I started listening to Mark between commercials of the Michael Savage show on NY’s WOR while spending my extended summer in beautiful Manasquan Beach NJ with my sweet 16 year old Dachshund named Murphy I adopted when she was a pup. I am fighting Cancer again even though I never smoked or had more than maybe 20 drinks in my life. I worked My whole life on Psychiatric Units starting at a horrible Pa. State Hospital as a 19 year Old on the geriatric Unit Caring for 48 poor elderly souls that had been neglected and physically abused. Believe Me it Happened because I saw it and was told by Older State Union employees if I opened my mouth I wouldn’t be around Long. Fortunately because they all knew I knew the director of Nurses they never abused any Patients in front of Me shortly after I arrived on the Unit easy to spot because I was the only White empoyee in the whole Building except on the night shift which had 3 young hippy guys my age enrolled in a expensive college nearby you have heard of named Villanova.
Anyway I attended college during the day getting a degree in Business which I used to work with my great, late Father as a Insurnace adjuster starting in 1980 leaving the Job I Loved at the Mental Hospital where I Had been promoted to Pouring Medications without a License of any Kind until Medicare inspectors came in about 1978 and made the State hire the dumbest & incompetent LPNs just to Do the Medications. The Job of Medications was so overwhelming for the Nurse “We” got named ‘Miss Rose’ she begged me to continue Pouring the 48 Medications as I had Been doing for over 5 years along with Caring for all these poor State Hospital patients NO Body Cared about. Mark, I swear it reminded me of the photos and newreels of what I saw at the death camps in Germany although I realize I am making a bad analogy but have color photos I took while working there to prove the horrid conditions I tried to change by reporting the roaches, heat, bed sores, lack of staff, dirty conditions etc at monthly Staff meetings I attended because I was the Medicene Pourer in those days making me un officially in charge. In those days up until 1978 the State Hospitals did not Have to have any kind of registered NURSE or a Dr on the Floor after 4pm just a “Floating” drunken drugged up LPN who ‘Covered’ 6 Buildings or more who stopped to Eat whatever Food you would Give her and Sell Illegal Diet Pills to the Fat staff members ( Speed ) she got from her 2nd Job as some quack Diet Dr’s assistant. Anyway I Left My State Job I came to Love caring for patients who went crazy when they saw me come in each afternoon to My New job with My Dad as a Independent Insurnace adjuster inspecting Property damage & claims like theft. I hated It dealing with the most dishonest people I ever met and it was the wealthy not the Poor who were the worst! My Father tried to make me feel better telling me I had the opportunity to Play Robin Hood and reward the Poor people by giving them all they needed to Fix up their homes even if their Claim was in a gray area by making the photos look as bad as Possible and reporting what caused the water damage as something Covered since all insurnace companies Looked for a way to Turn down a Valid claim. I worked for at least 10 different insurance companies and would take several photos of every claim saving the extras in my private library of photos so when I Needed a “good one” to help a good person who had been paying their policy for 25 years with NO Claim History I could do the “Right Thing” as I saw it helping these type of people get a small piece of the crooked Insurnace industry Pie. I saw the underbelly of Life in the business world hating it I started work at 15 as a Busboy at a Holiday Inn not because I had to But wanted to save money for a Motorcycle which I ended up doing eventually owning 5 of them ending my riding career in 1986 when My first Cancer was found in 1986. I was able to return to work in 1989 after Chemo for non hodgins lymphoma which is the same cancer I have now. I decided I was done with the Business world taking a Job on the Psych Floor making about a 1/3 of what I had been making but Oh was I happy! The Drs had cut my ueter destroying my right kidney so I had what I think was a small settlement of $82,000 to supplement my small income working on a psych floor. Eventually my small Catholic hospital was bought Out by a Big Medical system which kept me making me a Union member that Gave me a nice raise in salary to $13. a Hour with full benefits which was huge in 1996 for a guy like me living alone with just my little dachshund named Murphy. When the cancer returned in late December of 2003 I had to go through Chemo and radiation for about 6 months which at first I said I wasn’t going to do but It was the Dog who pushed Me into going through all that nightmare Hell knowing she needed me. I survived the Hell but ended up with Lympodema of both arms which has gotten worse as time goes on. I have fluid in both arms & hands making work impossible although at first I thought I might be able to work. I had to Go on SSI and along with a small $248. disability check my former employee’s insurace carrier is forced to Pay me I survive. I am so Thankful for the SSI and Medicare after paying COBRA about $400 a month to Keep My hospital Benifits for 24 months. Medicare isn’t the Best but It covers my Dr Visits at One of the Best teaching Hospitals in the USA, the University of Pa and My Family Dr Visits. The Only problem is prescriptions but I pay extra for a enhanced Plan that covers Many drugs even after I reach the Coverage Gap of $2700 so I am very Thankful for what the Gov’t provides after Paying Into the system for Over 35 years. I have some pain from 2 tumors that cannot be removed because they are so close to my spine but the pain is managed quite well with a small dose of Pain meds. So I am on SSI fortunate enough to Have a summer Home right on the Ocean in NJ my Mother has to rent the entire summer so she can keep up with the taxes but It has a small 2 room mini apartment built on the 3rd floor where My Dog & I stay from May until early December using a built in gas heater to keep warm during the fall.
I know this is a long winded story but I am getting to the end. I Lost my most precious thing in Life December 21 2008 when my poor little dachshunds kidneys & liver started to show they had gotten much worse. I had taken her to the Vet in November for Loose stools and had blood work done. She had been doing very well after having a stroke in May of 2008 recovering great running her little butt off on the beach with only a 90% hearing loss as her only disability. The vet Told Me her Liver & Kidney numbers were 17 times higher than normal which was a shame because besides those numbers she was in fine shape for a old dog. He suggested Pallative care since I could not afford any big time surgery or Ultra sounds which the Vet said would probably be a waste of time since a elderly Dogs age was the cause of Kidney or Liver failure in almost every case. I took her back to the Beach House very upset but she rebounded, loose stools stopped almost immediately with the Pills he gave me and she was running around as Usual having a great Thanksgiving with both of Us looking forward to the Christmas season when we went Home December 19th for the winter. Sadly it was not a happy ending and I had to Put her to sleep standing by her side talking in her ear so she could hear “everything is Ok” a phrase she knew. She wasn’t scared not knowing what was going on so I am thankful for that but I returned Home to my small condo devesated without my best friend who slept right next to me every night. I decided I could not live without a Dog even with my physical problems. I somehow found this beautiful Little 5 month Old Brindle Male dachshund that a small dog loving Home breeder had kept after his litter was born & sold back in early fall of 2008. She was very particular of who would have this dog as Money was not the issue as she would give this beautiful little Guy to the right person for only $250. After Finding this woman through a rescue Link for Dachshunds I started sending her e mails and Photos of Me, my family and Murphy. It wasn’t more than a few days of e mails that she told Me If I wanted ‘Rowdy’ He was Mine!! She Lived about 90 miles away near the Pocano Mountains in Pa. I got the Good News he was mine the day after Christmas and a longtime schoolhood friend a lifetime Pothead named Jimbo agreed to drive Me to get him on December 30th of 2008. Of Course when I saw him surrounded By his Mother, Father, a 4 year old piebold colored sister, a aunt and another doggy relative I was so much in Love again!! He is sitting Next to Me know as I listen to your Podcast I download every night and even take in My Car when I go out with Rowdy for errands. Thank you so Much for the Podcasts because I wasn’t able to get your show for the longest time in Pa even on Line because it was blacked Out on WABC. I don’t even listen to the Savage Guy anymore with your 3 hours giving me everything I need to stay on top of the news sad our Country is going into the Sewer. Funny that all My Life from the age of 19 years old with Long hair weighing only 131 lbs I was able to Get health Insurance with Only a High school diploma by taking Fulltime Jobs that provided benefits. Our NJ beach area Burger King in Pt Pleasant NJ starts workers at $8.50 and Until recently they told Me they could NOT get anyone to take the Job. If they did they would quit even with Dental, Medical and Vision health insurance. I know this because they always Have the Help Wanted message on their Sign with the $8.50 Starting wage instead of using the sign for what It was intended for, advertising their Food Items!! Mark I am sorry I wrote so much filler here but this is my story the best I could type with my swelled up hands you may notice in future photos in my Dog Corner posting. The Photo I am sending is of My New friend Rowdy held by my only Niece Ana my sister had to go to China to adopt because it was almost Impossible to adopt Here Because she had divorced 2 times, her husband once but never having any children. You would not believe how hard it can be to adopt a child here even though in my sisters case she could provide a safe, loving, stable enviroment. Her Name is Ana and she Cried Her little heart Out when My sister told Her Murphy was put to sleep because Ana Looked forward to sleeping with Murphy every time she came to stay with My Mother at Our NJ beach home. She had grown Up knowing Murphy holding her the entire time she came to Visit me when I was staying in my little beach apartment. After I adopted Rowdy, She insisted on Coming Up to see My New Doggy right after New Years Day to meet Him. This is the Picture of them, Ana and Rowdy. I want to send You a picture of my little dachshund I Lost after almost 16 years I mentioned named Murphy. The Picture I usually send is one of Me and Her in bed at the Beach House in Dec of 2003 when I was in bad pain not yet knowing my Cancer had returned. That Dog Saved My Life because as I said no way was I going through all that treatment again especially when I knew a reoccurnace of Cancer Usually means death regardless of treatment. I did It for Her and was happy I survived able to care for her during her last 2 years when she needed a little help. Mark I don’t have the words for how much I Love your show and how articulate you are. You are also under rated how entertaining You are or maybe You aren’t! WE will be leaving for Manasquan NJ sometime in May where I can Listen to Your show Live on WABC NY although I have to admit I Love the Podcast without all the commercials. The commercials Make me happy that It means your show is being supported meaning people are listening so I do try to support your sponsers and make a point where I heard about them. I am not just blowing smoke up your butt about the Savage nation. I did listen to his show because I like Talk radio but he is like a Old Newspaper anymore doing what you say on the air, talking about his Love of Food etc etc. I Love Food too but his show just is no where close to How entertaining yours is. I Hate it when you are not on for any reason like Illness or even a Vacation! I Know that is selfish but I look so forward to your show turning the TV off if it is On. I also have turned on many others on to your show. My Mother is a long time Reagan conservative but does not like your yelling so she won’t listen but thats Ok. I close thanking you again for the Free Podcast you provide us and don’t tell anyone but I would find a way to Pay for It if I had to when I could. I doubt I will be around in 4 years due to my health problems but will do all I can because My Little Rowdy Needs me to raise Him.
Like My Beloved Murphy My Dogs are Spoiled and treated Royally in total Comfort with the best Food, Vet Care & Love anyone could provide. I don’t know how any Dog I own could Live without Me giving them the kind of Life I Love giving them. A Dog Never Holds a Grudge and I often tell People You Could be mean dropping a brick on a Dogs Head hurting Him and yet he would come Back to You Licking your Face! Thanks for reading all this if you were able to and if Not Thank You anyway for being You. I am going to Buy your Book “Rescuing Sprite” when I Get My check on the 20th deposited. . Right Now I am listening to a Old show of yours from Feb at 7am. I am a Late Night person having worked Evening shift My whole Life coming home at 11:30pm most nights with My Doxie always waiting for Me in My Bed wagging Her Tail. Take care Mark and God Bless ALL Our Brave Soldiers all Over the World. You are 100% Right they are ALL Better than Us who have not served. I Missed Vietnam by the Lottery draft. I was #148 and they drew up to #125 that year. Yes I would of Gone because I was taught Not to run away like a Coward. Be Well. Tom Griffiths and Rowdy the dachshund!!
Thomas from PA