Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Week Five

Tank's Lab-prance is back. If you have a Labrador retriever, you know what I'm talking about. If you don't, off lead and roaming Labs don't walk. Ever. Just going from Point A to B even if the lay of the land (like our yard) is well known, there's too much to pay attention to and so much to do. Why waste of time walking! Labs trot. They . . . prance. It's effortless motion that embodies their enjoyment of all things around them. That's just the way they are, and Tank's is back.

He's back on his normal feed, too, although I still haven't finished weaning him completely off the chicken and rice mixed into it. Close, but not quite there yet, and I don't think it's going to happen any time soon. I could try to force the issue but I'm not going to.

When I tried plain feed one morning Tank ate a bite or two, then walked away. He scoffed it down a few minutes later after I mixed into it one tablespoon of chicken and rice and dribbled some canned chicken broth over it. Is it that he needed the encouragement to eat, or that what I'd given him was (gasp) DOG FOOD and he's become accustomed to finer fare. I don't know the answer and I'm not going to worry about it.

Unlike so many other dogs Tank's never known hunger. For the first time — now that we're not feeding him all the wrong things trying to get him to eat and he's no longer queasy — I've seen how the Prednisone Dr. LaDue prescribed makes him feel like we're starving him to death. The temptation is strong to give in to what he's saying with his frying-pan eyes. But, no.

"Pred" — a steroid — was prescribed to reduce inflamation, and each week after the dosage has been decreased to wean him off it to (as I understand it) let his system begin generating its own cortisone again. Something it stopped doing on its own because of the Prednisone. Tank may have to go back on it again but that's later. This is now and I've figured out that it's best to think of it. Just the now.

I've been ignoring the Wonderdog. Not in real life but here. Whether I said in here at ACC or elsewhere, I wrote a long time ago that we couldn't have chosen a better companion for Tank. These last few weeks are only an extension of what I wrote, somewhere, years ago. When things were bad for Tank, Starbuck stayed close to him. On his road back, Tank began following him. And now that Tank's feeling doing better, without missing a beat and without challenge Starbuck has resumed his Beta to Tank's Alpha.

Although sorely tempted I know, not once has "Hoover" tried to raid Tank's feed bowl no matter how many times a day we've been feeding him. He sits there, watching and waiting, knowing that when Tank's done he'll get ear scritches and treats.

That doesn't mean it's all fine and dandy, but it's more not knowing why Tank is doing some things because . . . well, he's never done it before. A week ago he started lying on his back from time to time with his legs splayed open. That's not an unusual position for some dogs. Lucky, Tank's father, used to do that . . . under an air conditioning vent. But Tank never did before. And, he's been acting anxious in the morning. Trying to hide behind a chair or a table.

I mentioned it to Dr. LaDue today and she doesn't have any answers. The latter might be the Pred, she suggested, and since he's off of it . . . but, it's going to take a little while for it to completely clear his system. As for the on-his-back sprawl, perhaps I was just noticing what he did more.

That kinda ticked me off. I KNOW this dog. I may not have her expertise or knowledge but I do know this dog, and part of what I'm supposed to do is report things that are out of the ordinary. And this is.

It wasn't until we got home that what might be the reason clicked.

Tank has a basic physical every time he goes in for a treatment to make sure that he can tolerate it. Someone noticed a little drip of off-color urine on the floor where he'd been standing. It was a little pinkish? Blood? A bladder infection?

One of the "be-on-the-lookouts-for" has been blood in Tank's urine, but I haven't seen any sign. More probably I wouldn't have noticed any because there's such a small amount of blood in it.

I've had a bladder infection or two over these many years. At best and at first, it's nagging, constant irritation.

Irritation: Tank lying on his back, back legs splayed open?

Anxiety: Only in the morning ‘cause it bothered him more after he's held "it" during the night?

Anyway, a urine sample was taken and sent off to find out if Tank DOES have a bladder infection and if so, the best way to treat it. The results of the culture should be back by Friday.

The last of the staples closing the incision where the lymph node was removed was taken out. There was only one left because Tank had taken the rest out himself. The site is still swollen but Dr. LaDue said it's doing well, aspirated out several cc's of fluid and said I don't need to hot pack it anymore.

A new chemical today. (I really need start to start providing their names, don't I.) But since it can cause heart damage, in addition to the standard "basics," Tank had to have an EKG to make sure his heart was in good enough shape to withstand it. And, of course, it was.

I say "of course" because Tank's always been in top health. Always. Until this.

Tank's still in remission but has slipped from "full remission" to partial. Different chemicals each week and some may be more effective than others. Then there's different dosages of each trying to find the right levels and mix.

This is Tank's fourth week of treatment, but it's our Week Five in this journey. I don't know when or how it will end. I don't know the answers nor will I pretend I do. Heck, I'm still trying to figure out the questions.

Like so many others who've suddenly found themselves facing something like this, I hit the Internet trying to try to find out a much as I could. Anything.

And find information I did. Some of it, written in Vet Speak, was totally incomprehensible to someone like me. Other sites were filled with opinion but lacked much of anything else. One, however, I book marked and although I still haven't read everything there yet or followed all of the links in it . . .

I refer to it in my sidebar as Berry's Story.

If you've been smashed in the face like we have and in your search for information on canine lymphoma you've found me, please go there.

I recommend it highly. It's helped me a lot.


Week Four

Week Three

Week Two -- Part Three.

Week Two -- Part Two (We begin).

Week Two -- Part One.

Week One.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Jon Donley's blog at the Times-Picayune in New Orleans is collecting and providing information neighborhood by neighborhood, and sharing thoughts and stories sent in by its readers.

WWL-TV, also in New Orleans, is providing bare-bones reports at its new blog including one it received that there are now 60,000 people at the Superdome, and still more people are being urged to go there.

Josh Britton, who is blogging from LSU's computer center, is gathering information on relief efforts and volunteers.

CNN does a pretty decent job here of reminding its readers that New Orleans and Louisiana aren't the only areas Katrina trashed.

I get a real kick out of the damage estimates the "talking heads" and so-called experts have been tossing around. Bloomberg (no link) reported that insurers had reduced their estimates from $30 billion to somewhere between $9 to $16 billion.

And I guess the big folk in New Orleans who say their city will be up and running again within a year are making those overly-generous statements because they think it will make people feel better.

It's going to take years. And that's just New Orleans.

How do you describe what's going on there right now and what it's going to be like for quite a while?

Try this:

Think of King's city scenes in THE STAND, and add water.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Katrina: Reports

Blow-by-blow (no pun intended) coverage via Jon Donley's weblog at the Times-Picayune in New Orleans.

Also reporting, National Geographic News.

Parts of Mobile, Alabama are under 10 feet of water.

Mississippi south of I-10 is flooded; damage is "unprecedented" throughout the state.

These are only a few of the preliminary reports and Katrina isn't done yet.

It's not as if we need its help or even want it, but it would have been a nice gesture. Just a statement of recognition of some sort would have been more than enough.

As soon as there's a disaster anywhere else in the world, good ol' Kofi Annan and the United Nations are jolly on the spot talking about the extent of the damage and how the global community must help.

Perhaps I'm being too harsh.

Kofi was busy today, in London, explaining why the United Nations needs a "ten-fold increase" in its Emergency Fund " to jumpstart relief operations and allow governments and aid agencies to deploy personnel faster."

Gag me.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Katrina: It's starting

Early on, as it was getting ready to hit South Florida, Katrina was being compared to Andrew. I said that was a bunch of crap. It was and still is.

Looking for another hurricane to compare Katrina to, the "talking heads" began talking about others that had wreaked havoc along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. As Katrina continued to strengthen, the others were dropped until only one remained: Camille.

Katrina was described as strong as Camille but much bigger. Earlier today, however, Katrina surpassed even Camille in strength.

It's like watching a train wreck. There's nothing anyone can do to stop it. You don't want to look but you do anyway. You have to.

I agree with everything Boudicca said here, but with a storm like this I don't think it matters. There's nothing that's going to stop it, and no amount of preparation would have made any difference. Katrina's still coming in.

I keep hearing the "talking heads" yammering about how many poor there are in in New Orleans who are unable to evacuate because they don't have transportation available to them.

That's true for any city, not just New Orleans. Those that can get out will. Those that can't for whatever reason have to rely on whatever provisions that their local and state governments have made for them. Hopefully that will be sufficient, but probably not . . . especially with something like Katrina.

Then there are the dingbats who won't leave. They don't leave for any number of reasons. Some are worried that if they do looters might take their stuff before they get back. Others don't like being told what to do and thumb their nose at evacuation orders -- like a third-grader screeching, "Can't make me!" Some stay for the excitement. Some because they just know nothing bad is ever going to happen to them.

In other words, they're just . . . plain . . . dumb.

Rogers Cadenhead at Workbench pointed to the Cat's Meow webcam I grabbed the shot from. (The person shown wasn't the only dingbat out strolling, just the one that happened to be in the frame when I clicked.) Rogers estimates that webcam will be under water if the levees overflow, and it's 20 feet up.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Katrina: "The Big One"?

Florida Cracker and Pam later added more to the entries I pointed to here yesterday. Florida Cracker, additional updates and pics; Pam . . . something about chasing a runaway boat down the driveway?

Mary Stella in the Keys, at Postcards from Paradise, who wasn't expecting much in the way of weather until at the last minute Katrina turned in her direction says, "It doesn't matter what we humans think we know and can forecast, a storm can always make us look stupid."

Val at Babalu reports Mancamp sustained only minimal damage but is offering, "My kingdom for air conditioning."

Also without power is Steve at Hog On Ice, who before it went out called FP&L to ask WHY it was still on. Talk about customer service!

Ward ("The Hurricane Magnet") from Operation Enduring Service (link fixed) , who is also continuing his guest blogger duties for Steve until his electrical service is restored, says "No matter where the hurricane lands now, you're going to feel it at the pumps. A CAT-4 cutting across those oil rigs in the Gulf will not be pretty. And on top of the damage, you have a number of days that production will be lost due to crew evacuation and pipeline closure."

I linked to Ward's blog instead of the specific post I quoted from. I think it would be far more informative if you started at his most recent entry and read them all yourself. He's been through numerous tropical storms and hurricanes including last year's Ivan and Dennis just a few weeks ago.

Pensacola Beach Blog, too, for that reason.

Brendan Loy just has too darned much for me to link to. Because of Katrina's projected path, some of it pretty damned frightening.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


Once again Florida Cracker is live blogging a hurricane. Her most recent update as Katrina begins to move in is here.

Pam, who is on hiatus, comes back long enough to let us know that her favorite neighbor is outside, running around in the rain, cutting his grass. A possible Darwin Award nominee?

Charles (who apparently never sleeps) at Eye of the Storm is blogging his updates on the storm's progress from a "secure location": Since his laptop is acting up, he's moved over to his alternate site.

Boudicca talks about the current local "conditions" and has a special message for Katrina here.

Val at Babalu has his webcam going and discusses preparations he and his family have made and are making.

At Hog On Ice, Steve answers a question he received: Why Floridians don't prepare better for hurricanes.

My local report (Northeast Florida) comes from being outside most of the day and looking out the window just now: It's been sunny and hot with occasional clouds and showers. We just had what I'd refer to as about 10 minutes of rain and light wind. I'm sure we'll have more.

Some of this might sound light hearted. It's really not. We take this stuff seriously. Then again, as Florida Cracker pointed out we're here. The talking heads you're listening to or watching aren't.

Yesterday I watched a "talking head" breathlessly comparing the similarities between Katrina and Andrew. What a load of crap.

Andrew was a Cape Verde storm, one that started off a specific area of the coast of Africa. It slowly crossed the Atlantic gathering strength and arrived as a Cat 5.

Katrina, by comparison, is a hiccup that formed right off South Florida's coast, and was a tropical storm until earlier today. The amount of rain it leaves is going to be a problem because of how slowly the system is moving. But this isn't the first time Floridians have been through something like this.

That doesn't mean Katrina isn't going to cause major problems elsewhere in Florida, especially after it crosses into the Gulf of Mexico and has time to slowly strengthen before hitting . . .

. . . the Panhandle, of course.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Picture this?

Curmudgeonly & Skeptical


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Week Four

Good news last week. Amazing news. Totally unexpected. Tank's in remission. Next chemical in the regimen injected. More instructions on things to be on the lookout for that might signal problems because of this specific one.

Tank was in "I'M GOING FOR A RIDE" mode until we pulled into the parking lot. Then he started to shiver. I remember him running after the Wonderdog a couple of days before and wiggling on his back in tall grass, and tell myself it's worth it to him. I feed him a couple of treats that he hadn't been able to eat the week before. His focus is now elsewhere. More treats!

Tank makes friendly with the receptionists, something he didn't do before, and they don't give a hoot that he's behind the counter my legs tangled in his lead. This time, however, he won't get on the scale cleanly. Michelle and I finally get him on — after Tank's butt bounced the plug out of the outlet and she had to reset it — and he's lost even more weight.

Tank will not go in back with Erin BUT last week I discovered their lead-transfer-and close-the- door technique.
High and lows have a new meaning here, especially when Dr. LaDue tells an older woman on the next sofa that her cat's tumor is smaller, and then tells me that Tank dog is in remission. The tastefully placed boxes of tissues are there for a good reason, and it seems it's not always bad news.

Is good news given in the waiting room to shore everyone up? Bad news provided in back? Dunno.

Michelle calls Monday morning to see how Tank's leg is doing. (People, when was the last time someone from your physician's office called to check up on you?) I report: No sign of infection, the fluid when down but it's filling up again. Tank got one of the staples out . . . the bottom one. It's fine. We have the next appointment tomorrow, anyway. No vomiting or diarrhea but his appetite stinks. Chicken and rice?

Which Tank later inhales.

This isn't about him being finicky. Last week's chemical is rough on the digestive tract and in our efforts to get Tank to eat something, we've been doing it all wrong. We've been adding canned dog food, gravy, bacon grease . . . and the fat in it made him queasy.

Bland and low fat for now, and then slowly work him back to his normal feed one handful at a time. Michelle also gives me other "cooking" tips.

We pulled into the parking lot for Tank's treatment today. No shivering or shaking this time. He was just somewhere he'd been before. A place he was starting to recognize like, which specific trees and bushes he prefers to pee on before we go in. Where the entrance is. And no hesitation when we went in. Or anxiety.

When Michelle weighed him, the scale showed Tank has lost three more kilograms since last week. "That's not good," she said. I asked her what that was in pounds, the measurement I understand. She pulled out her pocket calculator and answered: 96 pounds.

"No, that is good," I replied. Up or down, Tank's weight hasn't varied more than four pounds. He's been between 94 and 98 pounds for years.

When it comes time for Tank to go in back, we do the lead-transfer-and-close-door-between-us thing. He may be comfortable with Michelle, but she just ain't me.

Tank's still in remission, and more info today on the type of Lymphoma he has. Type B rather than T or T-cell. Of the two, Type B is more amenable to treatment.

On the way home Tank snoozes on his Lab blanket until we get about a mile away. The way the turns and curves feel to him? I hear him move and look in my rearview mirror. He's sitting on the back seat; his expression saying "There's no place like home."

Previously: Week Three

Monday, August 22, 2005

Quotable Quotes

"Ever since America's all-adult, all-volunteer army went into Iraq, the anti-war crowd have made a sustained effort to characterize them as "children." If a 13-year-old wants to have an abortion, that's her decision and her parents shouldn't get a look-in. If a 21-year-old wants to drop to the broadloom in Bill Clinton's Oval Office, she's a grown woman and free to do what she wants. But, if a 22- or 25- or 37-year-old is serving his country overseas, he's a wee "child" who isn't really old enough to know what he's doing." - Mark Steyn


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

We got the news today . . .

My blogging has been sporadic because "stuff" has been going on and I wasn't sure if I'd be able to put words together here about it. Words that made sense, anyway. Not that any of it does.

A respectable blogger wouldn't add and then backdate entries. But I think those of you who know me will understand.

The news we got today is that Tank is Stage V a. Stage five lymphoma means it's all through him, including in his bone marrow. The a indicates that while all hell has broken loose, he's asymptomatic. In other words, I guess, he's not in the extreme situation of barfing and shitting himself inside out.

The other news today is, for right now, he's in remission.

A Roller Coaster

Week One

Week Two will be added when I can finally figure out my splatter.

Later: The only way I can even start figuring it out is to begin breaking it into parts.

Week Two - Part One

Week Two - Part Two (We begin)

Week Two - Part Three

Also Later: Thank you, all of you.

Tank is having good spells and some that aren't but he's much better than he was. He's actually been perky a couple of times. It's a crap shoot. There are no guarantees.

Each chemical (it's all rough stuff that's taking a lot out of him) has a different set of warning signs that indicates he's not tolerating which.ever. His ability to heal is depressed. When Dr. LaDue removed the staples from where the lymph node had been removed . . . well, the staples are back in and he's since developed fluid there and is on antibiotics.

When I saw the swelling and pointed it out to Hubby he wanted me to rush Tank to . . . he wasn't sure where but he had to be seen by someone!

Instead, I called Dr. LaDue's office and had a call back within 30 minutes. "You know that swelling I was told to look out for in case it happened? Yep. No. No. My vet's office would be better. Okay, thanks."

I picked up the antibiotics 45 minutes later AT Doc's.

May they all be this easy.

This week is Week Three.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

"Sensitivity vs. Sanity"

Mahone Dunbar -- who among his many other works provided readers with a step-by-step, illustrated recipe for cooking a cat on Eat an Animal for PETA Day -- takes on the always sensitive subject of Political Correctness.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

I'd been looking ...

. . . but it was time to stop and finally commit.

I had to, so I did.

Ol' Blue is gone. I patted her dashboard one final time quietly telling her, "Thank you," for somehow, once again getting me to my destination. I patted her hood in farewell. And then, I abandoned her whatever fate 13-year-old vehicles with no Blue Book value all face.

I'd wanted a Ford Sport Trac. It had everything I needed: A steering wheel and a back seat for the dogs to ride on PLUS the luxury I'd never experienced before of having a place, in back, designed for toting stuff like 400 pounds of horse feed. Or bales of hay if I really had to in a pinch.

But, it was not to be.

Even with the 2006 models starting to hit dealerships, AND the rebates AND Ford's Family and Friends's pricing (which has now been extended to September 6) I was close. But figuring taxes, tags and such . . . I still didn't have enough.

And yes. Yes, I'd saved. I'd put money away for a new vehicle because . . . because I frickin' hate car payments.

I was this close! But then reality set in. The super sales would be ending and I had to have a car NOW!

Online (Thank you, Al Gore!) I spotted a vehicle I hadn'd noticed before.

And after walking away from Ol' Blue that final time, I drove one home Monday night.

I was instantly comfortable behind the wheel during the test drive. It's me. It's so me. Not that I knew what all of the buttons and widgets were. Heck, even though I'd been shown, I kept having to figure out what button to push on the black thingie to get into the darned thing.

I drove it Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

And I haven't seen it since until tonight.

"Mom, I hate to ask you but my truck's acting up. Could I borrow your car while it's in the shop?"

For the record, the images shown do not actually reflect my specific vehicle. The Ford Focus Wagon shown is the correct vehicle but it's the wrong color. It's "Arizona Beige" like the Sport Trac.

Also for the record, Da Kid said it's a "surprisingly perky little devil" for a 4 cylinder and handles so well and smoothly that used to the feel of his truck . . .

"I almost had a heart attack when I glanced at the speedometer and realized I was hitting 80."

He thought was driving at 45 m.p.h. and backed it down, way down, as soon he realized he wasn't.

I hate these things!

Cheese Pizza

Traditional and comforting.
You focus on living a quality life.
You're not easily impressed with novelty.
Yet, you easily impress others.

Via Absinthe & Cookies!


Friday, August 12, 2005


Donald Trump gave his opinion sworn testimony before the Senate last month on the $1.2 billion estimate done by the United Nations on how much it will cost to renovate its offices. Among other statements "The Donald" made was that the U.N. doesn't have a clue. (That's paraphrased, of course.)

There's no reason, Trump said, why this project should cost that much to start with and by the time the U.N. finishes if its plans are followed, the price will end up between $3 to $4 billion.

The U.N. doesn't need to move out and rent fancy digs, he said. The work can be done around them. They don't know what they have, what they want, what needs to be done or how to go about doing it.

(We're talking about the United Nations here boys and girls. What else is new.)

Trump mentioned a few other things like . . . you know, the possibility of fraud.

Fraud? At the United Nations?

A wide-ranging United Nations investigation into oil-for-food program abuses was published Monday, naming the group's head and one of his senior officers as having accepted or solicited bribes.. . .

"More than $950,000 of these payments [to Alexander Yakovlev] came from various companies or persons affiliated with such companies that collectively won more than $79 million in United Nations contracts and purchase orders," the report found.

There was no apparent connection between those payments and the oil-for-food program, however. -- CNN, August 8, 2005
No apparent connection with the oil-for-food program? So where did the money Yakovlev ripped off from elsewhere within the U.N. come from?

Alexander Yakovlev (search), the U.N. employee who resigned Tuesday following a FOX News investigation into his apparent father-son conflict of interest with a major U.N. supplier, also served as procurement officer in charge of the first stages of the United Nation’s costly and controversial headquarters renovation in New York City. -- Fox News, June 23, 2005

In its usual spirit of full disclosure and total transparancy:

The U.N. internal watchdog, the Office of Internal Oversight Services, which has itself been haunted by scandal, is investigating the conflict of interest issue, though the terms of the investigation are secret.
And if not there, then where?

With the U.N., the possibilities are endless.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Week Two - Part Three

I know how to get to Dr. LaDue's office now, but head out of the door early again thinking I might need extra time if Tank has a problem getting in the car. He did but not because he's still zonked.

Weakness, perhaps. Except for the pizza Tuesday night, he hadn't eaten much of anything for a while. But more likely it's that he's exhausted and sore. He gets in as far as he can as best he can. I hoist his butt up and in the rest of the way and we're set.

I arrive early, again. ("Early is always better than late!" I'd been told.) Tank gets on the scale when I tell him to. The measure is in kilograms (which I can't translate into pounds but that's how the dosage of whut.ever is determined) and he's dropped several since just yesterday.

He will not leave the waiting room with the attendant.

"I'll take him." But I can't go in back this time and doubt I will be able to again. We're now in the treatment schedule when the real business occurs back there. Tank and the others like him are their focus, not me.

So I lead him down the hallway. She takes his lead and quietly closes the door between us before Tank notices. Behind the closed door I can hear him panting as he stops, realizing I'm not there. As I walk away I hear a fading voice saying, "Come on, Tank. It's okay, big boy. Your mommy's not leaving you. Come on, Tank. It's okay, big boy. Gooood boy. You're such a good boy . . ."

This is a 30 minute appointment at most from beginning to end. All Tank has to have done today is injection of the next chemical in the regimen.

I sit down and open the book I'd brought with me to read. I notice for the first time that the woman sitting on one of the couches is very quietly crying.

I don't know what say. I don't know what to do. I don't even know what I'm doing. I'm too new at this.

One of the things Dr. LaDue had said was that I should expect to feel overwhelmed at times. That it's okay. It's normal with so much thrown at me so fast in such little time. I'm beginning to think that she wasn't talking about only the medical aspects.

I go outside, pace the parking lot and smoke a cigarette. I come back in as Erin is showing the woman into an examination room, the same one Tank and I had been in the day before.

It's taking longer than it should have. I try to read a magazine. Someone (I'd been introduced to but whose name I don't remember) came out a few minutes later with Tank. Tank's healing is depressed because of the chemo. When they took out the staples in his leg from where the lymph node had been removed, the incision opened up all over again. Cleaned out, restapled. Keep an eye out for this and that and a review of the "be on the lookouts for" because of THIS chemical, more written material, and we were out of there!

Get home. Tank's drinking water but he still won't eat. Refuses to eat. But I have to so

Friday I fix myself a sandwich for lunch. For the first time in two weeks Tank plants himself in his normal "I'm-not-really-begging-but-if-you-drop-something-I'll-clean-it-up-for-you" position.

I offered him a bit of my ham and cheese sandwich but he won't touch it. An hour or so later I offered him a slice of ham but he won't touch it.

We're talking Sara Lee™, here boys and girls. It's expensive. (I won't buy it because it's so high priced. Hubby did.) And Tank won't even look at it.

Instead of the whole slice I tried a small piece. Nope! Hubby said to let him give it a try. He placed it on top of Tank's paw.

Tank started licking his paw — he's always had this thing about washing his feet — and somewhere along the way that little piece of ham disappeared. So did the next piece. And the one after that. And the next one after that.

Tank's total food intake that afternoon: two slices of Sara Lee smoked ham and one slice of Sara Lee smoked turkey, but hey! He'd eaten!

Later that night when we human were taking our dinner plates back into the kitchen . . .

(Let me correct a misconception you might have by now. We do not feed table scraps, Ever. A bit of pizza crust now and again and occasionally some gristle from a steak. Or if something hits the floor while we're cooking, but then they — the Wonderdog, most of the time; Tank always — wait until we tell them they can have it. Any more than that and the Wonderdog might . . . it can take days to bring his digestive tract back under control and clean up after. That's the nicest way I can put it and I'm sure you get the idea.)

. . . Tank followed us, his expression saying, "Please! Drop something!"

Saturday — it took him all day to finish — he ate his regular (except softened) feed and had started scoffing down treats again. He's still panting but it's easier and the wheeze is gone.

Patterns. You get into patterns. They become such a normal part of your life somewhere along the way you don't realize they even exist. They just are until they aren't because something's wrong.

Saturday afternoon I find Tank lying on the couch in his standard "I hate thunderstorms!" position and notice the sound of distant thunder. He hasn't given a hoot about it since the beginning of the month. That night when I go to bed he slowly comes up and lies beside me, pushing my hand around with his nose for his good-night ear scritch. He does not sleep by my side of the bed, but where he has for years.

Sunday morning the Wonderdog, as always, shoves by me and then takes off when I open the door to let them out. Tank waits, then follows the Wonderdog at his more mature pace. Not slow and sickly like he's been doing, but . . . and then he runs after him.

Not long or far. When I finally catch up Tank's on the ground, happily wiggling on his back in a patch of tall grass.

I'm my mother's child. If you're sick you should eat. Keep your strength up! Tank's still not eating normally but I'm not sure what the new normal is or even if there is one. The goal is to get him back on his NORMAL feed but push it too fast OR give him something strange to encourage his appetite could result in vomiting or diarrhea, both of which are warning signs that he's having an adverse reaction to the chemo.

If Tank turns his nose away from what's in his bowl is he doing so because he's feeling nauseosus? Or is it because he's discovered he much prefers Sara Lee™? I don't know the answers.

I also have to monitor Tank's bowel movements for things like if they're too loose and / or for signs of blood. Except, Tank's always been a private "dumper." I respect that. Or I did.

Even from a far distance I know his funny little trot. Then he circles twice to the left, stops . . . and he's done. Except now I have to see what he's done and in order to make sure it's not something he left earlier or from the Wonderdog . . .

Tank looks at me in disgust, moves (in that funny little "It's time!" way of his) somewhere else, far away from where I am. So I go trotting after him.

Tank looks at me with increased disgust, then goes (in that funny little "It's time!" way of his) somewhere else. And I go trotting after him. Eventually he gives up and goes.

Except for all of that trotting shit Monday and Tuesday were good. Still no sign of an adverse reaction and we're close to getting Tank back on his regular feed, too.

Please . . .

More here

UPDATE: Instead of the ten days Chris Muir thought would be needed to make the hoped for count, the number of hits to make their goal was met in only two.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Week Two - Part Two (We begin)

Tank's zonked. It's going to take a bit longer for the anaesthesia to wear off.

He's been poked, prodded, had a lymph node in his leg removed, and two more biopsies and a bone marrow sample taken. When the results come back then we'll know. But they won't be back until next week.

The initial reports are good. Or as good as they can be with something like this. Tank's in top health. Amazing health especially for a dog his age.

But with such limited time to try and take a stand . . . on top of everything else today Tank had the first part of his first chemo. He could have had both parts of it today but it would be easier on him if he had the next drug tomorrow.

So tomorrow morning . . .

This isn't like any vet's office I've ever seen before. If my own physician's office looked half as good or the people even a quarter as nice . . .

It's immaculate and tasteful is an understatement. Comfortable. Almost . . . homey and totally animal centric from the prints on the wall and needlework pillows on the sofas in the waiting room, through and including the danged bathroom. None of the magazines — ranging from Cat Fancy and Dog Fancy to Newsweek and Time — are older than two months.

But a nice as it looks and as upbeat and friendly as everyone is, it's obvious that this isn't a happy place. Tucked everywhere are boxes of tissues.

People are introducing themselves — to Tank and me — right and left. None of it rushed or phoney. Explaining to me who they are, what they do and how they figure in Tank's treatment. I know I'm not remembering any of their names.

A happy-looking terrier comes in. It and its owners strike me as veterans. Neither Tank nor I are.

Tank's records — "Do we need to make copies and give these back to you or they ours?" "Yours." — disappear in back somewhere. Tank immediately wows ‘em by getting on the scale after I pointed and said, "Tank, there."

Next stop an examination room. Also immaculate, and sunny, bright and airy, too. White wicker . . . And on the gleaming white and forest green floor a fuzzy rug for Tank to lie upon. There's vet counters and stuff I'm familiar with but it's along only a portion of one wall

Erin and Michelle (I did remember a couple of names after all!) are in and out taking Tank's vitals and getting from me what can't be covered by the medical records I'd brought in. Observations from the person that knows him best: Me.

I'm sitting on a lovely cushioned white wicker love seat (one of two, complete with a matching end table) and they're sitting on the hard floor next to Tank, who's on a fuzzy rug.

And by now I gotta pee. Bad.

One of the receptionists comes in to give me more paperwork to sign and I tell her.

"Not a problem." She tells me how to get to the bathroom . . .

Have I mentioned I'm not too good with directions?

. . . and repeats them until I know exactly where I'm going. Which turns out to be only a few feet from the examination room that we were in. Like diagonally across the hallway.

"I'll stay with Tank until you get back." And then she sits on the floor next to Tank (he's on "his" rug) and starts stroking and baby-talking him.

It didn't matter how nice the people around him were. Tank was obviously relieved when I came back a few minutes later. I now felt much relieved and was now able to start focusing more on what seemed like forests of paperwork I'd already been through and had received. Information on . . . At least I'd had the smarts to bring a manila folder with me to stick in all in. I'll figure it all out when we get home.

The next person to plant themselves on the floor next to Tank was a slender, leggy, outdoors- looking, no-pantyhose blond, wearing a clinic coat over a flowing skirt, who as she kicked off her sandals into a corner, stuck out her hand in a firm handshake while she said, "I'm sorry about that but I'm just not a shoes person. I'm Dr. LaDue."

That Dr. LaDue is a woman is a surprise. Not because I haven't been around female veterinarians before but with the way Da Kid had described Dr. LaDue as tops in the field, in my mind's eye I'd pictured someone like Marcus Welby. And dear gawd, she's so young!

(I discovered later that as of a 2004 roster of specialists focused solely on canine / small animal oncology, Dr. LaDue is one of only 125 in the United States and Canada.)

For the next — I'm guessing ‘cause I don't know how long it actually was — 45 minutes we talked about . . . whut.ever.

As Hubby, Da Kid and I had already decided the quality of Tank's life is more important than its quantity.

Treatment options: None versus oral versus injection. The difference in potential outcomes between the oral and injection treatments, the risks and the estimated cost. Length of anticipated treatment for each and the schedule for the next 25 weeks (if all goes well) when I chose the injections because while it's rougher and the possibility of adverse reactions are greater, it gives Tank a better chance of going into remission.

Percentages this, bell curves that. She's doing what she said she would: beginning my education. Maybe all of this detail will matter to me some time in the future but it doesn't right now. I already knew there are no guarantees.

No vet-med mysteries. If I don't understand something, ask. "There's no such thing as a stupid question."

More paperwork. Pure info. This chemical does that. That one does this. If you see this or that call me. I'm on call 24/7. If I'm not there, other things are in place and . . .

But first more tests on Tank and some of them are going to be butt ugly. He will, however, be sedated and not feel a thing. Including the not required but requested removal of a lymph node from his leg to add to a study being done on canine lymphoma.


And do I want him to start chemo today.

I'm surprised he's made it this far. Of course I do.

One last form to sign: my desire for them to attempt resuscitation if . . . during . . ."

I had to think about that. Not long but I didn't know the answer immediately. "Yes, for right now but may change in the future."

"No problem. This is for today."

I'm shown the lab and kennel areas, meet more people whose names I don't remember. There's a Rottweiler in one cage, a black on white spotted hound of some sort in another. A frightened- looking Dachshund wrapped in something is in a smaller cage. They're all strangely shaved in areas like Tank's.

I hand Tank's lead to one of the attendants. She tries to get him to go into one of the cages and he won't go. He won't leave my side.

"I'll do it." I take off his lead. "Tank. IN."

Like I said, he wowed ‘em.

I go home and come back several hours later. Michelle brings Tank out and he's STONED! She goes out to the car with me in case Tank has any trouble getting in. (More honestly, I'm sure, in case considering my age I had any problems getting him in.)

Tank doesn't miss the back seat by much when he launches himself onto it. He was pointed in the first direction but only his head made it cleanly. The rest of him is half in and half out. I hoist his butt up and he's set.

We get home. Tank wobbles out of the car, through the gate, somehow pees without falling over when he hikes, gets up the back steps into the kitchen where an overjoyed Wonderdog greets him.

Tank has no interest in the Wonderdog's greeting or after having none since 10 the night before, even a slurp of water. He's zonked. He wobbles into the living room, and he's out.

I start going through, organizing and reading all of the papers in the folder I'd crammed stuff into. It's not that I hadn't read it in the doctor's office, it's just that I'm finally starting to make sense of it all.

But there's so much to remember. To look out for.

(What I have is in easy-for-me-to-understand plain English. Dr. LaDue is also faxing stuff to Doc every step of the way in the totally incomprehensible language of Vet-Speak.)

Tank finally rouses around 8:30 and goes out to the kitchen for a drink of water. He brings it back up about an hour later. He goes back to sleep, drinks more at 10 and this time, keeps it down.

He sleeps next to my side of the bed again that night.

Week Two - Part One

The lymph nodes under Tank's neck were as big as wall nuts, and hard, but as the swelling elsewhere went down his appetite returned so long as the food was soft. So I nuked his dry feed in water to make it so. Big deal. Until Sunday when he had stopped eating. Not just food but treats and the chunks of cheese I'd been burying his antibiotics in.

His breathing is all wrong. He's not just panting non-stop but there's also a wheezing from deep within his chest. For the first time I grasp just how quickly Tank's going downhill and begin to wonder if we'll find a vet in time. If we'll find one before Tank gets much worse and we make the decision to set him free to spare him.

And for the first time I start losing it. I'm standing at the kitchen sink telling myself I'm not going to cry but my shoulders start shaking and here it comes. And here comes Tank because something's wrong with "Mom."

Monday I brought home canned dog food. Sloppy stinky crap. Tank scoffed it down.

Tuesday he wouldn't touch it. When he finally did, it came flying up all over the carpet a few hours later. He did, however, eat and keep down without problem four slices of drive-by sausage pizza (none of us felt like cooking) a few hours later.

Da Kid had called from work Tuesday morning. He'd hit pay dirt and made an appointment for a Dr. LaDue to see Tank Wednesday morning. I have no idea who he is but Da Kid says not only is he a TOP rated specialist in the field of canine / small animal oncology but honest, too. Honest meaning that he'll tell us exactly what's going on and not sugarcoat it.

I have no idea where Dr. LaDue's office is but Da Kid does. He'll draw me a map. No, he doesn't know the address. He'll draw me a map.

WARNING, WILL ROBINSON, WARNING! I know of only two people with a worse sense of direction than I have. Da Kid is one of them. Herself, his fiancé, is the other.

I call Dr. LaDue's office to confirm the appointment, get the address and directions. Not that it means much because I still don't know where the hell I'm going.

Nothing by mouth for Tank after 10 p.m. because the tests tomorrow require sedation. Not that he's eating anything, anyway.

I get up during the night and in the dark stumble over a heavy, unmoving form. I know it's Tank and I know it's over. I slowly turn on the light . . . he looks at me but doesn't move. When I come back from the bathroom he's in the same place but stretched out on his other side. He moved!

Wednesday morning I pick up Tank's records going back to February (including the x-rays and the trip to E.R.) at Doc's, and then head home to get him. As I'm walking out the door Hubby tells me Da Kid's map — which seemed clear to me — is all screwed up. He then opens his Street Guide and on one of its pages shows me Da Kid's directions, and starts explaining why they're wrong.

I do not need this. Not now. I was doing okay but now I'm not just shaking. I'm vibrating, but no. I'm not going to cry. I can't afford the luxury knowing it will upset Tank.

"Just go to the next exit up, to Roosevelt Boulevard, and then his directions are fine."

Tank and The Wonderdog see a dog lead in my hand. And keys. "WE'RE GOING FOR A RIDE!" But only Tank is going with me.

Outside, I open the car door and Tank — as he's supposed to do — waits until I say "IN!" before he launches himself into the back seat. That it's a vehicle he's never seen before never crossed his mind nor did it matter that he's panting and wheezing so hard has to lie down. "I'M GOING FOR A RIDE!"

Da Kid had said it would take an hour to get there. Considering difference between the way he drives and I do, I left early. Instead of 60 minutes it only took less than 40. If it hadn't been for Hubby, I might still be looking for the place.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Week One

Last winter Tank developed a nagging little dry cough. Nothing big or constant but as soon as it started sounding phlegmy (Apparently there isn't any such word or else spell check just doesn't recognize it, but I know what I mean.) we took him in to see Doc. Maybe a newly developed allergy to something or the heat / air conditioning was drying the air out too much. Because of Tank's age just to make sure . . . the chest x-rays came out fine. Maybe a slight touch of bronchitis? After 10 days of antibiotics the cough was gone.

The dry little nagging cough came back after a while. Nothing big or constant.

Tank had his "annual everythings" in May and, as always, passed with flying colors.

Starting four weeks ago Tank didn't eat all of his morning feed. I'd give him the rest of it later in the day and he finished what he hadn't. If I had to split his regular meal into two sessions no big deal. He's old and I know they get funny with age.

Da Kid woke me up a week ago Monday night (August 1) when he got home asking me if I knew why Tank's face was swollen. I didn't, hadn't noticed any swelling, and didn't see any. Da Kid (Da Vet Tech) did. And then said that the lymph nodes in Tank's neck were . . .

"Mom, I'm taking him to the E.R." And off they went.

They got home about 3 ayem. The blood work they could run there (Da Kid took the samples and ran the tests. He works there on Sundays.) came back fine, but they'd have to send others off. Meanwhile, antibiotics and make an appointment with Doc for him to do more of them.

I finally went back to bed.

For the first time ever, Tank starts laying next to my side of the bed at night instead of Hubby's. Also for the first time ever, he doesn't climb up in bed with me for a few minutes, pushing my hand around with his nose, for his good-night ear scritch.

Tuesday morning Tank's face and neck were swollen up like a balloon. Wednesday it was even worse and the swelling had spread to his chest.

The Wonderdog knows somethings not right with his best buddy. No play, not even attempts. Wherever Tank is, he is too. Instead of lying on ("sneaking onto") my bed during the day or dozing on his dog bed in the living room, he lies next to Tank.

By Thursday morning the antibiotics began to kick in and Tank started looking more normal.

But on Thursday night it all came crashing in when the results of the rest of tests the E.R. and the other tests Doc had taken came back.

Tank has lymphoma. It's fatal. With no treatment he might last 30 days but we won't put him through that.

Depending on how far advanced it is — what stage Tank's in — treatment won't cure him of it — there is none — but it might buy him time. Good time. How long? It could be weeks, months or a couple of years. There are too many variables involved to know.

We love Tank enough to let him go. We also love him enough to give him the chance. But without more information we didn't know what to do. The only way to get it was to take him to a veterinarian that specializes in oncology.

And where do you find one of those?

Turns out there are a number of them in Northeast Florida. But which one?

Doc made his recommendations, and then Da Kid went to work.

"I know Doc said Dr. ______________ is great, Mom, but I talked to _________, his senior vet tech today. _________ said Dr. ______________ keeps pushing more treatment even after it's obvious there's no hope. It's over, but Dr. ______________ keeps talking the people into more chemo."

Scratch that one.

And so it went.

While he was doing this, I had something else to take care of.

Sunday, August 07, 2005


The long anticipated report from the Volcker Commission on the United Nation's Oil for Food scam, scheduled for release later this week is, instead, coming out tomorrow. Come to think of it, I thought it was supposed to be out last June. But, that's neither here nor there because it's not worth the paper it's printed on.

Not that the U.N. is paying for it you understand. The Iraqi people are.

The U.N. got a cut from the proceeds of Saddam's oil sales to administer the Oil for Food Program. The program was corrupt as hell with the UN in the center of it. The U.N. investigates its own corruption, and funds it with the fees it charged for administering a corrupt program.

Meanwhile, paperwork is turning up that Kofi Annan's son was being paid by one of the program's contractors not do do anything.

Meanwhile, (meanwhile?) Kofi Annan's personal assisant is shredding paperwork. When it's found out the assistant supposedly retires BUT keeps showing up at work a couple of times a week to continue shredding documents.

Benon Sevon, who oversaw the program, retires to gawd-only-knows-where so nobody is able to talk to him, but HE's kept on the payroll for $1 a year as an "advisor."

Sevon had been explaining the lifestyle he's maintained saying the money that paid for it was bequeathed to him by an elderly aunt, who as it turns out in reality didn't have much more than a pot to piss in. Oh, and she's not around anymore because when the oatmeal started hitting the fan, she fell down an empty elevator shaft in her apartment building.

(Has anyone throught about trying to turn this whole thing into a screenplay, or is it all too farfetched?)

It's leaked by the Commission that Sevon is a really rotten creep who was corrupt as hell because of the billions missing, HE'S responsible for $160,000 of it. (Huh?)

From the start the United Nations and its Volcker Commission has been cooperating with outside investigations with complete and total transparency:

The United Nations did not disclose the names of the contractors, the price, quantity, or quality of goods. The U.N. provided no public accounting for the billions in bank balances, the interest collected, the letters of credit amended or even the $1.4 billion cut of Saddam's oil sales collected by Annan's secretariat to run the program (from which the Volcker inquiry is now drawing its $34 million budget, for which there has also been no public accounting).
In the spirit of full disclosure:

Instead of an easily searchable spreadsheet (which one must hope the 65 staffers of the $34 million Volcker inquiry have managed to put together over the past year), Volcker released a locked pdf file, in type so small it could better serve as an eye test. There are no addresses, there are no contract details; there columns of sums paid out, but still no mention of the details one might assume a former Fed chairman would know are basic to evaluating a contract, such as quantity. -- Claudia Rosett.
I have complete and total confidence in the report that's being released by the Volcker Commission tomorrow.

I know you will, too.

Friday, August 05, 2005

You have the right to shut up

Traffic Tickets

"Relax, the handcuffs are tight because they're new. They'll stretch out after you wear them awhile."

"Take your hands off the car, or I'll make your birth certificate a worthless document."

"If you run, you'll only go to jail tired."

"Can you run faster than 1,200 feet per second?"

"So you don't know how fast you were going. I guess that means I can write anything I want on the ticket, huh?"

"Yes, Sir, you can talk to the shift supervisor, but I don't think it will help. Oh . . . did I mention that I am the shift supervisor?"

"Warning! You want a warning? O.K., I'm warning you not to do that again or I'll give you another ticket."

"The answer to this last question will determine whether you are drunk or not. Was Mickey Mouse a cat or a dog?"

"Fair? You want me to be fair? Listen, fair is a place where you go to ride on rides, eat cotton candy, and step in monkey poop."

"Yeah, we have a quota. Two more tickets and my wife gets a toaster oven."

"Just how big were those two beers?"

"No sir we don't have quotas anymore. We used to have quotas but now we're allowed to write as many tickets as we want."

"I'm glad to hear the Chief of Police is a Good personal friend of yours. At least you know someone who can post your bail."

"You didn't think we give pretty women tickets? You're right, we don't. Sign here."

Via: Hey Joe!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Still Missing

I emailed Christmas Ghost when I noticed one of the replies to her original message. The person replying said that they'd contacted the sheriff's office and been told that Cheryl had been in touch with a friend recently.

Christmas Ghost replied to my email saying that the sheriff's office remains uncertain that the person their deputy talked with had actually had any contact with Cheryl. (Christmas Ghost has since deleted the reply with the false information that drew my attention.)

Meanwhile, word has been spreading that via email "a relative" is reporting that the sheriff's office has confirmed that Cheryl had run away and recently been in contact with friends.

Again per Christmas Ghost, this is not coming from any members of her family. To add to it, she's just discovered that someone masquerading as her is posting replies to blogs.

As you might imagine, Christmas Ghost is swamped and hasn't had a chance to update her blog.

Until reported differently here, Cheryl remains missing.

I'm . . . touched.

I'm horrored honored to announce that I've inspired my good buddy and fellow former Long Islander Attaboy to write another poem.

May the world forgive me.

As Joe notes because of our backgrounds certain customs must be observed. As a result:

The Florida blogger named Joe,
Puts on an interesting show,
‘Cept in Yankees' ball season
When he loses all reason.
His poetry simply must go.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

A roller coaster

With so much going on everywhere, this is pure self indulgence. Or maybe I’m just trying to keep my head on straight by pounding the keys. Maybe I’ll plunk this on ACC later. Maybe I won’t. I don’t know. Right now it’s just me and WordPefect.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Don't forget to check out this week's Carnival of the Dogs at Mickey's Musings.

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Monday, August 01, 2005

The Iceberg's Tip

The MSM has remained largely silent, but with bloggers and talk radio pounding the story it's not going to stay that way. What story? The Air America funding scandal, of course.

I'll leave it to Michelle Malkin, Hugh Hewitt, Radio Equalizer and the host of big blogs that are providing updates on the circumstances surrounding the "loan" authorized by Evan Montvel Cohen, development director of the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club, of program funds to help keep Air America -- where Cohen served simultaneously as the network's director -- afloat.

Air America, now under new management, can't keep its story straight. New Management said it wasn't its responsibility to repay the money, then it would . . . no, it had . . . ummmmm, wait. They're in negotiations on how to pay it back.


As the New York Sun pointed out today, that's only just beginning. The tip of the iceberg.

Unlike others, I'm not going to target Air America with the hype that the misappropriation of funds (I should say alleged misappropriation of funds, but I'm not. They were.) harmed the children and old people the grants were awarded to provide services for. I have little doubt if Gloria Wise (or its affiliate, Pathways for Youth Boys & Girls Club) had been forced to curtail or terminate any services or had been unable to pay its employees due to lack of funds, someone would have noticed it. And screamed bloody murder.

Instead, from the New York NonProfit Press:

Friday, July 08, 2005

Gloria Wise City-Funded Programs Transferred Following DOI Investigation
- fred_scaglione @ 11:07 am EST

City-funded programs previously operated by the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club and the affiliated Pathways for Youth Boys and Girls Club, both in the Bronx, have been successfully transferred to other providers without disruption of services.

On Friday, June 24th, New York City's Department of Investigation announced that Gloria Wise and Pathways for Youth had been determined "Non-Responsible City contractors" based on an on-going investigation "concerning allegations that, among other things, officials of Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club approved significant inappropriate transactions and falsified documents that were submitted to various City agencies."

Gloria Wise's Executive Director Charles Rosen and Assistant Executive Director Jeffrey Aulenbach have both resigned, according to an agency spokesperson.

As a result of the ongoing investigation, programs operated under contracts with the Department for Youth and Community Development (DYCD) and the Department for the Aging (DFTA) have been transferred to other providers.

Jewish Association for Services for the Aged (JASA) is now operating three senior centers in Co-Op City as well as NORC and EISEP programs. "The Bartow, Dreiser and Einstein Senior Centers serve approximately 210 seniors daily," says Christopher Miller, a DFTA spokesperson. "That transition has been going very well. There has been no disruption in services to seniors."

"We started providing service on July 5th with the current staff," says Aileen Gitelson, CEO at JASA.

DYCD transferred a total of seven programs – four Beacons as well as individual Summer Youth Employment (SYEP), In-School Youth (ISY) and Youth Development and Delinquency Prevention (YDDP) programs. Alianza Dominicana is now operating the MS 201 Beacon. Police Athletic League is operating the IS 192 Beacon. Mosholou Montefiore has taken over Beacon programs at MS 142 and JHS 113. Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club is operating the SYEP program. SOBRO has taken over the ISY program and Alliance of Guardian Angels received the YDDP operation.

"There were no problems," says Michael Ognibene, DYCD Chief of Staff. "As of July 5th, everything that should have been operating was operating."
Information on the transfer of programs under contract with the Department of Education was not yet available.

In many cases, it appears that the program staff from Gloria Wise and Pathways for Youth will continue to provide services under the new management. "The people who have been working there have been offered jobs," says Gitelson. "There is a place for everyone who wants to stay."

(Note: I would have only referenced NYNP's information rather than quoting it in its entirety IF the organization provided a specific link to it which, unfortunately, it doesn't.)

I strongly suspect the walls started a-tumblin' down around Gloria Wise because of a standard audit conducted by New York City.

The city Department of Youth and Community Development said in a press release issued by Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn that its determinations were based on an ongoing DOI probe. The probe is investigating allegations that officials of the long-established community programs "approved significant inappropriate transactions and falsified documents that were submitted to various city agencies." -- June 28, 2005 NY Daily News
I may not be an accountant but I don't have to be to understand that paragraph.

What I have (in my prior life) is almost 25 years working around grants: local, state and Federal and from more than one or two foundations. The rules might vary but one remained constant for all of them: No co-mingling of funds! Ever!

An absolutely clean audit trail had to be established and maintained to show how the award had been spent, payment by payment and everything you can imagine (and some I'm sure you never have) in between. A separate account for each and every grant received even if from the same source. Ironclad checks and balances throughout because if you run out of designated grant money, the program's dead.

So how did Gloria Wise continue services they'd contracted with NYC to provide, after "loaning" to Air America the grant money they'd received to pay for them?

They robbed from Peter to pay Paul.

Contrary to the image you might have of a small ramshackle building housing a Boys & Girls Club, Gloria Wise provided a myriad of services, and NYC wasn't the only one funding them.

Gloria Wise had grants coming in from all over the place. (Some, a few, through private or non-governmental sources. One was Consolidated Edision, NYC's utility company.) They had money coming in from grant awards from New York State, too!

Another one I noticed, however, is neither local or state.

I know it well because long, LONG ago when it was just a start-up, "we" were one of its very first recipients.

TASC: Treatment Alternatives to Street Crime. As in the U.S. Department of Justice?

That's Federal.

Where this is all going to lead I don't have a clue. But if Gloria Wise mingled its grant monies (as I strongly suspect it did to keep things going) this is going to get really interesting IF following the money trail, investigators force Air America to open its books.