Saturday, April 10, 2021

Bojingles' Story

Technically, this is isn't the story of the little dog up there; it's the story of how we met.  I know very little about him.  He was in my life for maybe twenty-four hours.

We - my wife, my dogs, & myself - met him on a walk.  He approached us, he was a bit yappy but unafraid, & he didn't have a human anywhere near him.  Nor did he have a tag.  He was impossibly small - he couldn't have weighed five pounds.  & he was pretty filthy.

He walked with us for a while, but when it seemed like he was going another direction, I scooped him up & I carried him home.  He was immediately docile.  He seemed like a dog who was used to being carried.  I got him home & we had to find a way to seal the space under the gates to our backyard - our dogs are too big to escape under them, but this little fellow had no such problem.  My wife nicknamed him "Harry" - after Houdini - when I had to go out to find him once he left.  The name didn't take - he didn't respond to it - because it wasn't his name.

He wasn't hungry, but he was a little thirsty, mainly because he marked everything as he went along.  If I had to guess his age, I'd say maybe a year - I'm no expert - but he was unneutered, which may have accounted for the relentless lifting of the leg.  I immediately took a picture of him - that was the one from the previous post - & I posted it to Next Door & to Facebook via Paw Boost.  Paw Boost was extremely popular - my post was shared over three hundred times.

But we heard from no one who knew him that night.  My wife gave him a bath, & we left him in the garage.  I almost slept out there with him.  I fell in love with him on our walk home.  He ate a little, but when I would sit next to him, he would immediately come into my lap like in the picture above.  It's what, I'm sure, he was bred to do.  I felt awful making him sleep alone that night.

The next morning we found a leash for him & walked him to a nearby vet to check for a microchip.  He had none.  My wife wanted to take him immediately to the Humane Society because she knew the longer he was with us, the harder it would be for us to let him go.  He wasn't terrible on a leash, & my dogs didn't seem to mind him, & he did enjoy the walk.  He ate so little, he was so little.

A neighborhood person who volunteers with a rescue group contacted me & told me she'd keep him the next night if no one came forward.  I thought that was a good idea.  We decided to take him for one more walk in the afternoon to near where we found him so we could see if someone had put flyers up.  But just as we were leaving, I got an email.  It was entitled, "Party yorkie - the little black and white dog found on Raymond."  The body read:


I'm a friend of the dogs mom. The puppies name is Bo Jingles. What does she need to do to get him back? Who does she need to get a hold of?


Immediately he got my phone number & we soon were texting.  I spoke with his mother, who didn't have a phone herself.  She did not live far - although Bojingles - I spell it that way, I am not certain of the proper spelling - had made it about six blocks to the east of that home - it was quite a distance for such a little fellow.

The story gets a little sad here.  His mother is living in what appears to be a halfway house in our neighborhood.  It might just be a rooming house, but other people have confidently told us it's a halfway house.  We've walked by it many times, & there are often people in front smoking, some with dogs, to whom we say hi as we pass.  The dog's mom is named Red.  Her friend James looked half her age.

There are some who, seeing the difficult situation in which the woman lived, might have felt uncomfortable surrendering the dog.  But there were three things that made it a no-brainer for me.  One, it's not my dog.  I would hate for someone to find one of my dogs & then tell me I couldn't have him back because they somehow didn't like my lifestyle or the circumstances in which I lived.  Two, the dog was so very excited to see her again.  He almost flew into her arms - & she confirmed that she carried him everywhere.  & three, Red herself explained her unpleasant living situation - which may have been the reason he escaped in the first place - & it seemed to me that Bojingles was one of the few joys in her current predicament.

My wife & I were masked, but no one else at that place was, so, after briefly trying to impress upon Red & James that Bojingles should be neuters & microchipped - Red said she was told he was! - we said goodbye to that little darling & left the uncomfortable situation.  I missed him immediately & miss him still.  When we walk near where we found him - or where he found us - I look around for him.

The neighbor who was willing to adopt him has gone the extra mile & has spoken with Red.  She told me that tomorrow they are taking him to be microchipped, although I am not certain her current address is going to be any kind of permanent address.  I can't complain, though - she's doing more than I have offered to do.

When I lived in Fort Worth, we saw stray dogs regularly.  We saw dogs who lived nearly alone in backyards, always there, even in the Texas heat.  Here in Portland dogs are treated like the family members they surely are.  Bojingles was literally the first stray I've seen in almost two years of living here.

& I truly hope he'll be okay.  What little I have read about party terriers is that they love to be with their owners in the exact same way Red carries Bojingles with her.  I am sorry this story doesn't end on a happier note - like me adopting Bojingles!  But I take a small amount of consolation from the fact that I did get him home.  Which is a success of a sort.

Friday, April 09, 2021

There's A Story About This Little Guy

That I want to tell but I've run out of time today!  But here's a teaser: a week ago today, he approached us, with no owner in sight.  He followed us for a bit, but when he seemed to be going in a different direction, I snatched him up & brought him to our house.  The search began for his family!  But that story has to wait till tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Self Help Radio 040621: Sunflower

One last sunflower picture from me.  The original was called "sunflower shrine," it's from some private garden I walked past one day in southeast Portland.  I kinda liked the weird structures the flowers were growing around.  It's not a very good picture, but look at all the sunflowers!

Vera Nazarian said, "Never look directly at the sun, instead look at the sunflower."  But Edna Ferber said, "Big doesn't necessarily mean better. Sunflowers aren't better than violets."  Wait, didn't Edna Ferber write a book called So Big?  Hypocrite.  Anyway.  Let's not concentrate on what's bigger or better, let's just look at sunflowers.  Which is what we did on this week's Self Help Radio.

There are no sunflowers out as I speak, they're all in seeds waiting to grow when the days get longer & warmer.  I don't believe in magic spells but this show could be seen as a magic spell to hasten the days when the sunflowers dominate the gardens & tower over everything.  I'll think of this show when that happens.  Until then, I'll probably forget all about it.

Did you hear?  If not, you can listen in two different places: at the KBOO website; & at Self Help Radio dot net.  If you choose the latter, remember these two things: the username is SHR, the password is selfhelp.  There are so many songs & so many things that happened on the show, you'll have to look below to see the details.  But remember: don't lose the florist for the flowers!

Self Help Radio Sunflower Show
"Sunflower" Frank Sinatra _The Columbia Years 1943-1952: The Complete Recordings_
"Sunflower" The Springfields _Singles 1986-1991_
"Sunflower" Smack Dab _Queen Crab_

introduction & definitions

"Sunflower" Glen Campbell _The Glen Campbell Collection (1962-1989): Gentle On My Mind_
"Sunflower" Paul Weller _Wild Wood_
"Sunflower" Lovesick _It's The Cheap Damaged Goods Sampler CD_
"Sunflower" Toni Price _Talk Memphis_
"Sunflower" Alice Peacock _Who I Am_

interview with artist Henry O'Rourke

"Sunflower" Eric Elder _Mixed Up Minds Part Seven (Obscure Rock & Pop From The British Isles 1969-1974)_
"Sunflower (Version Anglaise De Ah Tournesol)" Kate & Anna McGarrigle _La Vache Qui Pleure_
"Sunflower" Low _Things We Lost In The Fire_
"Sunflower" The Courteeners _Concrete Love (Extra Love)_
"Sunflower" Mercury Rev _The Light In You_

Marge Most interviews television host Dame Drear Hannah Frothington-Jones

"Sunflower In The Snow" Bubblegum Lemonade _Laz Christmas_
"Sunflower Seeds" The Orielles _Silver Dollar Moment_
"The Sunflower Sutra" Allen Ginsberg _Howls, Raps, & Roars: Recordings From The San Francisco Poetry Renaissance_
"Sunflower Suit" Buffalo Tom _Buffalo Tom_
"Morning Sunflower" The Dirty Filthy Mud _The Forest Of Black_

'Dramatic Readings Of Classic Rock Songs' featuring Sir Archibald Von Poesy

"I'd Like That" XTC _Apple Venus Volume 1_
"Sunflower Sutra" The Babe Rainbow _The Babe Rainbow_
"Sunfish, Sunflower" The Mommyheads _Coming Into Beauty_
"Sunflower" Vampire Weekend _Father Of The Bride_
"Day Of The Sunflowers (We March On)" Basement Jaxx _Scars_

Let's take some calls (part one)

"Pyzate Stoneczniki (Chubby Sunflowers)" Novi Singers _Bossa Nova_
"Sunflower, Sunflower" P.F. Sloan _Here's Where I Belong_
"You Missed The Sunflowers At Their Height" Linda Thompson _Give Me A Sad Song_
"Sunflower Man" The Waifs _The Waifs_
"In Every Sunflower" Bell X1 _Music In Mouth_
"Sunflower" Le Futur Pompiste _Your Stories & Your Thoughts_

Let's take some calls (part two)

"Tournesol" Yves Montand _Yves Montand_
"Le Tournesol" Nana Mouskouri _Le Tournesol_
"Il Girasole" Simone Lo Porto _Italia_
"Girasole" Farabrutto _Estremoriente Mediocre Occidente_
"Girasol Rojo" ...Al Cruzar La Calle _Ashell II_
"Girasol" Lightships _Electric Cables_

Conclusion & goodbye

"Little Sunflower" Freddie Hubbard _The Love Connection_
"Sunflower (feat. Leah Zeger)" Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox _Sepia Is The New Orange_

Monday, April 05, 2021

Whither Sunflower?

This week's Self Help Radio celebrates the sunflower.  Perhaps only second to the rose as the most recognizable of flowers.  & in my native Texas, there would be a time - perhaps after mid-summer but certainly before what passes for fall - when sunflowers would spring up everywhere.  But even in Portland, where sun is not nearly as common in poor, desertifying Texas, sunflowers crowd into gardens as the summer turns to autumn.  They are striking.

& when you find out that young sunflowers turn to follow the sun?  That's some true nature magic right there.  It makes sense that it's a flower that has found its way into song - & of course you'll hear lots of sunflower songs tonight, should you listen.

But why a show about sunflowers?  I noticed I took a lot of pictures of sunflowers - like the one above - last fall.  & I thought, since it was fresh on my mind, I should do a show about sunflowers.  & so I shall!

Self Help Radio's Sunflower show happens tonight (or Tuesday morning) from midnight to 3am on 90.7 fm KBOO Portland, online at  It'll be the regular amount of good tunes & ridiculousness.  But there will also be pretty flowers & delicious seeds!

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Preface To Sunflower: My Favorite Sunflower Pic

Of the ones I've taken, I mean.  I call this "Sunflower & Moon."

This weekend was chaotic for me & I have a story to tell about a stray but it'll have to wait until after the sunflower show!