Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Yesterday, we lost our beloved family dog to a brain tumor. A better companion, friend, sweetheart, and protector you'll never find. This morning is the first one since she fell ill and had to be hospitalized on Saturday that I definitely knew I would never let her out in the backyard again when I awoke, our daily, matutinal ritual.
She lived with me for over 13.5 years, although she was 15 years, 9 months old when she died. Her first two years were spent with my brother and ex-sister-in-law. I first met her when she was eight weeks old; I knew right away that there was something special about her. I told my brother that if they ever wanted to get rid of her, I'd take her. Two years later, she came to live with me, a bachelor at the time.
When I met my wife and she came to live with me, Princess barked at her and ran away. Soon, however, they became fast friends and soul mates, and it was that way for over 13 years. A dog will often bond especially close with one family member, and my wife was that person in our home. As you can imagine, she is devastated.
When I was a boy, a dog came to live with us who bonded with me. A number of years later, she became old and infirm and had to be put to sleep. Because I had this terrible experience under my belt, I thought I'd be somewhat inured to losing another animal, but I was wrong. It doesn't get any easier as I age, it gets harder. I am not ashamed to admit that I cried like a baby for the old girl.
Goodbye, Princess. You will not only be missed, but grieved for too.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Another tragedy due to coddling an irredeemable reprobate. Had this sorry excuse for a human being, 30-year-old John Albert Gardner III, been handled correctly the first time, either by execution (my preference, assuming a DNA conviction) or life in prison without the possibility of parole, one more young woman, 17-year-old Chelsea King, would still be alive today.
According to the article I read, in 2000 he was able to plea bargain to a (slap-on-the-wrist) sentence of nearly 11 years in prison for his sexual assault on a 13-year-old neighbor, of which he served five years. Another reason for the light sentence was "that Gardner's lack of a significant prior criminal record justified less than the maximum sentence," said prosecutors in 2000. Well, I guess if he's cleared that hurdle now. Or at least he will after conviction.
Forget his lack of a prior criminal record, what about the heinous nature of the crime itself? Would two child molestation victims, or more, make a stiffer sentence seem more fair? Who the he** are the prosecutors trying to protect, society or a convicted sex offender? Even one sexual molestation conviction should earn a person permanent removal from society. No person who crosses that line can ever be trusted in society again. Ever. Yet here this beast was, out amongst a sea of unsuspecting souls going about their lives.
Looking at this case from another perspective, we once again see government failing its constituents. By not adequately performing one of its basic mandates, that of protecting society from criminals, they failed in their most fundamental function. And, in general, these are the same people who want everyone disarmed and relying on a phone call to 911? Thanks, but no thanks.
As a parent, my heart goes out to the parents of this young woman. They have been condemned to a living hell for the rest of their days by a convicted sexual predator and his unwitting accomplices, government prosecutors.