With the news as depressing as the weather, it is nice to know ONE thing came out right.
Miss P, a pert Beagle, was chosen Best in Show at Westminster, the dog show Super Bowl.
What I like about Beagles is they look like dogs -- not toys or dusters or shag rugs or so fluffed up they resemble survivors of a washer-dry cycle.
We had three Beagles - Ralph, who watched over our daughters as they grew up and at our first boy-girl party spotted the beer the boys had hidden in the back yard. We loved him so much my wife found a young artist to paint his portrait -- what a handsome guy!
Then there was sweet Betty, here in a rare outdoor pose. An urban girl, she was the only dog I ever knew who understood elevators and preferred indoors to outside.
I couldn't find a picture of our third Beagle, Dixie, who was with us just a short while but had to go live with friends down South after she bit a Chinese diplomat who strolled past our Washington home.
It was just after the Tiananmen Square uprising, but I am certain there was no connection.
Ralph and Betty and Dixie brought us lots of love and lived long lives -- Dixie for 17 years.
Which reminds me: I've got a birthday myself next week. In dog years, I'll be 546.