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home : opinion : editorials April 29, 2016


12/29/2013 6:00:00 AM
Editorial: A guaranteed happy ending

Rich Thurlow
Editor


When reporter Kim Steele decided to write the story about Daniel Braden, a 58-year-old Kingman resident and veteran with an ailing dog, everyone in the newsroom knew it was going to have a happy ending.

For the record, Braden lives from disability check to disability check and takes great comfort from Pebbles and his other dog, both 11-year-old dachshunds. Over the past few months, a tumor had developed on Pebbles and had eventually grown to the size of a softball.

Braden's problem is that he couldn't afford the surgery the dog needed.

My own perspective on the story isn't complex. I knew if Kim captured in her story half of the emotion of a heart-broken man and the dog he loved, enough people would be moved to contribute so that professional care for Pebbles could be paid for. And don't kid yourself, that could be a lot of money.

I'm aware veterinarians donate services all the time (and they don't brag about it, lest they be swamped by people asking for more), and it doesn't disturb me that none came forward if Braden contacted them. At Pebbles' age, a complete recovery could be followed by death of natural causes a few weeks later - if indeed the dog is fit enough to undergo surgery and to survive it.

That's why Kim's first story about Pebbles did not assign blame - with the exception of Braden's inability to care for his pet as much as he wanted to, there was no blame.

And certainly no one who cares for animals professionally was at fault. Braden offered nontraditional payment that wasn't accepted. That's it.

Pebbles will be seeing a veterinarian on Thursday. As anticipated, Kingmanites again showed they have big hearts to make that possible. Let's pray that what ails Mr. Braden's four-legged friend can be cured so Pebbles can go home, so that one happy ending follows another.

...

It was the week before Christmas and all through the house, everybody was stirring because my daughter was going into labor.

I was standing in the driveway after putting some necessity in the car, bemused at the hectic behavior of the other adults while I was, of course, calm and collected. I took a break from congratulating myself for being so cool under pressure to call the boss and let her know I might be late for work the next day.

"Hey, uh, uh, daughter baby," I smoothly explained the situation to the publisher. "Bullhead hospital, late work, holidays OK schedule." Then I dropped the phone.

Since my daughter teaches in Bullhead City, that's where most of the doctors in her insurance plan work. And that's why we were traveling through Golden Valley when the "ding ding, ding ding" alarm went off to let us know air pressure was low in one of the tires.

By now you know everyone else in the car panicked while I was the picture of cool. I called Golden Valley buddy Butch Meriwether and, after a conversation remarkably similar to the one I had with the publisher a few minutes earlier, Butch agreed to follow us to the hospital and take over the transportation duties if one off my tires failed. Thanks, Butch.

The contractions were five minutes apart when we arrived. Three hours later Harrison Michael Walter took his first breath.

Christmas really did come early this year.

...

The Made in Kingman stories sprinkled through the holiday editions of the Miner arrived with no fanfare, much less an introduction. Some history:

Last spring we were batting around ideas for something new to present to readers, and someone at the table mentioned that the industrial park at the airport never received enough coverage. Someone else mentioned the range of business activity out there, mostly manufacturing, and then it popped out of someone's mouth: Made in Kingman.

What we ended up with, eventually, was a dozen stories about stuff made in Kingman, and not necessarily at the airport. And after some starts and stops, we finally decided the best time for them to grace the pages of the Miner happened to be the holidays.

Nothing says "Merry Christmas" quite like 1.6 million pounds of surfactant, as readers of the story on Luseaux Laboratories well know. A surfactant is "a substance that tends to reduce the surface tension of a liquid in which it is dissolved," and it's one of many products manufactured by Luseaux, one of those open secrets at the airport, one I'd never heard of until reading the excellent story by Kim Steele.

We've also featured Black Bridge Brewery, Stetson Winery and American Woodmark so far, and the series continues Monday with The Clock Man and West Coast Netting with more to follow.

The stories, to me, are just another reason to be proud of a place we call home. I hope you enjoy the stories as much as we did producing them.

Related Stories:
• Donations roll in for veteran's dachshund; veterinarians to examine huge tumor
• Kingman veteran hopes holiday magic will heal canine companion


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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, January 6, 2014
Article comment by: R H

Rich , I got an entirely different flavor from the initial article on 'Pebbles'. The owner had mentioned that veterinarians 'greed' was the reason he could not get the care his pet needed . As a veteran as well , I felt a bit concerned that he was trying to milk his veteran status to get sympathy for his pet (and his wallet). Over the past few years , I shelled out a LOT of money for the care of my beloved cat , a cheerful cat of over 15 years , which resulted in him lasting that long. Without the outstanding care of Cerbat Hills Animal Hospital (and my money paying their bills) , he would have only been a cat of five years. Good veterinary care is worth good money and I think trying to capitalize on your veteran status to get a discount is tacky , at best . I might have contributed to his animals care if he had not blamed 'greed' or tried to milk his DD214 for a discount.

Posted: Monday, December 30, 2013
Article comment by: Gisela Potokar

Thank you, Mr. Thurlow, We thoroughly enjoyed your column today..........gave us the giggles........about the birth of your grandson! Yes, us "old folk" do get a little excited when the birth of a grandchild happens.
Thank you so much for sharing........ God bless all of you with good health in the New Year!


Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2013
Article comment by: pl .....

I remember a gal whom I used to know, who had - shall we say - a very chequered history. She was visiting as part of a very (I emphasise "very") platonic relationship, when I showed her a YouTube video of "Follow Me Up To Carlow", a braggadocio stemming from the Battle Of Glenmalure on 25th August 1580 in Ireland. One stanza references the native Irish dealing a humiliating blow to the "Saxon cock". I took careful pains to illuminate my platonic lady (uh...well, female) acquaintance that there were no sexual overtones there, that a cock was a rooster, and the Irish were comparing the English commander and his battlefield expectations to the crowing of an early-morning rooster. I wouldn't compare any of Kingman's leaders or spokespersons to a cock. I would say that a jackal would be a more descriptive term - a creature preying upon the kill of another creature higher up the food chain. I'm not deluded by the occasional goodwill gesture, a trait not at all unknown among psychopaths or psychopathic cultures.

Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2013
Article comment by: Frank in Kingman

I'm a little disappointed in your column. Not one negative remark about President Obama. You could have at least blamed the tire on him. Here's what you could have written.
That Obama, he had one his liberal dolts let the air out of my tire. And while I'm at it, I know he gave that poor dog the tumor. Dam liberals.
Next time do your job.


Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2013
Article comment by: A Good One

Rick, your Editorial today is good.
On your first event, your reasoning was anticipated. Kim did do a good job. Just the facts, ma'am, and she led the readers to form their own emotional opinions.
Regarding your second event, "Congratulations, Grandpa" and to the happy parents!
Your third event, I have truly enjoyed reading about the productive goings-on of our neighbors in this town, and reading about them has spurred my interest in visiting them.
Thank you, Rick. You have not disappointed.


Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2013
Article comment by: Justa Citizen

Rich,
I have a different take on the Pebbles situation, but glad everything is working out for the dog.

Congrats on the new grandbaby!!

I love the stories "Made in Kingman". They are not only interesting but informative and shows all is not negative about Kingman as some of the posters want everyone to think.
Kingman is like all towns, big or small, there is some good and some bad. It's nice to see articles focused on the good.




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