Sunday, December 09, 2012

Toby Gets A New Home


We first came across Toby on a walk.  He set up quite a commotion as we walked toward him.  My wife wanted to turn around toward the way we came, but there was something about him that told me there was not going to be a problem.  So we continued by and finished our walk.

A few days later, I walked alone that way.  There he was behind the fence in the garbage strewn yard.  Once again, Toby made a racket.  I stopped and looked right at him.  He was quiet briefly, but then started in again.  I raised my arm and pointed at him and said firmly, "No!"  Then walked away.

A day or two later, I walked that way, again.  Toby saw me and waited until I was closer before he started in with the noise.  I stopped, said "No!", and walked on.  He stopped his noise a little sooner than usual.

The next week, my wife and I walked by Toby's house.  He began his routine.  This time I walked up to the fence against the protestations of my wife.  I reached into my pocket and pulled out a few treats and dropped them over the fence.  Toby took them cautiously, but he took them.  And he was quiet as we walked away.

A few day's later, my wife asked me if we were going to walked down that way again.  I said I thought we could do that.  Then she asked if I had some treats with me to which I answered affirmatively.  This time, Toby started to make his usual racket when he heard us approach, but stopped as soon as he saw us.  I walked up to the fence and handed him some treats rather than dropping them over the fence.  He took them and looked at me as he ate them with something on the order of acceptance.  We continued our walk in the quiet.

Weeks went by with us stopping by several times each week.  Toby seemed to await us almost eagerly.  No noise anymore.  As we would approach, he would sit down next to the fence and wait.  He would take the treats out of my hand.  My wife genuinely cared about him, but kept her distance.  Summer was turning to fall and the days were getting colder.  Toby was always outside, but on this one day he seemed lethargic.  He came over to the fence to greet us, but we could see that one foot had been injured as he could barely touch the ground with it.  We filled a dish with treats next to him and he slowly took one at a time, but there seemed to be a sadness in his eyes.

Toby's foot gradually healed and the weather got colder.  My wife and I were concerned though.  He still walked around the junk-filled yard every day.  He seemed too thin.  We continued to bring him treats.

The nights became frosty and the days cool.  As I walked toward Toby's house one day, I saw a couple of men across the street from him.  I stopped to talked with them after I left Toby his treats.  One of them, Bob, said he was concerned about Toby, too.  He said that he had talked with a woman in the house and laid out his concerns.  He said that he had given Toby food and water dozens of times when he stopped by to visit his mother who lived across the street from Toby.  But his mother had just died and he wouldn't be stopping by much anymore.  He gave me his telephone number and said that he and his wife could get Toby help.

Then next day, I left a note in the mailbox at Toby's house expressing my concern about Toby being in the yard so much now that it was cold.  I left my telephone number and said that if they felt that they could not give Toby appropriate care with winter approaching they should call me and I'd set up new arrangements for him.  A few days later, I got the call.

Bob and Pat work with animal rescue, so I called Bob and told him that Toby was available.  This was Thanksgiving.  I gave Bob the woman's telephone number and he said he'd be in touch with her in a few days.

This weekend, Pat called to tell me that Toby came to stay with them for about a week and he was really happy.  Unfortunately, they couldn't let Toby stay there indefinitely, but they located a retired man who lived alone and had recently lost his companion of many years.  They took Toby to this man and said that they appeared to get along really well, but they would continue to check in to be sure it was working out.

Pat said Toby filled the void left by the loss of the man's Golden Labrador that Toby looked very much like.  Toby had been given a long-overdue bath and been taken for a checkup and his shots.  Pat said she could see that Toby was quite intelligent and now spent much of his time inside his new home although he had a nice clean, big yard in which to play.  She said that the only trouble Toby had with the old man was when Toby pulled some of the lights off the Christmas tree.  But she said the man knew how to handle Toby with a firm, but gentle, kindness and she knew that the 1-year old Golden Labrador would soon forget his unfortunate first year.

Pat and I wished each other a Merry Christmas and agreed that getting involved when you see an unfortunate situation might cause some anxiety, but in this case was well worthwhile.  We know that Toby and his lonely retired companion will have a much happier Christmas as a result.

As for me, I have a lot of treats left over since Toby moved away, but I carry them with me on my walks.  I've made some new friends.


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There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
Henry Louis Mencken (1880–1956)
“The Divine Afflatus,” A Mencken Chrestomathy, chapter 25, p. 443 (1949)
... and one could add "not all human problems really are."
It was beautiful and simple, as truly great swindles are.
- O. Henry
... The Government is on course for an embarrassing showdown with the European Union, business groups and environmental charities after refusing to guarantee that billions of pounds of revenue it stands to earn from carbon-permit trading will be spent on combating climate change.
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Tracking Interest Rates

Tracking Interest Rates


SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
[Image from:]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

About Me

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)