I played in a band called Good Dog and to this day we former Dogs still bark at one another whenever we get the chance. It was a great experience being a Dog and I was recently reminded that being a Dog helps! In my case I’m dealing with an arthritic hip that’s seen better days and have been going through the endless process of scheduling a total hip replacement. In this day and age shoulders, elbows, knees and other moving parts are being replaced in record numbers.

There are a plethora of specialists and the benefits of no pain and new or restored movement make replacement quite desirable so I set out on my journey to join the ambulatory population. At first I tried the Veterans Hospital but was given the news that there is a long waiting list and my priority as a Vet is rather low compared to the Vets returning from the current wars so I was advised to seek another path if possible. At that point I began to feel like a Dog, but not a Good Dog, but a Dog without a home!

Ironically about that same time I’d interviewed a cartoonist who lives in her well built wilderness home and works via the Internet. During the course of the interview she noticed I was limping slightly and asked “Do you have a bad hip?” I told her I did and she recommended Glucosamine and Chondroitin. “My dog, a large German Shepard, has an arthritic hip and since I’ve been giving it to him he’s moving pain free.”

I duly noted that and researched it and found that in Europe they’ve been using it to treat osteoarthritis for over twenty years. Problem here is that neither product can be patented and are considered nutraceuticals which aren’t strictly regulated by the FDA. However, I bought some figuring if it was helping one Dog; it might help another, and I have other joints to keep in working order besides the hip that is shot!

So back on my quest for replacement I encountered the wall of insurance and the problem of moving my medical records from the VA to civilian doctors. They can transfer okay but each group needs their own records and don’t rely on other sources. Dog days again and things slowed to a crawl as more appointments and x-rays were scheduled and this time the Dog was a Trick Dog, jumping through endless hoops!

However, after completing the trick course it appears the dust is settling and that the whole adventure will be over soon be over. I think that being a persistent Dog paid off and I’m convinced that my time as a Good Dog was a great way to prepare for this, we had to go through a multitude of hoops ourselves to prove our worth to the public which we did, and it showed that if there is a will there is a way, you just have to be Dogged enough to keep at it.

At my last doctors appointment the physician recommended an alternative way to treat my arthritis, “this is just a personal recommendation not a official physician’s directive, but I give my dog Glucosamine and Chondroitin for his arthritis and now he’s a Good Dog once again, you should try it, it works.” Well that settled it for me; from now on I’m still a Good Dog and I’m glad to know that so many people treat their Good Dogs with something that helps, even if it’s not prescribed in the USA!

To reach Rick Schultze: email yarick@pioneer.net

Rick Schultze

A few years ago at a writers conference held in the central Oregon coast town of Yachats, where I live, I listened to the late Ken Kesey, a frequent visitor to the area, tell a writer that this could be a hard place to write. “If you think you can sit there staring at the ocean for inspiration you’re wrong, it’s not out there, it’s in your head!” He was right; it is beautiful here in Lincoln County, the kind of beauty that makes concentrating on anything else tough and since hearing that insight, I’ve written at a desk facing a wall, no windows opening onto a ocean view, although I have one, but it’s worked. I’ve done, and do, different kinds of writing. As a freelance writer I’ve been a observational columnist, a humor columnist, a book and music reviewer for newspapers, magazines, and online. However, as a creative writer, my heart belongs to fiction. In that genre I do short stories, road adventure stories, musical adventure tales, and in current production, are three small novels. So really the purpose of this web site is to give you a glance of some of the things I’ve done, a preview of what’s coming, and hopefully, a view of what it’s like to be a writer living in a small town on the Oregon coast!