30 August 2011     Since

Since I turned 50 this year I decided to celebrate for a week rather than just a day. Since today is August 30, that means my week ended yesterday. Since it was such a big birthday, I began it with an amazing gift, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake. Since it was also such a big birthday and since I had lost two dogs I love within the last three months, a new dog appeared yesterday evening… since it was the final day of my birthday week. Since I also celebrated my 50th birthday week with a hurricane, I haven’t had any power at my house for some time now. Since there’s no power, I’m doing this blog post at Starbucks. Since a lot of others are out of power, every plug here is taken. Since I only have 67% of an old battery left, this will be a brief post. Since I took 108 pictures at the river this AM I should get a couple up. Since Turner (my new dog’s name) is only ~1 y.o. it’s hard to get a shot of him. But between his beautiful personality and appearance and the beauty at the river this morning and the beautiful light, I’ll find a decent one. More later. Since I haven’t written as much as I’d like.

Alex found Turner through BARK, an adoption organization she’s affiliated with. She has a good eye; I can tell already he’s a good boy.

Turner's first visit to Pony Pasture!

Turner in front, then Mackey, then Roux, uncharacteristically, in the background

Since I lost my beloved Nicky to liver disease in 2007 I’ve always wanted another Belgian. Nicky taught me more about dogs than almost any other dog has. A picture of Nicky in 2000 is below; he and Turner are both Belgians; that’s where the resemblance ends. I once brought Nicky to visit MCV. Ivory had been working there for years. Everyone was used to Ivory’s soft, caring, benevolent gaze. I walked in with Nicky and we encountered a nurse, who stopped in her tracks – many people stopped in their tracks when they encountered Nicky – and said “That dog looks like he knows how to Take Care of Business.” You could hear the Capital Letters.

But Nicky worked for years with a man named Fred who had a very severe brain injury and couldn’t get out of his wheelchair. And Nicky would let Fred brush his teeth. Another person brushing your teeth is the definition of “getting in your face.” The more defenseless a person was, the nicer Nicky got. I miss him. But I’m happy Turner is here. I will learn different things from Turner.

If you’re wondering about his name, Mackey was my first dog named after an ultra distance sled dog racer, Lance Mackey. Turner is also named after an accomplished ultra distance sled dog racer, Frank Turner. I met them both on my Yukon Quest adventure in 2006 and they both had and continue to have a profound impact on me.

Nicky was very serious about taking care of my car.

Enough for now – my battery is almost recharged (they freed up a plug for me, this is a great Starbucks) and I have work this afternoon. Have a great day,

Jay, Mackey, Roux, Turner

PS This excellent Starbucks is

River Road 2

5001 Huguenot Road

Richmond, VA 23226


About Jay McLaughlin

I am a rehabilitation counselor. I have many friends with autism and traumatic brain injuries. They help me learn new things constantly. I hike with dogs at the James River in Richmond - a lot. I've completed an Iron distance triathlon a year for 11 years. My most recent was in Wilmington, NC in November, 2013. I currently compete in mid-distance triathlons. And work and hike and take pictures and write and eat.
This entry was posted in Dogs, Fun, People, Rivers, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!). Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Since

  1. (An)Drew Meiller says:

    HAPPY (LATE) BIRTHDAY! Turner looks beautiful!

  2. Thanks buddy! I got an EARTHQUAKE for my birthday! Then a HURRICANE and finally TURNER! He’s a great boy. We’re heading for Pony Pasture in a few minutes. Thanks for the note and have a great day,


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