Farewell, Sweet Wolf

Earlier this spring, the Haglund family bid adieu to a longtime member of our family, Wolfy.

3405615965_84f654769a_oWolfy, a rat dog, a mutt, a smelly little fellow low on looks and high on personality, was put to sleep at a veterinarian’s office. He was mostly blind and deaf, had a lot of tumors, and was suffering from dementia.

2545173679_80b482b364_bSo Wolfy may have been a little gross. He shed constantly and copiously. He could be described as greasy. He looked like a sausage walking about on toothpicks.

2545139907_ace866f292_bWorst of all, Wolfy had a voice, one which we Haglunds used to speak as Wolfy, a swarthy voice that sounded tinged with equal parts fake mexican and french accents, which we would use to explain why certain people places or things would be humped or barked at.

215707217_1bd9b6b368_oWolfy was originally my cousin Leonor’s dog. Unfortunately, my Uncle David, Leonor’s dad, can’t really be described as a fan of any dog, and even less so Wolfy. Wolfy once took a nice large bite out of Uncle David’s arse, and honestly, from that day forth, I think he kind of had a taste for it. So their relationship could only be described as contentious.

Leonor got Wolfy some time in the early to mid ’90s. We had our first family dog, Henry a year or two before she got Wolfy. Eventually though, they were told (apparently) that they needed to have Wolfy out of the place they were renting or they’d be evicted. Wolfy was bound for Arizona to live with Grandma, with a short stop at our house in Oak Park before she could pick him up.

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Wolfy commenting on his relationship with Uncle David. I suppose that you could say they didn’t like eachother

For some reason, Wolfy gelled with us Haglunds. He took to being Henry’s sidekick and little buddy. By the time Grandma was ready to bring him home, we decided that he already was home– with us.

Wolfy with the family.

Wolfy with the family.

This strange, gross dog, was our strange gross dog. He learned to bark from Henry, and learned that if someone passed in front of THEIR bay window, THEIR territory, barking at them, incessantly would cause the intruder to run away in mortal fear (or, you know, they were just walking by and the sidewalk and passed out of the dogs’ field of view.

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Wolfy with his idol, Henry; Cashus is in front

Wolfy liked to escape, though how he managed to slip through the gates with his considerable girth was a mystery. HE would head for the park, or down the block, but most of all, he would cross the street to our neighbors, the Simons’ house. That was where Keesha, a purebred female of some showy and fluffy breed lived. I think Wolfy may have sort of had a thing for her.

Not that Wolfy swung just one way though- another time, Tyler returned home from the University of Colorado with his dog, Cash, a pitbull mix, as well as his roommate and his roommate’s dog, Escobar, a 75-pound white-and-tan un-neutered pure-blooded pitbull who was used to being dominant.

4920827578_6b8f74cacc_bAnyway, Henry, the Alpha dog of our house, did not take kindly to Escobar using his backyard to pee. Henry gnashed and thrashed and barked and slobbered at the rear window so that he could get out there, and kill Escobar. What would have happened is that Henry would have been thrashed and maybe killed by Esco.

That never happened though. Wolfy wasn’t alpha and never wanted to be. He gave Henry a look through the glass that said, “Don’t worry Henry….I’ve got this. I think that I’m going to hump it.”

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“Don’t worry giant scary pitbull, this isn’t about dominance. This is about love.”

And hump it he did. I have never seen a dog look so confused as a giant majestic pitbull being humped in the middle of the yard by a diminutive rat dog who could barely even reach the site of the business that was being conducted. As a side note, yes they were both males, as if that matters in the slightest. I like to think that Wolfy spent the rest of the day bragging about the deed to Henry, who was probably a little grossed out.

Life was good with Wolfy as a Haglund The years passed, punctuated only by the sound of incessant barking and by us Haglund boys growing into Haglund men. We all loved Wolfy, but Wolfy probably was closest to Willy, the middle brother, who shared a special bond with the Wolf.

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Wolfy and Willy. ‘Murica.

See what I mean? Look at that photo and tell me if you have ever seen a dog so happy to be near a person and an assault rifle.

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Wolfy and the family with the new class of Haglund dogs, including MeiMei, Cashus, Sookie, Bear, and Laylah.

Eventually, Henry would pass on, leaving the title of lead barker to Wolfy, who had long since taken up the mantle anyways. One morning, I awoke to a long fit of barking only to discover that Wolfy had “cornered” an opossum atop a six foot fence. Long story short, I poked it off of there and into the neighbor’s yard with a stick, but as far as Wolfy knew, he killed it.

As Wolfy aged, he lived a more and more isolated life, as his senses largely left him and no kids lived at the house anymore. Still returning home always would have some visiting with Wolfy.

5306836845_6764095168_bAs of 2014, Wolfy was around 18-22 years old. He was no longer the dog he once was, but he wasn’t dead yet either. Opinions varied on what to do. One camp suggested that Wolfy should be euthanized as his quality of life was simply not what it once was. The opposing view wondered, “could Wolfy live to be 30?” That was not to be though. After he was put to sleep, pleas to “Slice him open and count the rings” were cruelly ignored.

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Wolfy could be used as a makeshift chainsaw if the situation called for it.

In the end, what we have left of Wolfy are several dogs worth of fur shed at the Oak Park house over the decades and a lot of very fond, if slightly gross, memories.

3538596859_e0a669f27f_b 3406428836_acc47a89c0_o 215707303_ef41245ebe_o Goodbye Wolfy. You were a good, good boy. We will miss you, but we know you’re in a better place now…barking out heavens’ windows, back at Henry’s side.

2545957176_5ea121f6bf_bIf there is a place where good dogs, dogs who make their owners’ lives better, go, then Wolfy is there. And we’ll see him again one day.

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Vernon’s Dogtags

Vernon Nagel still has his dogtags from WWII

Vernon Nagel still has his dogtags from WWII.

Vernon Nagel is one of my favortie people around Nashville to take pictures of or do stories on. He’s over 90 and it seems difficult to take a bad photo of him. Here’s one of him holding his dogtags from WWII. I’ve got another one I shot of him in his workshop on my Instagram feed, I’ll try to get that one up too.

Holy Mary, Mother of God

A shrine with Mary and the wee baby Jesus at the Catholic Church, St. Ann, in Nashville, Ill. Liked the feeling and tranquility of this covered in snow, late in the afternoon. Wish the SUV wasn't there, but hey, that's life.

A shrine with Mary and the wee baby Jesus at the Catholic Church, St. Ann, in Nashville, Ill. Liked the feeling and tranquility of this covered in snow, late in the afternoon. Wish the SUV wasn’t there, but hey, that’s life.

I took this photo near the Parish Hall of Nashville’s Catholic Church, St. Ann, while waiting to be let in to work on a different story. I liked the lonely feeling of the statue, out in the cold, offering hope, no matter the season or weather.

Snow Storm

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything original, but here we are. I don’t feel like writing a big post by way of explanation– I’ve been plenty busy, but that will come later.

These are just some photos I liked but didn’t think had a place at www.nash-news.com

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Just a truck heading on by.

Passing Casey's in a snow storm on Feb. 4, 2014.

Passing Casey’s in a snow storm on Feb. 4, 2014.

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Near the square in downtown Nashville, Ill.

What is the point?

alexhaglund:

A look at why we do what we do by Jack Piatt

Originally posted on coffee & metaphorical trains:

There is a disconnection that leaves us all perplexed about this life and the various happenings happening all around us at every turn.

It’s simple really. We as humans despise being lied to, yet no one lies to us more than ourselves. Everyday we avoid collisions with the truth, by conveniently creating scenarios that keep the blinders on for just a little longer, because we aren’t quite ready to open our eyes.

And with good reason … it’s scary out there.

At least we think it is. We somehow believe it is scarier than the reality we are currently plugged into. This comfortable conditioning that has us all doing “head scratching” things on a daily basis is slowly inundating us, literally to death.

And death itself wouldn’t be such a feared outcome if the subject weren’t so taboo and controlled.

The best question I could ever come up with to…

View original 1,140 more words

A Dim Red Disk

I got this one on my way out to Coulterville this Monday. It looks cool, yes, but not nearly as cool as it did in real life where it was much more…subtle. It was so dim you barely believe it was even the sun. Just a really rare and unique sunset. Oh well.

Ok, so it still looks pretty boss here, just not the same as it did IRL.

Jockeying For The Best Spot On The Lawn

Got a shot of this little guy when I was in Okawville on the way to their Wheat Festival Parade. He’s white. Usually these things are early 20th century blackface and pretty minstrel-y. I wonder if this was a conversion.

With how much some of these things weigh, a real jockey might be easier on the horse.

Also, I think he supposed to be holding what used to be a crop or something, but it kinda looks like he’s giving a thumbs-up, so I’m gonna think of it that way.