MAX LINGLE, DEC. 6, 1990-JULY 15, 2006

Last Saturday, we had to have our wire-haired dachshund put to sleep. Max had lived a long life for a dog. My In-laws had gotten him when my brother-in-law, who is now driving, was a year old. They had sat Steven in the midst of all of these puppies and the runt had been the only one who had come up to him. In everything, Max loved that boy. My wife and I had taken Max five years ago, since my mother-in-law had started getting cats. Still, I made sure that he had one more chance to see Steven before we had him put down. By the time that it happened, we literally had to put a diaper on him. He couldn’t control himself and he was losing weight. He just looked pitiful. But his death has left this emptiness that is difficult to describe.

Max was an affectionate and devoted dog. He once attacked a full-grown German shepherd when it lunged against its chain to get to my wife. The sight of little Max, dangling from the neck of a huge German shepherd . . . well, you get the idea. But it didn’t matter to Max. In his eyes, Sarah was in danger.

So many people say that animals don’t have souls-that there is nothing for them after death. The truth is that I don’t know. But I like to think that there is a special field up there in Heaven where devoted companions like Max can run and play and get all of the treats that they want. A special place where the angels play fetch with them and sit with those dogs on their laps, scratching them behind the ears and giving them the kind of love that those pets gave us. I feel in my heart that they deserve it.

Goodbye, Max. We’ll always miss you.


I’m not normally thrilled with sequels, but I really wanted to see this one. After all, the first PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN did make my top ten list of my favorite movies of all time. But I just can’t say that about this movie. The characters all seemed to change in this one. Jack double-crosses Will and leaves him stranded with the crew of the wicked Davy Jones. Elisabeth kisses Jack passionately, only to leave him chained to his doomed ship, even though Jack has come back to aid his crew. But the most glaring change is that of Commodore Norrington. A man of principle and honor in the first movie, he has lost everything after failing to recapture Sparrow. Now a wanted man, he double-crosses everybody in order to get his life back. Blast you, Disney! Why did you have to change him? Only Will’s character seemed to be left unchanged.

I do admit that the fight scenes were mostly good, though the Kraken’s tentacles were the most fake-looking things that I’ve seen on a movie in a long time. And the ending, with the return of a certain character from the first movie that I didn’t expect, has done its job of making me want to see #3. It seems as if this is just the first half of a bigger movie. Given that, I cannot say for sure that it was truly bad until I see the next one.

Until next time, God Bless.


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