 3 during the NFL playoffs). And this week’s debate occurs on the same opening weekend as Star Wars.
 
Coincidence or a kick in Bernie’s ass?
 
Everyone knows how the corporate controlled media has completely ignored Bernie’s campaign regarding coverage, right? And isn’t it curious (at least) how Bernie refuses corporate coin and Hillary can’t live without it? Maybe there’s another conflict of interest? Just maybe?
 
So here’s the deal. We’re sending a message to the DNC: It’s BERNIE OR BUST! 
 
Once again, simply put, if the DNC doesn’t take back this absurd suspension of Bernie’s right to Democratic voter id’s (something the DNC’s own vendor is responsible for), if the DNC gets their wish and THEIR nominee wins the primary and is the Democrat nominee for President, Bernie supporters will do one of the following come election night 2016:
 
1) Write-in Bernie’s name with their vote.
 
2) Go see a Star Wars movie 
 
3) Watch a replay of the playoff games scheduled for the 5th debate.
 
4) Vote for Jill Stein
 
5) Vote for whichever lunatic the GOP nominates
 
The thing not to do is fall in line with gutless Democratic voters to reward the DNC’s corruption. Hillary Clinton is not worthy of voters selling out for the lesser of two evils. She is and always has been a corporate shill, a liar, and a hawk. Bernie Sanders is the ONLY full-out honest candidate in MY lifetime. He’s also the ONLY candidate to ever represent the poor and middle classes with total and absolute integrity.
 
Amici: Join the movement. BERNIE OR BUST! And F the DNC!
 
—Knucks
 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Finding Tambri, by Sherry Meeks … New Band in Town … Meet the New Boss …

Amici:

Finding Tambri, by Sherry Meeks … a wonderful telling of the effects the loss of a child can have on a person. We pick up on Tambri after the loss of her son, Sammy. Her marriage to Sammy’s father, Daniel, has failed since their tragic loss. Failed relationships/marriages begin to mount as Tambri moves from one wrong man to another, never fully recovering from the loss of her child. Each story in the collection that makes up the novel is presented in first person, offering different character perspectives of the same events, and/or linking the several relationships and their consequences together.
 
Her best friend, Vickie, has made helping Tambri her crusade. The alternative to Tambri finding herself is a depression that won’t quit. Tambri’s one caveat to meeting new men is that they don’t have children. Her journey from one failed relationship to another was foretold to her in a deck of playing cards Tambri’s grandmother read when Tambri was a young girl. With each failed attempt at love, Tambri loses a little more of herself. Each wrong man in her life possesses his own special flaw. When anyone feels as if he/she doesn’t deserve any good in their life, the struggle to survive can quickly become unbearable. An accident in a sporting goods store leaves Tambri with a concussion that fuels a dream in which she sees her son, Sammy, and her grandmother. What happens after that is a spoiler we won’t reveal.
 
Can an electrician with kids of his own, recently separated from his cheating wife, make things better or worse for Tambri? After the loss of a child, can anyone ever recover? Can Tambri ever find herself?
 
Finding Tambri is a wonderful read that bares the soul of a woman desperate from the loss of a child. With poignant narrative, humor and heartfelt emotion, Sherry Meeks does a terrific job of telling the story of one woman’s search to find herself. Very Highly Recommended.
 
 
 
Call in with questions at this number: (646) 716-9922
 
 
 
Listen to me, amici: This band can play. They call themselves: The Great Depression Sux … Their last weekend tour was from 11/5 until 11/8. Starting in Philadelphia, than New Brunswick, NJ, East Hampton, MA, and last was Southbridge, MA. They have two more of similar tours coming up in January and February (dates/locations aren't exactly "set" yet). They have an E.P. for free here (click on the link). They will be recording a new record within a couple of months. They’re also on Facebook.
 
You like good music? Check them out …
 
 
 
Meet the New Boss … As you can see, he’s already won his Mommys heart. Originally, we were looking for a dog a little less like our beloved Rigoletto. I kind of fell for the pit bull puppy from the movie, The Drop, and thought I’d name the next addition to Casa Stella, Tom Hardy or Bob Saginowski. As it turned out, a Rigoletto clone found us first. His name is Scrapper (because he loves to play-fight and teethe on our faces, toes, socks, fingers … you name it, he’ll teethe on it). His full name is Scrapper Tom Hardy Cucci-Stella and he’s already taken over Casa Stella. He demands full-time attention, as I learned earlier this morning when I went to use the bathroom, shave and shower. He barked and cried the entire time I left him caged in the kitchen. And he was pissed off when I came down to release him. Since then, I’ve had to move his bed into my writing room or he lets me know he still wants attention.
 
 
Our first visit to the veterinarian was a good one this morning.
 
 
Scrapper’s mantra seems to be: No attention, no peace!
 
We’re hoping to secure a partner for him, a rescue named Charles (although we’d probably change his name) … to Bob Saginowski?)
 
 
There’s life back in Casa Stella, amici … and it’s a beautiful thing.
 
—Knucks
 
Why the entire Chicago city administration should be facing jail time, including their scumbag of a mayor.
 
 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A few words about our Rigoletto ...

Amici:
 
The vast majority of nights, when I climbed into bed with a book in my hand, he would climb atop my stack of pillows and lick my head and ears until I said the magic words: “You kissa the daddy, doggie.” It was a nightly ritual that defined our bedtime routine. He wouldn’t stop licking and eventually I’d have to say the other magic words: “Okay, thank you. Thank you, Rigoletto.”
Then he’d stop and make his way over to Ann Marie, his Mommy, where he’d burrow his head against her body and sleep. Some mornings I’d wake up feeling him lying against my back, but most mornings he was asleep alongside Ann Marie, often with his head buried between her neck and shoulder.
 
Of course there were nights when he had a rough time and would wake up to prance around the bed until one of us woke up and took him downstairs to pee. And for a while, it just wasn’t bedtime until Rigoletto threw up on my arm, but like most things, over time you get used to them. One thing we never had to get used to was Rigoletto being in bed with us. We loved having him there.
 
Most mornings he’d give Ann Marie a rough time by lying in bed for some overtime, forcing her to rush to get dressed for work at the last minute because she couldn’t stand to disrupt his sleep. When I was left to do the chore of bringing him down for his morning bathroom break, breakfast and his insulin shot, Rigoletto would move to the center of our king-sized bed, forcing me to stretch a little more than my back would allow. I had at least two back spasms until one or two of the brain cells I have left figured out it was better to pull the sheet (and Rigoletto) toward me, than to stretch my old ass until something snapped.
 
Yeah, duh …
When we first brought him home, I tricked my wife into driving the car so I could hold him and bond before she did. It was a dirty trick, considering it was her dog we were buying. That bond may have lasted when it came time for certain of Rigoletto’s rituals, but there was never any doubt about who Rigoletto needed to survive. Rigoletto was Ann Marie’s dog through and through. Even after he first went blind, he’d wait with his head pointed toward the door for her arrival home from work each night, and as soon as he heard the back door sliding open, off he ran, sometimes into a wall or chair, but he’d keep going until she was holding him and calling him her baby in her most squeaky voice.
 
He was about 5 years old when he was first diagnosed with diabetes. I was as clueless about such things in animals as I’m clueless about way more than I like to admit, but Dr. Sal Pernice (of Dogfella fame) saved Rigoletto for us when we lived in Brooklyn. I’d just received an advance for a screenplay and it quickly went from our hands to the veterinary hospital on Carroll Street.
 
The best five grand I ever spent.
 
There would be another cost, a bigger and ultimately better one, the day Rigoletto’s back legs were paralyzed. He needed a back operation to fuse his spine. Eight grand later, we were crying like babies when we picked him up from Red Bank, New Jersey, because he was walking again. The recuperation period was long and difficult, and Ann Marie bought a blowup mattress and slept on the living room floor with him for 3+ weeks because we couldn’t take the chance that he’d fall off the bed so soon after the operation.
 
I tried it one night and turned the air mattress into a placemat.
 
He had a great run for so long, some 14 years (98+) … and he was the gentlest, kindest, most loving dog I’ve ever owned. He could make a mess when I left something like a gum wrapper in my trash can under my desk, and at least twice he found Christmas candy and ate entire boxes of chocolate (and threw up for a few days afterward—probably how he developed the diabetes), but Rigoletto was truly the perfect dog for us. We will miss him terribly.
 
As I sit here crying while I type this, I’m already haunted by that handsome face I loved to hold with both hands as I kissed the top of his head. My wife is distraught, but was incredibly strong in the room where Rigoletto was administered the shots. She talked to him the entire time, while all I could do was sob. It was very tough saying goodbye to our little guy.
 
This atheist can only hope there is a heaven, at least for animals.
 
Thanks for all your support and condolences. I’ll be a mess for a few more days, I suspect. We had talked about how we’d handle his passing as regards rescuing another dog, but right now it’s just too difficult to contemplate. How do you weigh the pain of loss versus the opportunity to provide an animal with love and shelter?
 
Listen to me, amici … the smart money is on a rescue sometime down the road.
 
Rest in peace, little guy.