Dog days

Posted By on March 15, 2008

Karen and I are traveling to West Union, Ohio tomorrow, then driving back with a fresh cargo: a Newfoundland puppy, yet to be named. It’ll be a girl, one of seven born to Katy and Madison, a happy and productive Newfoundland couple at Herb Erwin’s sprawling, wacky farm.

Violetta, the Russian hottie who commandeers our biweekly house cleanings, told me yesterday Newfoundlands are sloppy and high-maintenance and big. I kind of sensed this and hope I can handle that. Our last dog, Ramona, certainly qualified on maintenance and sloppy (she was cute, too). But this Newfoundland will be a new dimension, not only in size but also in intelligence. Madison, the dog that got me to renege on my pledge last year to never own a dog again, seems really bright and affectionate and responsive, and Karen has vowed to train our imminent dog well and deeply and to be responsible for her. Names under consideration include Louise, Belle and Pearl. Any ideas? 

On another issue: the elections. My last blog was Obama time, which I still think it is. I also think it’s Democrat time, or liberal time, or shift time. It’s a year of wrenching changes, one in which the economy is a tilt-a-whirl, unpredictable and way shaky. Time for a new perspective, for a greener, more collaborative world. My parents raised me to be idealistic, and for them, Jewish immigrants escaping Hitler, America meant hope and opportunity. I wonder what they would think now. I hope the Democratic Party gets through this competition to be the best and the brightest – Obama and Hillary are both  formidable candidates and indisputably smart – so Obama can lead a ticket that not merely reflects today’s constituency but moves it to a higher plane. Is he perfect? No, no candidate is. But he seems to confront his imperfections with unusual grace and in so doing, speak to our better nature. Here’s hoping. 


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I'm a veteran critic and business writer who reads and listens and writes about music, books, hotels and travel. I've been in the business for many years and still enjoy it. My pride and joy is my book, Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories. Follow me on Twitter: