BUSY MAMA: Readers connect with columns on dogs, kids and Van Halen

Staff WriterDecember 5, 2013 

Interacting with readers is one of the best perks of writing this column.

I receive a fair number of phone calls, emails and even some grocery store conversations about the things I write on this journey through parenthood. Sometimes I even hear from people from other parts of the country who saw my columns, thanks to the magic of the Internet. Here’s a sampling of the reader feedback on recent columns:

Saying goodbye to a loyal – and furry – family member, published Nov. 24, 2013

Please accept our condolences on the loss of Hunter. The love of and for a family dog cannot be described to someone who has never felt it. For those of us who have, your story stirs deep emotions.

Some are sad, but mostly they are fond memories of our very special friends. We are so much better people for having dogs in our lives. Thank you for sharing your story.

We lost our shepherd/collie “Dylan” just after Thanksgiving last year.

– Frank and Linda Fauls and Maggie (Dylan’s Golden Retriever/Lab sister), Olympia

I loved your story about Hunter. It was timely for our family and I read it with tears in my eyes. We have a 15-year-old Yorkie who we love like a child.

Anticipating the end, we even took her to Portland a couple of weeks ago to have her portrait made for photographer Pauline Zonneveld’s “Good Old Dog” project.

I spend hours torturing myself with thoughts of “how it will go” in the end. Your story brought some perspective as to how much Penny has brought to our lives, and also how much we have brought to hers. (Still crying...)

– Missy Watts, Olympia

We are sorry to hear about the loss of your dog, Hunter. We just lost our 14-year-old Italian greyhound, Minnie, from nasal cancer so we know how hard it can be. From your article, we know he was much loved and enjoyed a happy life as a member of your family.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that there are a lot of us out here grieving for our pet family members, so you are not alone. Good luck to you and your family. Just remember that our pets’ lives are short so that we don’t take our own lives for granted.

– Ron Edgin, Olympia

I’m really glad that you had all those wonderful years with Hunter. He stayed alive because of that love, it kept him going. He only left because it was time for him to go. This is truly why I love animals so much – because they love us back and there are no conditions.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and his final days with us. I am sure he was a great dog. He had you guys for companions. Life worked very well for him because of you. RIP Hunter.

– Dan Peterson, Olympia, via comments at www.theolympian.com

“Soccer/football/T-ball mom dreams of a free moment or two” published Nov. 10, 2013

This type of thing reminds me why I am eternally glad to be childfree. ...

I don’t look down on those that do have kids, nor do I think all of them are secretly unhappy as I would be in such situations. But I look at things like this, and the lives of my friends, siblings and in-laws that have little ‘uns of their own and I just feel frazzled looking at them! Then when you add competitive athletics or other programs as so many kids are involved in them... wow!!

I’m floored by how much one person can fit in to one day. I’m tired just reading about this poor parent’s day!

– Azriel Malfoye Satani, no hometown given, via comments at www.theolympian.com

“Van Halen? Mom, isn’t that some old-fogey band from way back?” published June 9, 2013

I loved your article about Van Halen! I am a huge fan and saw most of their United States tours.

I try to do the same VH things you do with your kids with my 10-year-old son, with about the same unsatisfying results.

Here’s something else I do: I buy the greatest hits albums for all of the ‘80s bands. I have him listen to each song for one minute. He then has to give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down sign.

Journey got 14 thumbs down.

– Mark Lawrence, Ocean City, Md.

Love your article. I took my 13-year-old son to his first concert last year and it was Van Halen. He said it was the best time he ever had with his dad. He stood for two straight hours.

– Mike Hunt, Baltimore

I am a 16-year-old girl and completely obsessed with Van Halen. ... The article made me laugh considering that most teens these days do not seem to recognize any music past the 1990s. I was practically raised to love classic rock! They seem to think classic rock is “uncool” or “too old” but in reality it shaped the music today and most modern rock bands in this day and age are in fact influenced by these bands, including Van Halen!

So all in all, I enjoyed your story and found it very amusing. Also, remind your daughter that there are plenty of teens like me that just love Van Halen and think of them as the coolest band ever to walk the earth! ...

If it wasn’t for my mom, I wouldn’t even know who they are.

– Corey Tomison, Jacksboro, Texas

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