Staff SGT Donald Wayne West, Jr., enlisted in the United States Army National Guard on September 11, 2001. As part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Company A of the 150th Combat Engineers served active duty Aug 29, 2004, until Dec 30, 2005. SSGT West returned to college in January, 2006. He married Lauren Ritchie June 9, 2006, at Seaside, Fla., and they have three children. SSGT West completed military service at Camp Minden, LA on Aug 23, 2009.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Day 191 - Dog Days of Summer

Kathy and Lindsey Wilkerson are dog people. We are not so much so.

When the last of our children flew the coop (although we didn’t expect Wayne to fly all the way to Iraq!), we moved to a different house with a smaller yard. We've never had pets, and Myron tells everybody the only grass he cares about any more is on the golf course!

The Wilkerson household, on the other hand, has always boarded multiple pets during the decade we've been friends. I appreciate that Kathy and Lindsay, newspaper editor and university supertech, never really went goo-goo over the animals while we less pet-friendly folks were visiting their home. Still, we've shared some great laughs through the years watching cat-torments-dog antics.

After their daughter, Ann, got married this spring, I wondered if the Wilkerson pet frenzy would wane. Au contraire! My lovely Louisiana friends fluffed their nest instead of emptying it! The latest additions to their family are Gumbo and Roux, two border collies.

A few weeks ago, Kathy and Lindsey joined dog blogdom, premiering their online pet diary, Adventures of the Spotted Dog.

Kathy’s most recent entry highlights a dog-friendly web site that allows you to invite another dog to be "pup pals."

“It's just funny to see how many folks are willing to put your dog's picture on their web page, and vice versa. You get an e-mail invitation from the dog, and if you agree, you just click a link and the "pup pal" automatically pops up on your page.”

My favorite story so far is Lindsey’s account of the morning he took Lucy, the visiting chocolate lab, out with him before dawn to get the paper. Quicker than poop, Lucy goes AWOL and leads Lindz on a dog goes wild chase that ultimately ends up inside an unsuspecting neighbor’s house!

What does this have to do with Wayne in Iraq? Not much, except the thing I miss about him most is that great big smile and highly contagious laugh.

Hope this one made you smile today, Wayne. We ALL miss the Big Dog!