The doodle position

Anyone who shares life with a Goldendoodle knows that these beautiful, fun creatures are eager to please their best friends-their people.

Ivy is attached me like Velcro. Anywhere I go in the house is where she comes. We sleep together-OK, I’m now a widowed senior citizen, and quite frankly, I’d rather sleep with my dog. A doodle would settle for nothing less. She has her U. Wyoming t-shirt on the bed, courtesy of a celestial Earl, and when I gave her her own pillow, a real one, she was in doodle heaven.

During this very intense and tense times, I am hunkered down with my dog. I’m shut down. I even had groceries delivered. I no longer have to take Ivy to a dog park to launch the Chuck-it balls, as there are three areas right here in the ‘hood safe from traffic.

Ivy, as most doodles do, get into what I call the “Doodle Position.” Others may call it the road kill position. She will lie on her back, hindlimb wide apart, vital organs exposed, with front limbs flexed, and her head twisted to one side (sometimes called torticolis in rabbits.) This never fails to delight me. I decided to have her learn to do the position “on command.” Uh huh…

Every time Ivy is in the full doodle position, I laugh and praise her and rub her entire ventrum. “Good girl, Ivy! That is so good! The doodle position!”

I started to push on her back when she just had her hindlimbs in position for a tummy rub. I would say, “Doodle Position”! She now has it down, mostly; but she’s a fast learner, knows how much she pleases me, and doodles only want to please.

I woke up at 3 this morning to take my am meds. I usually go back to sleep listening to the radio. I was too jazzed, and only have pool PT today, so I turned on the TV to watch Morning Joe, which I love, but don’t wake up at 4 am usually. I was too busy thinking about what style I want use to write my next book. I have been stagnant other than going out with Ivy.

There she was on the bed. I swear I say to her just like I did with Earl, “Ivy, move.” And she does. The hindlimb were apart waiting for a tummy rub, so I pushed the doodle button, and lo and behold, she did it! Ad another trick to our non-traveling animal act. What a kick she is for me when she came to me at the lowest point in my life, bringing holding, hugging, and crawling out of the room if I need to file a broken fingernail. Ivy is my wonderful, delightful pride and joy.


The post I did last evening about the XXV Amendment to the Constitution was inviting people to become familiar with    Sec. 4.

Well, by golly, Congress is going to try to put it in place. Heard it on the radio this morning.



No, I’m not going to write about what I was doing in 1977. Not that it was boring, it’s just that amendment XXV to our Constitution is something all have heard of but most can discuss only Section 1. There are four.

We all know that the 25th amendment to the Constitution, ratified 0n February 10, 1967, Discusses what actions to follow when the President is incapacitated. Ronald Reagan was almost fatally shot March 30, 1981. Bleeding and under anesthesia, he could not write a letter invoking the 25th.  Clearly he could not draft a memo to Congress saying George H. W. Bush needed to step up. Wasn’t done, and Al Haig, then Secretary of State, took over insisting he was in charge, because he was next in presidential line of succession. And people listened to him.

George W. Bush twice used it and gave power to Dick Cheney when under conscience sedation. He could have been awaken

Sorry, Sir, than you were just a little farther down the list of presidential succession. The first pinch hitter is the VP. If he (or she coming to you soon.)  If the VP cannot serve, the Speaker of the House becomes acting president. Hey, Nancy, at this time, you are right after the two idiots who are each one taco short of a combination plate. You could actually be the first female president. After Speaker of the House, if she cannot serve, next in line is the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, at this time, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa. The President of the Senate is the VP of the country. Then, Al, it goes down the list of cabinet members, first being the Secretary of State. Ding, ding, ding! Al, step up, you’re on. General Al Haig died in 2010. General, a grateful country honors your career in the military.

The first three sections of the 25th Amendment explain this further, but section one is the one people can rattle off.

The 25th amendment has a fourth section that explains what to do when the first three sections are not applicable. For instance, Reagan was unable to draft a memo when he was shot. No shame when you have a bullet one cm. close to your heart. The shame now is no one suggesting to the very ill Trump that he’s so freaking crazy, use the 25th, and let Mike Pence say he was POTUS. He could pick a VP, but honestly, folks, the clock is ticking.

Mr. and Mrs. Khan, who are Gold Star parents, loosing a son in Iraq. At the last presidential campaign in 2016, he was all over Trump about not letting Muslims into the country, and become citizens. Then Mr. Khan pulled out his pocket a small copy of the full Constitution. A lawyer, he passes them out to people.

I have one of these, available at any bookstore, which I kept in my purse or on the table in the TV room. I got this idea when talking to one of my students. He opened his wallet and pulled out his copy.

With all the episodse of the Keystone Kops running around trying to erase our best in the world way of life, even Trump’s doctor lies about his patients probably because he is a commander in the Navy, and his patient is the Commander-In-Chief, who sees into a crystal ball and says he is cured after two days at Walter Reed. Sorry citizens, HIPAA does not apply to the President. It is a matter of national security.

Trump is nuts, that can’t be argued. Going home from the hospital, fully made up and his hair wrapped in its typical roadkill style, took off his mask to show America gasping for breath. The he stood at attention saluting. Norman Rockwell he’s not.

If Pence and others mentioned in Section 4, that can get the 25th in place, and let the Emperor try on his new clothes and convalesce in the WH. It can be done. He’s already backed out of a safely run debate (I think he’s still very ill and could not go through with it.) There IS a solution to what is going on now, it’s all in the book. We need Republicans to read it. We know Trump never has.

D’lo Mississippi

I was blankly watching TV during this latest migraine. The kind so bad, you put your head on a hard pillow (mine is from my Tucson couch), and just listen.

I found a great series on Amazon Prime TV, but this is another network called UP, Faith and Family. I found it when my HS bestie, Kathy told me to watch “A Street Cat Named Bob.” True story, then I ordered the book.

So it turns out UP has a series called, Small Town, Big Mayor. He had, in a town of 400 people and two million hound dogs, and an uncountable number of cats a list of 95 things he wanted to get done.

First thing, they all drive golf carts. Must be Florida for sure, but it’s not. It turns out it is illegal in MS to drive golf carts on streets. Not being a mecca for golfing, people use them for economy, and they can drive one ten years with three gallons of gas. So Mayor John Henry Barry went to the State Legislature to get it changed. I am happy to announce the good folk of D’lo Mississippi can use their golf carts legally thanks to Mayor Berry.

One thing on His Honor’s list was making a library. Sent his sons out to rake in books. There were so few, some even x-rated, so the Mayor had other things to be checked out like a post hole digger, tool kits. He said, “Why buy it and then put it in a corner after you use it when folks can just sign it out using a bar code.) Brilliant!

Of course, at the mention of the word, library, I called Miss Sue down at the Town Hall. Love, love, love the accents. I still use y’all and all y’all (plural) even though I’ve been back from Texas for 8  years. Would they like a copy of my book for their library? Yes, Miss Mary (another thing southern; women are Miss Mary and others, men are Mr. First name.)

So I sent the book yesterday in my agony, because I also had some important  banking


So I sent Miss Sue a copy of Drinking from the Trough, with a sticker that says, “Autographed Copy.” Imagine my book, in the new library in D’lo Mississippi! They want me to visit, but not with Covid and pulled pork. Bah now! Y’all come on up to Colorado, but bring some oxygen.

I love paws!

I think paws are the cutest thing on the planet. Dog or cat, doesn’t matter.

I love it when Ivy is groomed. As a doodle, she is not given “poodle paws”, where all the toes show. They do a “teddy bear trim” on Ivy so it looks like a hair covered toe-less dog.

What animals do with their paws besides the obvious are just so stinking cute. I’ve been trying Ivy to balance sitting up. We’re not there yet. And, it won’t be “beg.” That is undignified. She is learning to roll over, but we call this sliding, and she does it with the ball-sliding on one side, rolling on to her back, then slide on the other side. No roll over, that, too, is undignified in my opinion. Nothing feels so good to her as sliding on a nice area of grass.

When Ivy is maniacally chasing the launched ball, she is trained to bring it back, turn around like an air plain turning off the runway to go to the jetway, only she turns around and comes to me and lies down. She holds the ball in her paws, and tries to bite off the covering. These are rubber balls, and this cannot be done. She does that to tennis balls.

She has other tricks involving paws, the usual “paw” tricks. No “shake” command for her.

I must confess something I love. Her front pads smell so good! How kinky is that? Not the back paws, we don’t know what they have stepped in. Ivy’s paws (pads) smell better than buttered popcorn. Now I don’t just sit in my chair with the dog on my lap. Ivy is active with her paws, including putting a forelimb around my shoulders as if to say, “Yo, Bud.”

I don’t recommend grabbing your dog to sniff its paws, but next time you trim claws, give it a sniff!


May her memory be a blessing

L’Shana Tova (Happy New Year-the greeting we say on erev Rosh Hashanah) This comes at sundown tonight.

Tonight we mourn the not unexpected loss of a liberal lion of the Supreme Court, Madam Justice Joan Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I can’t write much, but I will use one of my two my favorite poems, written by while dying by John Gillespie MaGee, Jr in WWII.


Oh to have slipped the surly bonds of Earth,

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth

Of sun-split clouds-and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of-wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there

I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue

I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace

Where never lark or even eagle flew-

And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.


Justice, you are now with Marty, the love of your life. You will always be in my heart.


Happy 4th birthday, Ivy

Today, September 15, is Ivy’s fourth birthday. We went out back to throw the ball, and she will get a nice walk later when it’s cooler.

What a difference she has made in my life. From being a crazed widow to a happy, singing person, she has done that.

We are quite the therapy dog team. However, Ivy hasn’t been able to work, same as people due to Covid19. She needs me to take her, and where we visit, people aren’t allowed to be there.

So she is content, make that maniacal, to chase the ball from the ‘ChuckIt”. She really is good. She comes back to me with the ball and lies down. One exception: she will keep the ball and paw once on the grass, then slide and roll all over. It’s so cute. I am lucky to have such an obedient dog.

We haven’t been to Tucson due to Covid, and I doubt I will this year. Another spike will come, and to quote Tony Frank, Chancellor of the CSU system: “Mary, it’s going to be a bad winter.”

Other than people who are sick and dying, I have enjoyed the quarantine. I only go to Safeway, Trader Joe’s and Walgreens. Sometimes the bank. And the secret dog park with a trail for me to walk, no toys for Ivy, she just runs and runs. She knows where the water is, and gets soaking wet. The other day, she put the whole side of her face in the water bowl along with a ball she found. Then she paws out the water, and goes running again. Wash, rinse, repeat.

We also have to wish Sissy Cali a happy birthday. She’s Ivy’s sister (littermate, c’mon Mary did you not go to vet school?) They are quite the pair.

Ivy is sleeping on the couch. I occasionally hold a mirror under her nose. Hey wait! I have lots of stethoscopes.

I need to eat, now. Ivy won’t allow me to eat before morning game of fetch. I drew the line at not letting me stretch out. Hips sore in the morning, so we walk later, as I said, when I’m not so sore.

Happy birthday, my little one, many more.

Love, Your Dogmother

Going to give it another go!

Well, folks, after a couple of years, I finally connected with Judy, my writing coach. Yes, I have started writing again.

As far as my first book, Drinking from the Trough, a Veterinarian’s Memoir, I had a great time writing it and learning about the book business from Judy and my publisher, She Writes Press.

I don’t know how many books sold. I do know I have to get into B/N’s face because their store in town has a local author’s site, and an animal site. My book wasn’t there. We have a ‘little mail box’ in our neighborhood. I signed and put my book in, and that’s the last I’ve seen of it. It’s always taken. So I signed another and put it in the little library. It’s out too.

I have some clues as to what I want to write about, but we’ll see what comes up. I have a few ideas, but one is so touchy, two people I told about it said not to write it.

I am in awe about how people have lived during this quarantine, the lies on TV, and lack of things to do. I have been crazy busy. I am trying to get my orthopedic remnants pain-free, and am down to just the one hip, not replaced, hurting, and my right thumb.

Ivy has also been grounded from her therapy dog work, too. We have been walking twice a day, throwing her “Chuck-It” ball, and keeping her training up. She still plays the Lotto, Megamillions and Powerball so she can support me in my declining years.

I still take precautions. Plus our governor ordered masks inside places of business along with social distancing. One of my ortho docs said we are in a small area of safety. I always have a Cubs mask around my neck ready to put on in an instant.

I am so sorry for the people who were ill, and of course those who died. One of the victims was the mayor of my home town of Highland Park, Illinois. Ray Geraci was 91. Med staff wanted to  put him on a ventilator. Ray said, no, he had lived a good life for a long time, and to give it to a younger person. Then he died.

Do not be fooled by hopes of a COVID19 vaccine before the election, they take years to develop. One fatal illness in cats is called FIP, or feline infectious peritonitis. There is a wet form and a dry form. The wet form is easy to diagnose. Pulling some bright yellow fluid from the abdomen is diagnostic. For the lab test, there are problems. You see, FIP is a corona virus, and to test for it is iffy because other corona viruses, like the gastroenteral corona viridae, can show false positives.

The reason there is no virus for the common cold is because of how fast this rhinovirus mutates. The flu shot is a little more accurate, but it’s still a shot in the dark (pun not intended).

So I stay in working. Ivy loves to chase her ball out back behind the garages, usually before I can get my breakfast. We go to the dog park that has a walking trail, is right near the runway for the airport, and Ivy doesn’t need toys. She runs like a maniac. She is so fast. Being outside is a Godsend. Our neighborhood is quiet and friendly. I think I prefer behind the house. I always ask any neighbors out if this is okay, and they say it’s fine.

My house got painted a few weeks ago-it’s lovely. Please whack me upside the head with a ball pean hammer if I have to apply again for the HOA to approve, and also if I have to interview painters.

That’s it for now. I have a Zoom Parks and Rec. board meeting at 5:15. Last month, I absolutely screwed it up, and went to watch TV. Judy and I met by zoom, and our board secretary sent me idiot-proof instructions. Let us pray……


Dog surgery 101

I was clean to go to the dog hospital
My cancer-fighting face.

Hello, this is Ivy here. I had my dog surgery yesterday. It wasn’t bad-everyone was so nice. But Mom had left! Would I ever see her again? Oh well, they love me at the dog hospital because I am sooooo pretty.

I already had blood work, so all they had to do was the procedure. I was taken back to the work area. I got a peek at the room where I was going to be. The nice women who work in the back put a thing called a catheter in my arm, and started a bag of some liquid going into ME!

Next was the night night drug. Ahhhhhh. I was gone. I only remember waking up and I was whining. I don’t whine!

So here is what was done to me after I was asleep: I had a tube in my throat so gas would keep me asleep. My right hind leg was shaved and cleaned, and I guess I was taken into that scary-looking room with the huge light fixture.

The doctor made a cut, incision it’s called, around the tumor on my leg. It didn’t take very long to cut it out and label the edges for the pathologist to check margins to see if they are clean. I don’t understand all this stuff, but Mom explained it.

Mom picked me up a couple of hours later. I was pretty loopy, and those people put the “cone of shame” on my neck. Mom hates those, so she took it off, and to stop me from biting the staples in my skin, put some stuff called bitter apple around the staples.

I slept all day yesterday. I looked so comfy that Mom decided to sleep with me on her bed. And here came Frank.

Today, I can run a little, but am stopped from doing that, and I am not ‘3-legged lame.’ I still love to sleep on the patio. The new house we are moving into has a smaller patio, and Mom talked to a man who is going to build me a dog pen. The new house is not what something called an HOA says it should be, so she had to get plans into the HOA.

I have to be still until the staples come out, so I’ll just chill, and watch Downton Abbey, my fave. Gosh, I wish the theater would let me in to see the movie. Guess I’ll wait until Mom gets the DVD.

Keep you posted on the pathology report.




The William D. Carlson DVM, PhD Radiation Physics Laboratory

Sun, Oct 13, 6:49 PM (14 hours ago)

to me

Hi, Mary –

Thanks for reaching out. The paperwork has been signed and no hurdles remain! Now, I need to discuss with you and potentially the family (if they are responsive) what should appear on the plaque. Once that is up, we can coordinate a small gathering to commemorate the moment.

I will call you early this week to discuss the language for the plaque.

Talk soon, Mary.

– Aaron

Director of Development
College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Colorado State University
970.821.6557 | Mobile

Just wanted you to know that the William D. Carlson, DVM PhD Radiation Physics Laboratory located in the Flint Cancer Center at the CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital is almost ready to go, or RTG when we vets use abbreviations. No one deserves an honor like this more than my late father-in-law. Bill really did “invent” veterinary radiology by transposing human information into veterinary knowledge by doing a radiology residency at the CU med school, human of course, getting his PhD, then went on to teach many, many graduate veterinarians.

I would like to thank Aaron Phaneuf for being persistent and getting this done. He’s fairly new at his job, and must have found a million notes from me saying Bill really ought to be recognized for his ground-breaking work. I don’t have $75M to donate for naming the Radiation and Radiation Biology building, but Aaron and his co-workers were so kind to think up a lovely memorial to Bill in relationship to cancer in the radiation physics specialty.

If you would like to contribute to this or any other vet school projects, all you need is the zip code, 80523. The rest of the address is under Aaron’s info. Thanks for walking with me on this journey, Aaron.

BTW, when Aaron refers to the “family,” it is Earl’s family. They pulled up stakes as soon as Earl stopped breathing, and haven’t spoken to me since. Earl died ten years ago. They pushed through a church service which Earl strictly forbad, accused me of changing the service (!); and in the parking lot of the hospital watched me put his things into my Subaru, then announced: “We are going out to dinner. Are you OK getting home alone”? Ah, no….And now, they are remodeling the old farmhouse Earl and I adored, doing things we never were allowed to do, like having the landlord, his mother, fix the windows that we had to close (stuck) for winter, and open with a crowbar for the summer, held open by a stack of books. When the last window went, our cat, Matthew, was in it, and was caught between window and screen, breaking two bones in his paw. I put in Pella windows (do not buy Pella windows), for $9K, on a house I didn’t and never would own. Never compensated for things landlords are responsible for-carpet, paint, etc. I was told I had “lived for FREE for 27 years; and my mother-in-law said she was going to hire a lawyer to draw up a lease for me (I was moving to Texas;) but when I said, “I don’t know my status with this house” and was told “Everything goes to Tudy.” His sister. All of this was after Bill had died. We had asked Earl’s parents during our first year of marriage if we could buy the house. They declined, and we paid rent, the same amount for 27 years, with no or few improvements, unless they came from me.

I hope they know how hard I have tried to have a memorial to Bill Carlson, and would let up on the hate I know they carry in their hearts. Bill had no such feelings of hate or anti-Semitism, which I am sure the rest of them carry in their hearts while calling themselves Christians. Sorry, no they aren’t. Earl and I had a wonderful marriage. Sometimes downright scary due to his health issues and kidney transplant, but we shared everything, including the loss of my family members one by one over the years. Although he would never go to church, Earl was a true Christian who right now is at the right hand of G-d.