Kayo – the final chapter

Kayo – #8

“It’s time, Bob.”

“For what?” I answered.


“What do you mean?”

“I mean it is time to put him down.”

I was afraid of that.

But my stepfather was right.

It was time; Kayo was an old dog now and he was suffering every day. He could not get his back end to work properly and he sort of dragged his back legs along when he tried to walk. “Hip dysplasia” they called it. We had him looked at by a vet and that is what he called it.

Kayo had a great life (see the stories above) but he was old and found living a hard task now. Nevertheless, it was hard to think of “putting him down” – or, let’s be honest, shooting him.

“We’ll need your help, Bob. He won’t go with Hank or with me – only you.”

Oh, no; I will have to get him to get in the truck and take him on his final trip. I felt conflicted: I really loved that dog – we had been friends for several years while at the same time understanding that he was in pain and it was time.  So, I went to his doghouse and talked to him about what was going to happen. As usual he seemed to understand me and I started to cry. He looked at me as if to say, “It’s OK, kid; all lives end at some time or other and mine has been a good one. Do not worry; I will be better off.”

I walked over to the truck and opened the door. Kayo wagged his tail and with a little help got into the cab. I sat behind him and put my arm around his neck. I thought about all of our days together and the fun we had had. He seemed to understand and accept that this was to be his last trip.

We drove to the “other place” – a half-section of pasture and rocks and drove out into the field.

We stopped. I said “goodbye” to my companion and Hank took his rifle and with one shot killed Kayo.

I cried a bit, but I did understand the need to do it.

We got in the truck and drove home in silence.



My Great-grandfather carried with him a beautiful name with many parts. He was a lawyer, an insurance salesman, a builder in the early days of Colorado, and a mayor of Glenwood Springs in the early 20th century. In the picture here from the Glenwood Springs museum archives he is with his wife and his granddaughter, my Mom. Jean Baptiste Surville DeLanois (aka J. B. Surville) was also a poet. And more here.

Lit Crit

Lit Crit


by Bob Lane

“Talking does not make the world or even pictures, but talking and pictures participate in making each other and the world as we know them.” Nelson Goodman in Languages of Art: An Approach to a Theory of Symbols has pointed correctly in this statement to the inevitable association between works of art and the language used to talk about those works. In the last century, it was believed that the exclusion of subject matter (landscapes, people, family scenes) from painting would disentangle the image on the canvas (or the words of a poem) from literary associations and clear the way for a direct response of the eye to optical data. The hope was to reduce art to speechlessness. An “Art of the Real” exhibition recently at the Museum of Modern Art described its selection as chunks of raw reality totally liberated from language. “Modern art,” writes one recent critic “has eliminated the verbal correlative from the canvas.” Perhaps. But if a work of today no longer has a verbal correlative, it is because its particular character has been dissolved in a sea of words.

At no time in history have more words been written in defence of art, in explanation of what it “really is,” in defence of its “uniqueness,” in the production of manifestoes of explanation and genesis. To describe a striped canvas and a striped tablecloth in the same terms is to commit an artistic faux pas of great proportion much like the child who, because he didn’t understand the rules of the game, remarked that the emperor was naked. The language of art criticism today is a subtle and abstract means to create the idea of art works in conceptual framework of theories instead of in the perceptual framework of the senses. Recently two young artists in Latin America contrived a Happening that was reported in detail in the press but never took place, so their “work of art” consisted of their own news releases and the resulting interviews, accounts,, and comments. Here the “work of art” was only what was said about it. There was no “picture” only “talking”.

Great Book

“Indie graphic novel house BOOM! Studios announced plans to publish a graphic version of Kurt Vonnegut’s classic sci-fi/antiwar novel,” reports Publishers Weekly’s Calvin Reid, naming the adaptors as writer Ryan North, artist Albert Monteys, and colorist Ricard Zaplana. Nerdist’s Matthew Hart writes that it’s “unclear at this point what’s been included and what’s been dropped for BOOM!’s Slaughterhouse-Five graphic novel adaptation, it seems like the story is in good hands.”


Why you should read Kurt Vonnegut Jr.