Radio Free Friday

Mister Boo still looks pretty chipper for an auld fella, unlike the other one cluttering up the joint.

When a dog yelps at 1 a.m. in the Sandia foothills it can mean someone is climbing in a window with a $2 pistol and a $200-a-day habit, or the deer are in the backyard, eating the trees.

Or, if the pooch is of a certain age, it can be the canine equivalent of the old LifeCall bit (“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”).

Mister Boo is of a certain age, and when he began yelping at 1 a.m. Thursday I was pretty sure it was neither dope fiends nor deer. He wouldn’t be able to ID either one of those, since he’s blind in one eye and can’t see out of the other.

And if it were a dope fiend, and the dope fiend brought treats, well, The Boo would have a new bestie and the rest of us would soon be chatting with the insurance company, or St. Peter.

You may recall that Herself has an actual job of work, while I do not, so as our furry air-raid siren wailed I stumbled over to the other end of the house to gauge the extent of the damage.

The Boo had peed all over his kennel’s absorbent pads, which was fine, and then toppled over into the pee, which was not.

I carried him outdoors, went back inside, replaced the soiled pads with fresh ones, filled a basin with warm soapy water, and set about freshening up our soggy doggy.

The Boo didn’t like this one little bit, being wet and cold and outdoors, and I didn’t like it either, being shirtless and shoeless, and did I mention it was cold out there?

Afterward he had the shakes and required a cuddle to warm up. I tucked him back into bed as a drowsy Herself wandered in, wondering if it was dope fiends or deer this time. Then we tucked ourselves back into bed and one of us drifted off to sleep.

Come morning I was foggy and irritable for some reason and it was a good thing I didn’t have any paying work on the docket. The Boo, of course, was just dandy. He enjoyed a delicious breakfast — ground beef, minced pasta and green beans in a sauce of apple cider and low-sodium chicken broth — and managed to pee and poop outdoors before joining the cats in morning zazen. Their posture is all wrong and their eyes are closed, but they seem to derive great benefit from these sessions nonetheless.

My mind was not at rest and it was a good thing that my friend Hal messaged me about his latest project. He has a nighttime noisemaker of his own and thought it would be a pleasant diversion to read one of his essays from “Endurance” into some device and pop it up on the Innertubes. So he had some questions about audio recording and distribution.

I am hardly an expert, but the distraction was welcome, so off we went, diving down the rabbit holes of iPads and MacBooks, microphones and headphones, QuickTime and GarageBand, Audacity and Sound Studio, Libsyn and SoundCloud.

The detour proved so absorbing that I drifted off into a side project, reviving my old Radio Free Dogpatch podcast. Well, “reviving” may be a little grandiloquent — as I said, I’m no expert, and audio is more complicated and time-consuming than writing, or even video — but I did rework a 2017 Bicycle Retailer column about The Boo into a sonic short.

And here it is:

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20 Responses to “Radio Free Friday”

  1. Sharon Says:

    Two things about the Boo.
    1. You guys are working on your angel wings for kindness and compassion beyond measure.
    2. I think as most people get older, they know they too will face the inevitable. So they try to do unto others (their pets) as they hope others will do unto them. Looking into the mirror, so to speak.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Aw, Sharon, you know how it is. You bring ’em home, you gotta take care of ’em. It’s part of the deal. An exasperating part, at times, but still.

      And yeah, there’s more than one little old man toddling around El Rancho Pendejo. Herself will have me put down in a hot Noo Yawk minute, though. I ain’t nearly as cute as The Boo.

  2. Carl Duellman Says:

    well done!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Thank you, sir. I’m trying to decide whether I want to commit to doing one of these things a week until I get more comfortable with the process.

      As I mentioned, for some reason audio is more difficult for me than video — possibly because there are no distracting images involved — but I enjoy giving myself a brain cramp. Lets me know I still have a brain to cramp.

  3. khal spencer Says:

    Another good man off to that great ride in the sky.

    Biking enthusiast played pivotal role in the Santa Fe Century ride

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Bad news indeed. Willard was a stout fella. As I recall he was a member of the Sangre de Cristo Cycling Club about the same time as Your Humble Narrator and Marc Sani, who would go on to co-found Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.

      Incidentally, Sani has returned to Fanta Se from the Left Coast after an absence of several years. He’s a contractor instead of a honcho now, which gives him a lot of free time for cycling, hut trips and kayaking. Lucky dog.

  4. Dale Says:

    I tend to judge people on how they treat their animals, whether they are pets or livestock. One day the livestock are going to the slaughterhouse – that is your living after all, but the pets are family.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yeah, me too. I’ve known folks who’ve made me think, “Damn, man, why in the hell do you even want a dog? That’s not a stuffed animal, f’chrissakes.”

      Ever seen the HBO series “High Maintenance?” The episode titled “Grandpa” is about a dog whose person does not appreciate him. Good episode and a great series, fixing to go into season two tonight.

  5. Stephen Newhall Says:

    I also have an elderly dog, who can’t see much, or hear at all, and has started peeing and pooping inside occasionally. But she still goes to work with me daily, gets three to four walks a day, gets fed on a regular basis, and has me very well trained. So give Boo a belly rub for me.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Good on ya, Stephen. The Boo is on again, off again, as regards walks. Sometimes, on cold mornings, he’ll slouch the climbs but rip the descents. Other times, if it’s too warm or he’s feeling his age, it’s like walking a robot dog with a dead battery,

      I’ll pass on that belly rub to Himself. Give yours one for me.

  6. Pat O'Brien Says:

    After the Mighty Beaumaster returned to the source and left Chateau O’Be, the smarter half and I said no more dogs. That lasted two years. Then, after giving our wallet to the dentist, we came out of our dental appointments and said” Let’s go to Nogales and see if Duffy is still at the Humane Society.” Then, Sandy walked all the poodle mixes they had while the Duffy and I bonded through his kennel fence. I said “OK. Let’s walk the Duffy.” We did, and he stopped at our Honda Element and looked at us. Case closed. Seven years later and he runs this joint.

  7. Hurben Says:

    I’m a cat person but the most wonderful dog that I knew was my mother’s.

    Muff was a cross Alsatian Pyrenees mountain dog,( no, I don’t want to speculate how that happened, but what an awesome beast).

    Mother could not control her so I traded Sunday dinners for walking Muff a few times a week.

    Loved that dog, sadly I was on a combat tour when my mother let me know that she’d passed on.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Cat person here too, Hurben. I like dogs, but they burn a lot of your daylight. Cats are low maintenance, less needy.

      Turkish and Mia both crave our attention from time to time, but otherwise they’re self-governing. The Boo requires a lot more upkeep.

  8. Pat O'Brien Says:

    When I was in Vietnam, we, the communications and radio teletype guys and I, adopted a stray dog that wandered onto the firebase. We got him checked out by the vet including all vaccinations required by regulations. His name was Crypto, and he used to disappear every morning for an hour or so. We didn’t know where he went. The brigade sergeant major didn’t like dogs, and he told us to get “rid” of him. We hid him in the bunker until I could fly him back to the division forward base and try to adopt him out. The Brigade Commander showed up at the bunker and asked where Crypto was. We explained that we had to get him off the firebase. He said that Crypto and him shared a C ration breakfast every morning, and that Crypto wasn’t going anywhere. He was still there when I left 10 months later.

    • Sharon Says:

      Love this story Pat. The power of love and companionship is immense.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      That is a good story. We got Bandit that way, and Ike and Tina Turdherder. They just turned up one day and we happened to be home.

    • Hurben Says:

      Wonderful story, ( thanks Pat), during my first tour in 1973 in Caprivi taking over the Sifuma base, we inherited 2 dogs, 2 cats & 1 monkey called Humphrey & they were wonderful. Helped bring a bit of normality to an insane situation

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        You’re welcome Hurben. I sent Patrick some pictures of Crypto. It does wonders for soldiers to have some normal around. About halfway through my tour, Crypto got hit by a jeep which broke his hind leg. We took him to the medical unit on the firebase. All the human patients were taken care of and waiting for medivac to the rear. You would have thought they were working on the President. They x-rayed him, set the leg, and put a cast on him. Every wounded soldier waiting for evacuation had a smile on their faces when the medicos told them Crypto was going to be OK. The ones that were mobile signed his cast. Dogs are miracle workers for soldiers is what.

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