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Happy birthday to my wife; here are your watch batteries

Tomorrow is my wife’s birthday. I won’t say how old she will be, suffice to say she’s in the double digits.

And I have already given her a birthday present — new batteries in two of her watches.

Now, before you start thinking I am a birthday grinch, I got her exactly what she wanted.

I have tried to buy things for Martha without her knowing about them, but I have had limited success. Now I make it a point to ask well in advance what she would like me to buy her.

Sometimes she buys it for herself and considers it my gift to her. That makes life really easy.

Unlike many husbands out there, I try to listen. I say try, because sometimes I don’t have my hearing aids in and other times she is attempting to give me directions from the other side of the house. And it’s just hard to hear her.

Then there are times when she forgets to tell me something and thinks she has, which leaves me in a quandry.

But I listened this time, and I got her the batteries she wanted. I even had the jeweler install them. Watches today are tricky. Once you get the back off it almost never goes back on the way it is supposed to, and I didn’t want to damage them.

Happy birthday dear.

We’ll miss you Steve

I, like millions of others, was shocked by the recent news of Steven Irwin’s passing.

If you had ever seen Steve, known as the “Crocidile Hunter,” on TV, you know how entertaining he could be.

And he also went to great lengths to educate us all on the importance of conservation and protecting wildlife.

Steve wasn’t anything new. I grew up watching Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, hosted by Marlin Perkins.

In the 1950 and 60s, it was pretty cool to go to exotic parts of the world through the TV and learn about the animals and their habitat.

I think that is one of the reasons I have such a love for animals today.

Steve perpetuated that idea, and I believe instilled those same values and that same love in millions of others.

He will truly be missed, but at least he died doing the one thing he loved so much.

A real dog lover

I heard from Hubert Young recently. He calls me periodically to check on Smokey, our 16-year-old Poodle/Lhasa mix.

Smokey suffers from several maladies, which are eventually going to take his life.

We have known this for several months now, and we are keeping him medicated per his doctor and just waiting.

Right now his quality of life is still good, although he has slowed down quite a bit. Of course, I am not even near his age, and I have slowed down also.

I just hope he isn’t waiting until next month to go. I lost my father and two cats in three different Octobers, and other members of my family have also lost beloved pets during that month.

I appreciate Hubert’s calls. It’s nice to know that there are others out there like us, those who truly love dogs.

I need some doggie downers

Speaking of dogs, what can be done about a neurotic one? Sierra, one of our two Jack Russel-mixed puppies, has suddenly begun to lose it.

Whenever one or both of us come home, or when she comes in from the backyard, she goes nuts.

I have had dogs for many years, and I know how excited they can get, but this is over the top.This dog actually screams and cries, and doesn’t stop for several minutes.

And it doesn’t matter how long we were gone. If I just take the trash out and return, she goes nuts.

The others don’t do it. I can only imagine what they think of her actions.

Grant is the managing editor of the News-Herald. Contact him at doug.grant@suffolknewsherald.com