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A brief interruption in the proceedings

I’d hoped to have the next installment of “In Praise of Men” for you by now. But this has been a week of catastrophe. The days haven’t lent themselves to hours of calm contemplative thought.

I’m fine, in case you’re about to ask. The greatest catastrophe struck someone else, but one of its ripple effects is that I must now travel for the first time in five or six years and don’t know when I’ll return. The good news for you faithful (and patient!) readers is that I’ll very likely have time on my travels to write the next bit (“A Good Man”) and perhaps even the fourth installment (“Testosterone”). You’ll probably see something next week.


Meantime, I send you to my fellow blogger and friend-I’ve-never-met, Kent McManigal. You probably know his “Hooligan Libertarian” blog. And you likely know his “Time’s Up” take on the old Gadsden flag. I’m a proud possessor of one of those flags myself.

I post because Kent’s always worth a read. But also because earlier this month he had one of those discouraging experiences that’s happening more and more to freedomista writers: he lost half his income in a single day. All too familiar. It’s happened to me three times, with the last being a deliberate and cynical deplatforming by Amazon Associates, which nearly drove me to quit blogging. The Living Freedom Blog hasn’t been the same since.

Freedom bloggers don’t usually make much, anyhow, except by donations, and in these days of anti-free speech insanity, it’s getting worse. So I’m asking you to go check out the new freedom merchandise site Kent set up in hopes of recouping a little. It’s right here and you’ll need to enable JavaScripts if you’re wandering the ‘Net with a script blocker.


Finally — and I’ll try to have more on this eventually — this is for

Ava Maria Hellion Wolfe
Sometimes known as Her Royal Highness Princess Ava Prettypaws
Fall 2005 to November 19, 2020

Princess though she was in life, she died like a Viking warrior, fighting all the way to Valhalla.

Thank you, G and J.


  1. MP
    MP November 20, 2020 2:42 pm

    I don’t know that there are ever any “right” words in times of loss, but I am truly sorry for the passing of your dear Ava. It does sound like she died well, which may well be the best that we can all hope for in this life.

  2. Pat
    Pat November 20, 2020 2:54 pm

    Claire, am so sorry to hear about Ava. I know she had a good life with you.

  3. Jorge
    Jorge November 20, 2020 3:11 pm

    I am sorry to hear about Ava. I hope the pain of loss passes quickly and the many good memories endure.

  4. Val E. Forge
    Val E. Forge November 20, 2020 3:34 pm

    Sorry to hear Claire. Five years ago I had to put down the world’s greatest horse. I got him at age three and buried him at age 31. They are both probably frolicking together now. AVE ATQUE VALLE to both of them!

  5. Just Waiting
    Just Waiting November 20, 2020 4:11 pm

    So sorry to hear about Ava. If you’re passing by here in your travels I hope you’ll stop by and tell us the stories of some of her antics. Safe trip.

  6. John
    John November 20, 2020 5:41 pm

    May memories of the best of experiences with Her Royal Highness go with you Claire, far into the future.

  7. free.and.true
    free.and.true November 20, 2020 6:26 pm

    Heartfelt sympathies on the loss of Ava Prettypaws, Claire. She was one good and lucky dog.

  8. Toirdhealbheach Beucail
    Toirdhealbheach Beucail November 20, 2020 6:49 pm

    I am sorry to hear about Ava. Our furry friends leaving us is never easy.

  9. Comrade X
    Comrade X November 20, 2020 8:05 pm

    I am looking forward to meeting Ava when I fight my way to Valhalla too. She, me and maybe da Bones (but he may out live us all) will be waiting there for you with open arms my friend.

    Lo, There do I see my Father, and
    Lo, there do I see my Mother, and
    Lo, There do I see my Brothers and my Sisters and
    Lo, There do I see my people back to the beginning, and
    Lo they do call to me, and
    bid me take my place among them in the halls of Valhalla,
    Where the brave will live forever.

  10. Kathy Coon
    Kathy Coon November 20, 2020 8:05 pm

    So sorry to hear about Ava, I’m sure you have so many good memories. We never have enough time with our fur friends.

  11. Cube64
    Cube64 November 20, 2020 8:09 pm

    I’m very sorry about Ava. I know she was your “special” dog and it’s hard losing someone who has been such a big part of your family for so many years.

    And you’re right about Kent. He is always worth a read, and I need to make a point of reading him more often.

    Safe travels.

  12. jsto
    jsto November 20, 2020 10:06 pm

    My deepest sympathy, Claire, on the passing of your loved one. I remember someone describing the bond we have with our “pets” in relation to children. Yes, of course we love our kids endlessly. But they grow up, move out and live their own lives as grown men and women. But our pets, … they’re our daily companions who we share our entire self with and receive unconditional love from — truly our best friends. My heart goes out to you.

  13. stryderoftheuplands
    stryderoftheuplands November 21, 2020 7:06 am

    this is not mine but in case you haven’t read it, I post it here in memory.
    There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth.
    It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of all its beautiful colors.
    Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge there is a land of meadows,
    hills and valleys with lush green grass.
    When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place.
    There is always food and water and warm spring weather.
    The old and frail animals are young again.
    Those who were sick, hurt or in pain are made whole again.
    There is only one thing missing,
    they are not with their special person who loved them so much on earth.
    So each day they run and play until the day comes
    when one suddenly stops playing and looks up!
    The nose twitches! The ears are up!
    The eyes are staring and this one runs from the group!
    You have been seen and when you and your special friend meet,
    you take him in your arms and hug him.
    He licks and kisses your face again and again –
    and you look once more into the eyes of your best friend and trusting
    Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together never again to be apart.

  14. E. Garrett Perry
    E. Garrett Perry November 21, 2020 7:51 am

    My heart has joined The Thousand;
    My Friend stopped running today.

    Damn, Claire. I’m so very sorry. I remember reading about Ava and her adventures between Hardyville columns. I think I recall her from my first stint in Prague. I never knew her myself of course, but her little splashes of canine character through your writings were always a beautiful little spark.

  15. Joel
    Joel November 21, 2020 8:32 am

    So sorry, Claire. I have very pleasant memories of Ava, who could never let you get anything done with a garden hose.

    Hope your journey isn’t too stressful.

  16. Tahn
    Tahn November 21, 2020 3:24 pm


    I join with others in offering my condolences!

    May your journey be safe “there and back again”.

  17. John Wilder
    John Wilder November 22, 2020 9:29 pm

    Agree with all on the condolences. Be safe in your travels.

  18. FishOrMan
    FishOrMan November 22, 2020 10:33 pm

    Especially in this year, at this time,

  19. Jeff2
    Jeff2 November 23, 2020 5:13 am

    Having had a cousin pass two weeks ago and an aunt last week, this season seems to be fraught with losses. I take heart that these souls passed on to the next experience and that they are in good company with Ava near by.

    My condolences, Claire. Peace be with you.


  20. Ron Johnson
    Ron Johnson November 23, 2020 3:56 pm

    So sorry to hear of Ava’s passing. Good dogs are always with us, forever.

  21. Fitz
    Fitz November 27, 2020 11:31 am

    In the whole universe there is no place so dark, so empty, so void, as that place where the dog used to sleep when she’s sleeping someplace else, forever.

  22. Cube64
    Cube64 November 28, 2020 9:59 am

    Fitz, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that sentiment expressed so well before. Thanks.

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