23 June 2016

2016 Topps Series 2 First Pitch and a Bad Day

The only insert set from 2016 Topps Series 2 that really interested me was the First Pitch set, so I went and grabbed it from an eBay seller. So far my plan is still to buy a factory set to get my base set for the year, and then probably get an Update set from the secondary market.


This was my favorite out of the 20 cards in the checklist. It counts as an Astros card and features a former American President. Every President has their warts, but I tend to be pretty fond of the Bushes overall.


I didn't scan all of the cards in the set, but I did scan a few that were noteworthy to me. I'm not going to lie, the first time I saw that picture of Rosie Rios I thought it was Caitlyn Jenner. According to my Google research, I'm not the only one who has had that reaction to seeing the current Treasurer of the United States. Model Nina Agdal is seen sporting some Angels gear, including what is probably a New Era cap, as she signed on as the company's first female brand ambassador. Spencer Stone is a member of the U.S. Air Force who famously helped to stop an attack on a train in France in August 2015.

I really like the First Pitch insert, and I hope that Topps continues to make it a part of the flagship product. They seem to do a good job of selecting a mixture of noteworthy figures, celebrities, and lesser-known people with feel-good stories for the checklists.


When we woke up this morning we discovered that my wife's dog, Annie, was in so much pain that she couldn't walk more than a couple of steps without falling down. She's been sick and had some pain for a while now, but never so much that we felt she was unhappy. She was always happy to see everyone, got around okay, and never went off her food or water. We monitored her and worried about her, but never felt like her quality of life was suffering to the point where it was time to put her down.

This morning was different. She couldn't walk at all. She couldn't eat any food. We gave her some medicine and that dulled the pain enough that she stumbled down the stairs, but then she had an accident on the floor and that freaked her out to the point that she crashed into to the back yard before collapsing again. All of that added together made us feel like today was the day her quality of life had finally dropped far enough that to hold on to her would be unfair. I went and carried her out to the van for that long drive that comes at the end of a dog's life. We all had a chance to say goodbye to her, and the medicine took away enough pain that she was able to eat a little bit of sausage and wag her tail a bit before we put her down. Big dogs don't usually live all that long, and we feel lucky that she stuck around with us for 11 years.


My wife and I got married at the end of 2004, just a couple of weeks before I left on my first tour in Iraq. She got Annie during that year I was away. They've been pretty much inseparable since, and Annie would always follow my wife from room to room all over the house. She loved to play and eat food and have her belly rubbed. She also really liked to sleep on or near our bed, a habit she picked up during all the time I've been away with my work. Annie was a good guard dog, and she was very patient with our children as they grew and played with and on her. She was my wife's first baby, and it's been hard knowing that this day was approaching. In a way I am kind of glad that she had such a sharp drop-off in health at the end, as it made our decision very clear. Yesterday I would have said her quality of life was good enough that ending her life was not an option, but today it was clear that she was suffering. We will miss her a lot, and it will be tough to get used to not having her around anymore. She's been there for our entire married life, and she's been a companion and a protector for my wife through all the times when I wasn't around. I'm glad that she's not in pain anymore, but it sure does suck that she's not here in the house, sleeping at the foot of the bed or filling the computer room with smelly dog farts.

24 comments:

  1. I applaud and thank you for your service to our country. My condolences for your families loss.

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    1. It's an honor to serve, although I don't know if my sacrifices are much greater than many others who work dangerous or difficult jobs to feed their families.

      Thank you for your condolences. Annie was a really good dog.

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  2. Man, that's tough. I'm sorry for the loss- we had to do the same thing with our Pug a few years ago & it was like losing a family member. My condolences to you and your family. And, as Marc said, thank you for your service.

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    1. We had to put my first Basset Hound down about three years ago. It's never easy to let go of a furry friend. I guess that's the price we pay for bringing pets into our lives. They take a piece of us with them when they go.

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    1. We'll be okay. It was obvious that it was time for her to go, so there is at least peace of mind in making the decision.

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  4. I'm so sorry for the loss of your dog. I know how attached people can get to their pets. I still maintain a close relationship with my ex-girlfriend and one of the biggest reasons is because I love her dog. They truly are man's best friend. It amazes me how loyal dogs are to their owners. I can only imagine what your family is going through. Not sure if time will lessen the pain... but hopefully the great memories your family shared with her will.

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    1. This dog was extremely loyal to my wife, and would shadow her everywhere. It's strange how even within the family a dog will attach itself to one person. My dog is clearly my dog, and my wife's dog was clearly her dog.

      I actually read about a study done by psychologist Sadahiko Nakajima in which participants were asked to match pictures of owners to pictures of their dogs, and the participants were able to match them up at a rate much greater than random chance as long as the eyes of the owners and dogs were not obscured in the photo. Huffington Post can be hit or miss, but here's a piece they did that gives a decent overview: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/18/people-look-like-their-dogs-study_n_5838278.html

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    2. I can totally see that... especially when it comes to the eyes. I also really enjoy how dogs have different personalities. I'm sure it's a coincidence, but my ex's dog has the exact same personality as her. They're both total princesses. It's a crack up.

      Getting back to your wife's dog... I know there aren't a lot of bright spots when a member of your family passes away, but at least she isn't suffering anymore.

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    3. It makes me wonder if people could match me and my dog with each other out of a lineup.

      I am glad that she isn't suffering anymore, and also that her suffering didn't seem to last very long.

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  5. Ah man, I'm sorry. I'm glad she had a full, meaningful life with your family.

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    1. We gave her the best life we could. I think we did all right.

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  6. Dogs are the absolute best deal we could have ever made, We give them food, shelter, medicine and a belly rub or two and in return, they give us their all!

    I give my girls everything they need to have a happy, healthy life, including letting them go when their time is up.

    May every one in this life have the opportunity to know the love of an old dog.

    Rest easy Annie, my Seven, Bubba and Abby will meet you at the bridge.

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    1. It's really tough when it's time for them to go, but I sure do like having a big dog or two hanging around my house. They really do become members of the family.

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  7. Your last paragraph was really well written... as a pet owner I feel your pain as though it was my own. You're right though, 11 years is big number for a big dog, but it sounded like she lived those days to the fullest. Very sorry for you loss.

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    1. She was a really happy dog, and especially loved being close to her people. I'm glad that we got so much time with her.

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  8. Nice pickup on the set and that was my favorite from it as well.

    Sorry for your loss.

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    1. It's interesting to see which cards from the First Pitch set different bloggers gravitate toward. There's so much variety as far as who gets included, and everyone seems to pick a couple different cards as must-haves.

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  9. So very sorry for your loss - it is always tough to lose a part of the family.

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    1. Yeah, it is pretty tough. Last night my wife told the kids all the stories she could recall about Annie's life. I think it was a pretty good way to process some of her feelings.

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  10. Very sorry about Annie. Seems like a great pooch.

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    1. She was a great dog; very full of love for her family (and any visitors who would pet her).

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  11. I'm going through the same type of thing with my boxer/pit mix. I've had her since 2007 and she was around 6 then. She's hanging in there, but her hips are going so I carry her up & down the stairs (85 lbs worth), and she's had issues with seizures again lately. It's just a matter of time. Like you said, it's all about the quality of life. There are a couple dozen friends of hers in the neighborhood who will miss her when she goes.

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    1. It sure gets tough when they can't go up and down the stairs anymore. My first Basset Hound got to that point. He would go outside all right, but he would walk up to the porch steps and just look at them until you came out to help him up. Annie was really frightened when her legs stopped holding her up. Every situation is different.

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