Munchausen by doggy

31 December, 2013    Munchausen by doggy

Alternate title: “Can’t chock the wheels.”

Turner cut his foot charging through the woods recently. No big deal except he had to have a few stitches. Also no big deal except it’s reduced our hiking time at the river – he’s restricted to home until the stitches come out after the first of the year.

Fortunately for us, a friend took a trip and we got to take her dog to the river a time or two. He’s a big, handsome white German Shepherd named Yuki and he loves Pony Pasture. As every dog does. Here’s a picture of Yuki and Evie from the river a few days ago:

Handsome boy and a pretty girl!

Handsome boy and a pretty girl!

The “alternate title” seemed appropriate to the New Year. I’m re-reading a superb book called For the Time Being (1999) by a superb writer named Annie Dillard. The river makes me think of this too. Ms. Dillard writes: “Time: You can’t chock the wheels.”

Another great New Year’s quote from my favorite Paul Simon:

““Well, we got to get going,” said the restless Lord to the Son

“There are galaxies yet to be born

Creation is never done”

The song is Love and Hard Times. Click that link to see a super, super video of him singing that song – it’s about four minutes long and very worth watching.

Munchausen Syndrome is a psychiatric problem where people fake sick to get attention. The illnesses are fake but the psychiatric problem is real. If you find that confusing, that makes two of us. Turner’s not faking it; he had a serious gash on his foot. But man, that dog just cannot get enough attention. I haven’t gotten any pictures of him (incredible, I know) but he is constantly putting his foot in the air for inspection. That’s not really why he’s doing it; his foot is fine. He’s doing it for the belly rubs. He doesn’t even limp. What a bum.

Another picture or two and I’ll put up this final brief post of 2013. Only one picture. I was hiking with my friend Ethan at Bryan Park and we saw a mockingbird hopping around in the dry grass. They’re good looking birds and this is kind of a fun picture:

Serene, don't you think?

Serene, don’t you think?

I’ll close with a few more quotes from Ms. Dillard, also from For the Time Being. This is the quote that led me to the book; I read it in a different book. I try to remember this when I hear about how rotten things are now and how great they allegedly used to be:

“There were no formerly heroic times, and there was no formerly pure generation. There is no one here but us chickens, and so it has always been: a people busy and powerful, knowledgeable, ambivalent, important, fearful, and self-aware; a people who scheme, promote, deceive, and conquer; who pray for their loved ones, and long to flee misery and skip death. It is a weakening and discoloring idea, that rustic people knew God personally once upon a time—or even knew selflessness or courage or literature—but that it is too late for us. In fact, the absolute is available to everyone in every age. There never was a more holy age than ours, and never a less…

There is no less holiness at this time—as you are reading this—than there was the day the Red Sea parted…”

Dillard, Annie (2010-05-06). For the Time Being (p. 86). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

“In any instant you may avail yourself of the power to love your enemies; to accept failure, slander, or the grief of loss; or to endure torture.”

Dillard, Annie (2010-05-06). For the Time Being (p. 88). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Those were important concepts for me to keep in mind in 2013 and they’ll be no less important in the coming year. I’m looking forward to it!

Thanks for reading my blog; I’m looking forward to some good posts in 2014. I hope you had a great 2013 and I hope 2014 is even better. All best,
Jay, Evie, Mackey, Turner, Dash, assorted others

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.
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4 Responses to Munchausen by doggy

  1. I don’t know what I liked better – the Paul Simon quote, the Annie Dillard quotes, to the Munchausen bit about Turner. The visual of him holding his paw up for inspection with a woeful look (I assume?) had me smiling! Thanks for always sharing such good stuff! Looking forward to more in 2014!

    • Hi Patti!
      I’m glad you enjoyed it – I always have fun writing it. I work with a guy with real severe autism and he listens to Paul Simon and nothing else – it’s great! I get to hear tons of Paul Simon all the time – I have a huge playlist. And you just cannot go wrong with Annie Dillard, she is (from my perspective) both positive and pragmatic. And that Turner – oy – he tries to get his woeful look going but he is entirely unable to stop wagging his tail. Thanks for the note! And I’m looking forward to 2014. Have a great New Year,


  2. Laurie Wilner Jobson says:

    i love the way you write- makes want to read more! happy new year!!

    • Hi Laurie!
      And a MUCH belated response and a MUCH belated Happy New Year! Thank you SO MUCH for reading my blog and for writing a note – I LOVE to hear about people reading my blog. And I love to hear that you enjoy it! Maybe someday I’ll get an opportunity to write more. Hopefully very soon! Thank you again so much for the note and have a great day,


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