Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, December 10, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 11

Mountain Views-News Saturday, December 10, 2022 



[An Extract from “Til Death Do Us Part?” by Nyerges, available from Kindle as an e-book or 
hard copy. Classes and books by Nyerges can be viewed at] 

In the days after Dolores died in December of 2008, I still spent my evenings with Nami 
and Fikret and Nellie (the little dog that Dolores boarded), cooking dinner, sharing dinner, 
talking over television. Both Nami and Fikret were living in rooms in the front part of the 
Nami was from Tokyo, working at a Japanese firm in downtown Los Angeles while she 
earned her CPA license. Fikret was a student from Germany who’d be going home in a few 
That December was dark, pressing, my mind a constricted box of sorrow and loss. 
RW had earlier suggested to Dolores that she take Nami and Fikret to see the annual Griffith Park festival 
of lights, and Dolores had mentioned it to Fikret. I brought it up to Fikret and he wanted to go. I think he 
was more concerned about me getting out and “getting normal” than he was about seeing some electric light 
display. Anyway, he arranged with Nami to go one evening after Nami got home from work, and I drove.
I had never seen the light show either, and though I was in no mood for “joy,” I wanted Nami and Fikret to feel 
happiness, and the joy of the season that the youth can best appreciate. 

My mental state was very constrictive, narrow, even subdued horror. It was as if I’d been hit in the face with 
a 2x4, and I could not see beyond my shocked pain. But I tried, with great effort, to “enjoy” an evening out 
with Nami and Fikret as best I could. It was the weekend after Dolores died. Nami got home early from work, 
and it was already dark. Fikret made a very light meal – more of a snack – for everyone before we drove off to 
Griffith Park in my Jeep. I was preoccupied with now living a life turned upside-down, with no perception of 
light at the end of my tunnel. 

Fikret and Nami were noticeably happy, upbeat, and they seemed to be happy to be doing something with me. 
Fikret had come on a few field trips with, but I’d only gone out rarely with Nami. I know they were both fully 
cognizant of my pain and I think they were being happy because they wanted me to be happy. I think that the 
lights of Griffith Park were a very minor attraction. 

As we drove, we spoke about their day, and other light matters. I always enjoyed talking with Nami over 
dinner about what sort of day she had at work, and what new English words she learned. We drove into the 
large expansive parking lot east of the Los Angeles Zoo, and drove around until we saw where to park for the 
festival of lights. People parked their cars, and then boarded buses which set sail every 15 minutes or so, or 
until the buses were full. The three of us were the first to enter a bus, so we got the seats we wanted. A few 
adults filed in, and then a whole group of school children came in and filled the bus. The driver turned off 
the lights, and we were off down the two miles or so of the electric light display. 

The children spontaneously sang Christmas carols at the tops of their voices. Nami and Fikret tried to follow 
along: Jingle Bells, Rudolph, Silent Night, all the classics. Mostly, the children sang enthusiastically and loud 
with lots of laughter for the first verse until the song faded as the children didn’t know the words. After loud 
laughter, another song would begin. 

I could tell they were all having great fun, though I was barely there. I had to shut off most of my painful feelings 
and emotions and turn on only that part of me that was needed for ordinary interactions with others. I 
was glad that there was so much happiness in the world, but I was in pain. 

I was in a darkness of my own, alone, as if I was severely and suddenly cut off from all that was important to 
me. Which was, in fact, what happened. After the light show, we returned to the Jeep, and I drove on in a 
stupor. I asked Nami and Fikret if they wanted to see more Christmas lights, and they said yes. Christmas 
Tree Lane was impressive, but monotonous to me. Nami and Fikret just said “Oohh,” and “Ahhh,” and “Look 
at those, wow!” I tried to explain the history of Christmas Tree Lane, how I grew up just around the corner, 
and I drove by our family home on North Los Robles. 

I didn’t want to go home quite yet. “Going home” would mean that I would go back to the rear duplex alone, 
would sit there for awhile listening to music or watching TV, feeling the full grief of losing Dolores, by myself. 
It meant I would go to sleep with my grief, unable to find solace in music or TV. I would turn off the TV and 
music, and in the darkness I would fall into my abyss of sorrow until I awoke the next day. No, I didn’t want 
to go home yet. 

I told Nami and Fikret that I knew of another Christmas light display and we drove across town looking for it. 
We never found it, but they got a tour of East Pasadena and Sierra Madre before we stopped for some snacks 
and finally went home. 

We then went into the front kitchen when we got home, and enjoyed some cookies and coffee. We all laughed 
together and we watched a little bit of a Christmas movie on TV. It was a good evening overall, but it would 
be a long time before I could feel joy again. 

Still, eventually, little by little, I learned that though life is short and precious, Love is what makes it meaningful! 


Please look again at 
this cutie. This loving 
girl started her 
life's adven-ture at 
only a week old by being 
hand-raised with 
a sweet pitbull and a 
pug, so she gets along 
wonderfully with 
dogs, but not other 

cats. She was very lovingly spoiled as a tot, and 
thinks she's the "queen of eve-rything," and that the world revolves around her--and 
she's right! She would best benefit by being an "only cat child," so she can soak up all your 
attention. . . OR be in a family with a nice doggy or two so she can get rough & tumble 
with someone as outgoing as she is. She LOVES people! She likes being held like a human 
baby, and if you wear something soft she'll make biscuits on you all day long. You 
can actually carry her around the house on your shoulder, like a ba-by! While nuzzling 
your neck, she'll even groom you! Arya is fittingly named after Arya Stark, the little girl 
warrior from Game of Thrones. She’s age 1, spayed, chipped, vetted, and ready to go! See 
more pic-tures of her and the adoption application at
Can we get her in a home by Christmas? 

Pet of the Week

 Nala is a one-year-old Shepherd mix who wasfound running on the busy 210 Freeway. How shegot there, we’ll never know, but thankfully CHPwas able to catch her and put her in a cruiser untilAnimal Control arrived. Back at the shelter, Nalawas at first a little nervous, but she’s now made 
friends with some of our volunteers and staff and 
is ready to be your new best friend.

 Nala bonds very quickly with people. She willsweetly follow you around and gently nudge youfor pets. When she’s feeling playful she enjoysfetch with a squeaky toy or ball, but she’s definitelymore into your attention than the game.

Nala is a great size for hikes (as far away from the freeway as possible, thankyou!) and also for cuddles. She’s ready to be some lucky family’s BFF!
The adoption fee for dogs is $150. All dog adoptions include spay or neuter,
microchip, and age-appropriate vaccines. 

New adopters will receive a complimentary health-and-wellness exam fromVCA Animal Hospitals, as well as a goody bag filled with information abouthow to care for your pet.

 View photos of adoptable pets and schedule an adoption appointmentat Adoptions are by appointment only, and newadoption appointments are available every Sunday and Wednesday at 10:00 

 Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potentialadopters by phone calls or email. 

ings — and to heck with 
the anger and division 
their “reporting” causes. 
From our country’s be-
ginning we’ve had our 
share of liars, snake-oil 
salesmen and flimflam 
These scoundrels weren’t 
judged on the rightness or 
wrongness of their scams 
so much as the skill with 
which they pulled them 
The sorry truth is that 
Americans want to be lied 
We’re suckers for a skill-
fully told yarn that puts us 
at ease and helps us sleep 
better at night. 
But my dog, Thurber, is 
spinning yarns, too? 
Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285Email: Website: 

My dog Thurber has been lying to 

It only figures, because it’s impossible 
to avoid mistruths these days. 

We just exited a miserable election 
cycle in which truth stretching, 
name calling and vote pandering 
were all in high gear — and 

Our politicians in both major parties 
really know how to lie. 

They know most Americans disdain 
complexity and want to hear 
promises that resonate — even 
false ones. 

They know we voters want contradictory 
things like more free 
government goodies — but less 
government spending. And that we 
want fatter Social Security checks 

— but lower payroll taxes. 
The politicians always promise 
they’ll make these impossibilities 
happen if we vote for them. 

We know they’re lying to us — and 
we’ve learned to count on it. But 
politicians aren’t the only ones fibbing 
out there. 

Our cable news personalities pretend 
to be after the truth. 

But in fact they spin whatever yarns 
are likely to generate the most rat-


Part of the reason I love my puppy 
so much, I had thought, was 
because he was a refuge from the 
adult world of mistruth. 

But then I stumbled upon an Animal 
Cognition study that found 
that dogs, too, are capable of lying 
to get what they want. 

In the study, researchers trained 
27 dogs to differentiate between a 
“cooperative” woman who allowed 
them to have their favorite treat 
and a “competitive” woman, who 
did not. 

Dogs were taught how to lead the 
two women to three boxes: one 
contained sausages, their favorite 
treat, the second contained dog 
biscuits, and the third was empty. 

When dogs were asked to “show 
me the food” they would lead their 
partner to one of the three boxes. 

The cooperative woman rewarded 
dogs with whatever was inside the 
box, but the competitive woman 
kept the treats if the dogs picked a 
box with treats inside. 

So what did the clever canines do? 
They almost always led the cooperative 
partner to the treats and 
the competitive partner away from 

In other words, dogs can be as cunning 
and deceitful as the rest of us, 
which is beginning to explain a lot 
about Thurber. 

Let me give you an example. 

When he looks me dead in the eye 
and gives a soft whimper, he’s telling 
me he needs to go Number 1. 

The same look accompanied by a 
soft moan means he needs to go 
Number 2. 

But sometimes he pretends he has 
to “go” 1 or 2, just so I will let him 
outside to play. 

What else is he lying to me about, 
I wonder? 

Where he hid my glasses? The TV 
remote? My checkbook? 

Somebody cashed a check for 
$1,000 recently and the signature 
looked an awful lot like Thurber’s 
paw print. 

My point? Mistruths are running 
rampant these days. 

Even our dogs are lying to us. 

Purcell, creator of the infotainment 
site, which features 
pet advice he’s learning from 
his beloved Labrador, Thurber, is a 
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor 
columnist. Email him at Tom@