Issue 97: Happy Fourth of July?

Here in the U.S., we’ve been celebrating the Fourth of July over the weekend. I used to love this holiday growing up.

It was already summer, so it’s not like we got an extra day off from school or anything. But between parades (where the participants threw out candy to us in the crowd!), good food, and hanging with family, there was plenty of good stuff about Independence Day.

Plus, the sense of “freedom” and “‘Murrica” bravado that came from the day was an entertaining bonus.

Lately, though? Fourth of July is kind of horrible.

In fact, of the past four years, the only good Fourth of July I’ve had was in 2020, when the pandemic stopped a lot of people from celebrating.

Let’s quickly recap:

In 2018, I attended a Fourth of July party at a friend’s pool and had myself a fun time. Then, that evening, I contracted some kind of bug (probably because pools filled with people tend to be pretty gross) and was sick for several days after.

In 2019, Fourth of July fell on a Thursday, so we had a four-day weekend to celebrate. That Thursday morning, my dog Franxilla suddenly stopped having the ability to stand upright. She physically couldn’t do it and would just drop to the floor like a sack of potatoes. Her eyes were also flitting quite a bit, like she was trying to follow a point on the wall that kept disappearing.

It was terrifying. And of course, being the holiday, virtually every vet in town was closed. The one that was open told us to schedule an MRI at another hospital…which didn’t have an opening until the following Monday.

So, the entire weekend was spent sadly hanging out on the couch with my dog, not knowing what was wrong with her and if it could be cured.

She was diagnosed with encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain. Initially, the doctors gave her a LOT of medication. She’s still on one of those pills, even two years later, but she’s doing a lot better now.

Then, this year, I let the dogs into the backyard for a pee break (because we should always make time to pee) and my other dog Merlin went to walk toward the neighbor’s fence. Unfortunately, those neighbors have two big ol’ aggressive dogs that, unlike Merlin, would rather attack than play.

As a result, one of the dogs bit Merlin’s face, and he has a massive gash that may require stitches. He’s on antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication for now, which could do the trick on its own. However, his handsome face is likely going to have a scar.

And here’s an extra fun tidbit: all the vets said they were at capacity or a 10-to-12 hour wait, so they said to try again in the morning and see if it was a shorter wait.

It was a shorter wait in the morning, but the doctor told me that since the event happened more than 12 hours prior, the wound was now infected. Cool.

So here’s a reminder to take extra special care of yourself and your loved ones.

Time to start whistling

Since America is still in celebration mode, let’s wrap this email up with a montage of some of the Harlem Globetrotters finest moments.

After all, what’s more American than a team wearing red, white, and blue, stars and stripes, and a catchy as all getup theme song?

I hope your weekend has been — and continues to be — much more relaxing. By the way, here are a few of my favorite Globetrotters facts.

  • The team originated in Chicago, not Harlem.
  • The team has performed in front of Pope Francis.
  • Former Globetrotters player Mannie Jackson purchased the team in 1993, becoming the first African-American to own a major international sports and entertainment organization. In three years, he tripled the team’s revenue. In five years, he quadrupled its size.
  • There was a variety show that the team hosted called The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine.
  • The Globetrotters set nine world records in one day on November 12, 2015.

Other Reads and Watches

Seth Berkman on the Liberty’s role in making WNBA players “top dogs” of activism

Jonathan Tjarks on whether the Hawks will become the new model for rebuilds

Charles Barkley’s surprising comments about Giannis

Let’s recall the time I accurately predicted Nikola Jokic’s MVP award at the start of this season

That’s all ’til next time. Thanks for reading!


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