Thursday, November 09, 2017

The Teddy Turnaround, Month #1

Years ago, we started adopting senior dogs and since then it has been a roller coaster. When you adopt an older dog, you set yourself up for heart break and most people can't handle it, including me. And don't get me started about the vet bills--OMG. But, in the end, the sense of satisfaction that you get outweighs those other things.

In March, we lost our beloved Freddy, a Cairn Terrier that my wife Simone found him online. He was allegedly 10 or 11 years old when we got him, and he was a mess--overweight, overgrown and depressed. He had been in a few shelters in Sacramento and then later with the Milo Foundation in Marin, but when he arrived here he had what is known as "shelter trauma."

When Freddy became a new member of our family, I told my wife if we have him for five years that would be a miracle. So, when he passed on March 14th of kidney failure, we looked at his adoption papers and he passed one day short of exactly five years!
 Freddy was a unique looking dog who always got a lot of attention. "What is that--a raccoon?" people would ask. 
He started us on the path of adopting older dogs, which led to Teddy. The parallels were uncanny. When we found Freddy he was approximately 11 (we think, no papers) and he was originally from Sacramento. So, when we heard about Teddy, an 11-year-old Cairn also from Sacramento, we knew this wasn't random or merely coincidental. 
 When we met Teddy for the first time at a meet and greet in Sacramento, he was a mess! The people who owned him loved him so much and it was difficult giving him up. Due to their lives changing, they had to move to an apartment that didn't allowed dogs and broke and it was obviously very tough for them. But, they are happy knowing that he went to a great home! 
 Here we groomed him and did a full dental procedure on his teeth, he was a completely different dog. Now Teddy has tons of energy and wants to be walked 3-4 times a day!
 He's a little fashion plate with his snazzy new rain coat 
He is already dictating with his walks and meals after just five weeks with us. On Saturday it was his 12th birthday, so we pampered him and got him a bunch or designer treats from Le Marcel, the doggy bakery here in San Francisco, but he didn't want any of them.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Baseball Player Interview #109: Ed Roebuck

I love interviewing these old former baseball players. I tracked down Ed Roebuck (Dodgers, Phillies Senators in the '50s and '60s) yesterday on the phone and at first it didn't look promising.
Getting these guys to talk is sometimes difficult, because I call them out of the blue. I used to send letters first, but that took too long and they rarely called me.  
"How long do we have to talk?" he asked.
Not off to a good start, I thought. 
"If you want to stop talking, we stop," I said. "It's all your call and I appreciate your time."
"You writers can be a little long winded, that's why I asked. I'll give you 15 minutes and see how it goes. Okay, when do you want to do it?"
"Maybe Thursday?"
"How about now?" he said. "You know, I'm 86. I'm not going to be around forever," he said.
"So, you might not make it until Thursday, is that what you're saying?" I said.
I figured he would find that at least slightly amusing, but it only irritated him more.
Initially, he was giving me one-word answers and I thought maybe this guy is not a great story teller, it happens.
So, I was a little disappointed, but after about 10 minutes, he really got on a roll and after we were done, I looked at the clock and realized that we had talked for almost two hours.
He turned out to be a damn good story teller after all!
"If I have any follow-up questions, can I call you back, Mr. Roebuck?"
"Absolutely, but call me Ed, Ed!"
I love this gig.
Excerpts from the interview will be available soon on