Straight men tread on this ice with care, because of the cottage industry gay dudes have made of this movie, as well as of Judy Garland . But this deceptively simple film provides rich mining for all sorts of folks at many levels.
We did our best to protect her. We put her harness on, and clipped her into a safety line that Heather held from the shore, while I walked along the downstream side of the log  to reassure and coach her. She cried all the way; but she didn’t hesitate, because we’d asked her to do it. And because she trusted us.
I won’t comment on that kind of trust, except to say that no human being deserves it; it’s a gift you take, and be God-damned humble about. This Thanksgiving — every Thanksgiving — one thing I will be thankful for is the responsibility of living up to that trust. Haven’t quite hit that high note yet, but I will keep trying. I think it makes me a better man.
But on the far side of the creek, as we clapped and squeaked and danced and gave Lilly the brave-puppy party she so richly deserved, I do remember thinking that this was the very definition of courage: being scared, but doing what you need to do anyway, without hesitating.
Fast forward to last week, when we were watching The Wizard of Oz and The Refind came on. I turned to Pip — the worthy inheritor of Lilly’s mantle as chief of staff for our little pack (as well as for the farm, which sadly Lilly didn’t live to see) — and just said, “Spears, Pip. Toto did it while they were throwing spears at him.”
Pip eyed me sidelong, without raising her head. Heather commented on the rarity of a sense of sarcasm among dogs.
Sacred to handlers, yes; by God, yes. Sacred to dogs? Well, maybe not so much.
Happy Thanksgiving to yinz and yinz’s from the frosty northern rural-burbs of Pittsburgh.
 OK, we’re secure; just not that secure.
 My humble proposal for a drinking game: you take a swig every time you want to say, “Glinda, you bitch.” Watch the movie again; you’ll be surprised at how many opportunities you get.
 Great minds, it appears, think alike. I haven’t read Wicked, but it sounds like my kinda book and it’s on my “to read” list. But check out Tin Man, one of the few Sci Fi Channel films that didn’t suck (OK, the ending was saccharine pap; but everything before that was great). Folks who tuned in to see a literal retelling of the L. Frank Baum books tended to hate it, but those of us who saw darkness even in the originals loved it. Sci Fi’s producers apparently have literally no taste at all, either good or bad — their films either rock or suck.
 Crucial crucial crucial: if you walk on the upstream side, you risk getting swept underneath the log if you lose your footing.