craig joseph


R.I.P. Piper (2006-2013)

My beloved Rottweiler and best friend Piper died yesterday morning. She had an aggressive tumor in her right elbow. She coped really well with the effects of the cancer — with the help of amazingly caring veterinarians and pain medications — for more than four months. But over the weekend she had several (mercifully brief) seizures, and by Sunday she had difficulty even standing up and seemed confused and disoriented. I don’t know — and I never will know — whether those symptoms were consequences of the cancer, or just the idiopathic seizures that sometimes occur in adult dogs. But it seemed clear yesterday morning that things were not improving.

Her passing was very peaceful. As the sedative took effect and she became sleepy, I stroked her head. I told her that I loved her; I thanked her for being my friend and for bringing me so much happiness; I told her that she would now never be sick or frightened or lonely again. And I told her that we would see each other again one day, and be together forever. Of course, that last promise was mostly to comfort me.

Then the doctor — a grizzled old veterinarian who owns the clinic, and with whom we had had a meet-and-greet appointment just last Wednesday — administered the ketamine injection. As I sat with Piper, still stroking her head while the vet checked her vital signs, I began to realize that the vet herself was crying quietly. For some reason, that made me feel more at peace with my decision to euthanize Piper — less alone in my grief, I suppose.

To be continued…

Dear Amish Lord, Thou lookest sternly down upon us, thine flock, even though we did not do anything wrong, and have been doing chores like $&@%? crazy. Please make us humble and deliver us more hardship, that we may get thick calloused hands, much larger than other peoples; and grant that we become dull, like Eric Bana — who we have never seen but are just going by reputation — because it is your will. We solemnly believe that although humans have been around for a million years, you feel strongly that they had just the right amount of technology between 1835 and 1850 — not too little, not too much. Please deliver us from Thomas Edison, the worst human being who ever lived, and protect us from those who laugh at our buggies or our hats. And deliver us from mustaches. Amen.

- Family Guy episode “Amish Guy”

Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.

- Abraham Lincoln


Knowledge isn’t truth. It’s just mindless agreement. You agree with me, I agree with someone else - we all have knowledge. We haven’t come any closer to the truth. You can never understand anything by agreeing, by making definitions. Only by turning over the possibilities. That’s called thinking. If I say I know, I stop thinking. As long as I keep thinking, I come to understand. That way, I might approach some truth.

- “The Professor,” in ‘Insignificance’ (Nicolas Roeg, 1985)

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You run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole; you run into assholes all day, you’re the asshole.

- Raylan Givens

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Very nice article in the Boston Globe praising DiNic’s in the Reading Terminal Market.

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