How May I Hinder You?

At My Friend Bill’s House in Altadena

Today, for the first time in over a year, I visited with one of my friends. And you can see the joy in my face in the above photo. I had no idea that Bill Korn would post the image on Facebook, but he did. So I thought I would share the sunshine with you.

Ever since I was a boy, I hated posing with a pleasant smile. Somewhere I have a photo of me as a ten-year-old trying to wreck one of my mother’s pictures. I got even with her years later when we visited Marineland of the Pacific (long since closed) posing her next to a huge sign with an arrow pointing at her and the words, “To the walrus exhibit.”

As you can see, I am not a good subject for pleasant posed pictures. Sure you can pose me next to a beautiful view, but I’ll be giving you the ol’ stink-eye.

Farewell to Icon

On His Last Full Day

On Sunday, I drove to Altadena to visit Bill and Kathy Korn. Also to see Icon on his last full day in this life. Icon was Kathy Korn’s seeing-eye dog, who, in his thirteenth year,had developed a serious shortage of red-blood cells. He had trouble digesting food, and his breathing was alarmingly shallow.

Although I have had no pets since my elementary school days in Cleveland in the 1950s, I have always developed friendly relationships with my friends’ pets. I can have no animals in my apartment because (1) it would be a violation of my lease and (2) I am allergic—sometimes more, sometimes less.

Whenever I visited the Korns, I looked forward to Icon’s onslaught, in which recently he has been joined by Duchess, Kathy’s current seeing-eye dog. (Icon has been retired for upwards of a year.)

Icon’s “Diploma” from the Seeing-Eye Dog Program


I got a little teary-eyed as I petted Icon for the last time on Sunday evening. I mentioned that we would see each other again in the next life. Who knows?