Saturday, March 24, 2012

Rest In Peace Miss Carla

January 1996 - March 23, 2012
Carla passed away yesterday evening. I was holding her on the was to the vet, when she laid her head at the nape of my neck and then she was gone.

Carla was truly a part of the whole family. We adopted her way back in May 1996 from the Richmond SPCA, she was the WRVA 'dog of the day'.

I remember that day well, the kids had been told that they could have a dog as long as it was a small one. The description the kids heard over the was Chihuahua mix and that she would be around 10 lbs when full grown. Perfect! Sean, who was 4 at the time, and I made a beeline for the SPCA so that we would be there when they opened to check her out. She was so ugly that she was cute!

She and Sean got bonded and that was that! After all the adoption papers were signed we piled in the car and headed back to school. To pick up Walter & Danielle - they got a half day off from school so they could spend time with her.

On one of our family excursions out not too many months later, Carla really showed us that she was there to protect us. While the guys were fishing, I was sitting next to a big rock reading and she kept annoying me beyond belief. I finally got up and moved, which prompted her to quiet down. As we were getting ready to leave, I went to pick up a bag that was sitting next to the rock and she started up again. Turned out that there was a big copperhead curled up under the rock. She let us know right then and there that she was definitely going to earn her keep.

Her disposition has always been very sweet and gentle. She was housebroken from day one and was always ready to get in the car and go anywhere. She LOVED a good road trip. She especially liked to go out to Mom & Dad's house to visit. Mom would even 'babysit' her if I needed to be out of town for a few days.

Over the years she has travel with us virtually everywhere. Ocean City, the Outer Banks, Blue Ridge Mountains and the Southwestern part of Virginia. She liked to go to the beach as long as there were absolutely NO waves involved. One the last trips that we took her on was to Warm Springs.

A year or more ago we found out that she had an enlarged heart and there was nothing that could be done for her due to age. As her condition progressed she slowed down, but she hung right in there and helped us to bring the new guy, Bounce, into the family. She mothered him and never let him think that he was in charge for one minute. Even though she could walk under him he definitely didn't give her any 'lip'. We've seen her put him right in his place.

There are loads of stories from over the years that we will all treasure. She was just a few months over 16 years old. She was an awesome companion, loyal as the day is long, and was always there. We will miss her greatly.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Marcus Smith Memorial Scholarship

I found out just recenty that one of the patients in our office had lost his son to the tornado that hit the University of Alabama in 2011.
  • His story was written up in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (read the article here).  
  • Turning tragedy into something positive - the family and Alabama alumni have set up a scholarship fund to honor Marcus. Read more about Marcus and the scholarship fund. There is an article about Marcus and a picture of Micah, his older brother, accepting his diploma in August. There is a link at the bottom of the page for contributions.
Help spread the word about the Marcus Smith Memorial Scholarship by purchasing and wearing a wristband. Proceeds go to support the scholarship fund. The wristbands sell for $5 each. The colors are the University of Alabama colors  and the wristbands are made of very sturdy rubber. They will fit almost any size wrist. These can be purchased by sending an email to (Marcus' mother).

Break In

A friend of mine had the misfortune to have her vehicle broken into while she was at work today. She had inadvertently left her purse in her car, as she was going in to work (running late). At lunchtime she headed out to pick up lunch, only to discover that someone had broken out her driver's side window. There was glass everywhere. Her purse, several sentimental items, her gym bag, and Sunday clothes were all taken.

She had a really rough afternoon - waiting for the police to arrive, dealing with the insurance company and then there were so many things to cancel and try to schedule a time to replace. Credit cards, driver's license, etc... It was hard to believe that someone would risk being caught breaking into a car during the middle of the day!

I guess the lesson that we can all take from this is not to leave anything of any value out in the open in the car. If you must leave something in the car, lock it in the trunk. Out of sight will reduce the temptation for someone just walking past looking for something to steal.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Saturday Fun

I had a great visit with Mom & Dad for most of the day on Saturday. I was being helpful and staying away from the house while Walter caught up on his sleep.

Turned out to be a really great day, photographing all the birds that show up on the deck at Mom & Dad's. Then on an outing with Mom we saw a swan on a nearby pond and headed over to take a few shots. The swans were very cooperative. But the real action happened when a few Canadian Geese dropped by. You could almost hear the shark music from Jaws playing as the Swan went on the attack chasing the geese out of the pond. Who knew that they were so territorial.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Our conference was a grand success. Dr. Martin knocked another one out of the park with his information jammed pack presentation. The energy and excitement in the room really made the weekend just fly by. The doctors and their staff really put in some work during the workshop and had loads to take home with them at the end of the conference on Saturday.

I was great seeing all of our members once again and catching up with each of them.