Savor the Missteps by Angela Rieck

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Wedding season is approaching. That event where brides, bridegrooms and their parents sample a wide array of foods, listen to countless bands and DJs, study color palettes, learn about flowers, select the best venue, choose the ideal officiant, and of course, find the perfect wedding gown. All in their quest for perfection to memorialize a day that will mark the beginning of a new life, a new course and a special bond.

The quest for perfection is ironic, because the most memorable moments are the ones that aren’t planned.

I am a member of a large family, so we have had our share of weddings and despite endless preparation, substantial funds, our most memorable moments are the ones that we didn’t expect.

My brother married on the coldest Memorial Day. His beautiful bride in her sleeveless dress braved the weather, but the rest of us abandoned our summer attire quickly after the ceremony, opting for sweatshirts, sweaters or even jackets in our suitcases for warmth. Within an hour, most of us had changed to winter wear. It poured and poured and poured at my sister’s outdoor wedding and reception. The bridal party took advantage of a brief parting of the clouds to have the ceremony and run back. Rain was so relentless that an eccentric aunt tied garbage bags to her feet in an effort to stay dry.

My nieces and nephews (all outdoor weddings) have found a way to marry on days that were 90+ degrees with 90% humidity. It didn’t matter if they were in June, July, August or September. The guests congregated around the fans. At one wedding, the bridesmaids finally jumped in the pool in their dresses.

My closest friend watched the country club at her reception wheel out the wrong wedding cake. They had served her very expensive cake at another wedding, she was left with a cheap “store-bought” wedding cake.

My wedding had some mishaps, but it is most known as the wedding with the world’s worst wedding toast. My nervous brother-in-law to be repeatedly used the name of my husband’s first wife in toasting us. You could hear the gasping sounds from the guests. He was and remains mortified, but I thought it was amusing.

I am happy to report that all of us who participated in these weddings have been happily married (or widowed). When we talk about our weddings, we don’t talk about the perfect flowers, spectacular food or stunning wedding gowns, we laugh at the missteps.

So my advice to all of you wedding planners out there is to strive for perfection…but hope for a mishap.

Angela Rieck, a Caroline County native, received her PhD in Mathematical Psychology from the University of Maryland and worked as a scientist at Bell Labs, and other high-tech companies in New Jersey before retiring as a corporate executive. Angela and her dogs divide their time between St Michaels and Key West Florida. Her daughter lives and works in New York City.

The Belt by Angela Rieck

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I have fostered and rehabilitated many dogs over the years and I have learned a lot of tricks. One of them is a belly band for incontinent or un-housetrained male dogs. A belly band is a strip of cloth about 5” longer than the circumference of the dog’s belly. I sew Velcro strips at each end, place a urinary incontinence pad inside, wrap it around his private parts and voila! Any undesired urination goes into the pad. (Just remember to take it off when he goes outside!) When one of my elderly male dogs lost his flawless housebreaking, a belly band was a small price to pay to have one more happy year with him.

In an effort to move forward with my life, I decided to date. Since I had been out of the market for over 26 years, I was inexperienced, ineffective and confused. The numbers were against me as well. While over 60% of widowers are in a serious relationship within 2 years, only 19% of widows are. Some of it has to do with the numbers. Of the estimated 600,000 people who are widowed each year, 2/3 of them are women. There are a lot of great widows out there and my tepid desire to dating added to the challenges.

But, to my surprise, one day I saw a man out of the corner of my eye notice me at Target. I observed him follow me while I went shopping, but when I turned around to smile at him, he was gone. At the checkout stand and I saw him quickly maneuver to get behind me. I tried to muster my best unawkward smile and he returned it. He started to take the items out of his cart and then he saw it. I had come to the Target to buy urinary incontinence pads for my dog. The shrink wrapped bright green package was jostling all alone on the conveyor belt.
The man’s face instantly reflected a look of panic, trying to decide whether to go to another counter or ignore me. I had one moment to say something, but somehow, “they are for my dog” seemed akin to the “dog ate my homework.” He mumbled something, gathered his things and made a mad dash to the next aisle.

The bright green shrink-wrapped package continued its slow, bumbling journey down that belt. The check-out person waved it in the air and asked if I wanted a bag. I said no.
Potential date averted.

Angela Rieck, a Caroline County native, received her PhD in Mathematical Psychology from the University of Maryland and worked as a scientist at Bell Labs, and other high-tech companies in New Jersey before retiring as a corporate executive. Angela and her dogs divide their time between St Michaels and Key West Florida. Her daughter lives and works in New York City.

Numbers, Numbers, Everywhere, without a Stop to Think by Angela Rieck

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I love numbers.  I love everything about them. I love how they give me information. I love how they categorize things. I love how they provide a window into understanding.  

I love to analyze numbers.  I love to use numbers to find trends, to discover relationships, to predict behavior, to explain the world.

Yet, I also know how dangerous numbers can be.  Numbers allow us to remove humanity and replace it with hypotheses, things.  Numbers can reduce us to points on a chart. A single number can define us. A group of numbers, demographics, can categorize us.  

Numbers are really just a language that we use to classify, categorize, understand, that’s it.  Yet we give so much weight to numbers.

Look at IQ.  Since I am classically trained in test development, I understand exactly what IQ is.  When we construct tests, we have to compare them to something to see if they are right (called construct validity).  So how did we really decide intelligence? Well, over a hundred years ago, a bunch of men decided what intelligence was and then developed questions to measure their view of intelligence.  While IQ tests have been modified and changed since then, when you strip it of everything, IQ is just a number that is based on self-declared intelligent people’s view of what is intelligence.  See how meaningless it really is?

Numbers can be very dangerous.  

This is a story about one of my heroes, arguably one of the smartest men who ever lived.  His name was Sir Francis Galton. He was a genius by any standard. He developed statistical tests to measure relationship (correlation). He discovered the phenomenon of regression toward the mean.  He created fingerprint forensics. He devised the first weather map. He was the first to establish a complete record of short-term climatic phenomena on a European scale. He invented questionnaires and a whistle to test for hearing ability.  But mostly he loved collecting and analyzing numbers.

Inspired by his cousin Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species, he decided to use his understanding of numbers to aid evolution.  He created and coined the term Eugenics. With Eugenics, he was able to reduce humanity to a number, based on his view of intelligence, he believed that he could predict intelligence by race.

Scientists took this data and ran with it.  Eventually moving to body metrics, head size; basically everything that they could measure about people at the time. They used this data to predict who would be successful, who would be a criminal, who should be sterilized, who should be killed.

Galton’s work was used by the Nazis, it was used to sterilize thousands of people, it was used categorize intelligence based on race, gender, head size.

It had disastrous consequences.

So numbers are fun, they are enlightening, they allow us to prioritize, they help us understand.  

But we can never allow ourselves to forget who is hiding behind our numbers.

Angela Rieck, a Caroline County native, received her PhD in Mathematical Psychology from the University of Maryland and worked as a scientist at Bell Labs, and other high-tech companies in New Jersey before retiring as a corporate executive. Angela and her dogs divide their time between St Michaels and Key West Florida. Her daughter lives and works in New York City.

They Questions by Angela Rieck

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I have attended several lectures and seminars on the current state of the world, our looming social security crisis, the national debt, the upcoming water crisis and, of course climate change.

It is scary.

My greatest fear is the impact on our children and grandchildren.  

Climate change is unstoppable, but it could be managed if we can find a solution within the next decade. Climate change is not only rising water levels, its impact will be everywhere, for example, larger and larger swaths of coral reefs are dying from the absence of nutrients (40% of the Great Barrier Reef has bleaching).  As the Gulf Stream slows and pulls away, some nations will actually become colder. Because of the unique configuration of the Eastern Shore, we will be impacted more by rising sea levels, St Michaels will probably be underwater during high tides by the year 2100.

As the population increases, water becomes scarcer.  Cape Town, South Africa, barely escaped from being the first major city to run out of water.  Jordan, because of population growth and refugee crisis, can only provide water a day or two each week. Thirty five percent of the people in the world currently do not have access to sanitary water and this will continue to rise as our population swells.

There is some hope, as the military has classified climate change as a threat to national security.  Their record for innovative funding is promising.

In the United States, our mounting national debt ensures that our children will be the first generation in America to do “worse” than their parents.  Social Security is expected to run out of money by 2034. When Social Security (as a payment by workers to retirees) was conceived, the ratio of beneficiaries to workers was 159 to 1, today it is 3 to 1.

These are times that call for courageous action and tough choices.  Many of us are both frustrated and fearful and yearn for solutions.

Yet, when I attend lectures about these topics, the Q&A session are generally “they” questions.  “They” (the current government) are doing this. “They” are ignoring that. “They” are causing this problem. Most of the attendees nod and applaud, but I am frustrated by “they” questions.

“They” questions only serve to antagonize and cause people to move to a defensive position.  “They” questions fix nothing.

What if we started asking “I” questions or “we” questions?  For example, what can I do to help? I look at myself, I drive a Prius, put fewer than 10K miles per year on my car, and I bicycle and walk most places.  But I can do better, I can use more environmentally friendly products (even though I haven’t found any that clean as well); I can use less bleach. I can purchase only organic foods, despite the higher costs.

What if we all started asking “I” questions?  What would happen?

I don’t know. But I do know, that “they” questions do not move us forward. “They” questions polarize us even further and waste energy that we need to expend solving this.

Angela Rieck, a Caroline County native, received her PhD in Mathematical Psychology from the University of Maryland and worked as a scientist at Bell Labs, and other high-tech companies in New Jersey before retiring as a corporate executive. Angela and her dogs divide their time between St Michaels and Key West Florida. Her daughter lives and works in New York City.

Meaningful Careers by Angela Rieck

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A couple months ago, a friend of mine and I were discussing our careers. A very successful Wall Street executive, he joked that he kept the world safe from undervalued IPOs.  I retorted that most of my work never made it out of the laboratory.

Then I thought about meaningful careers and, of course, my thoughts went to teaching.  

Let me ask all of you readers to stop, close your eyes for 60 seconds and think about your special teacher.

For me, it was my Kindergarten teacher. About 15 years ago she sought me out at a funeral and asked how I had done.  I told her about my career and she smiled.

“I knew that you were special,” she said.  “I knew that you would be successful.”

Admittedly I was different in Kindergarten, due to extended illnesses and an uncle determined to prove the capabilities of pre-school children, I arrived at Kindergarten reading at a high level (which was very, very unusual in my day).

As was one of the first women in my profession I endured daily sexual harassment, unequal treatment, downright abuse and exclusion…but I made it through it, because I believed in myself. Her conviction caused me to believe that this middle child from a family of 6 kids was special.  

Another inspirational example was my daughter’s 2nd grade teacher.  

It was a mixed blessing when I discovered that my daughter had been assigned the best teacher in the school because it was well known that his teacher also got the most challenging students. These were children growing up in dysfunctional homes, neglected, trained not to feel special.  

As my work schedule permitted, I helped out in her classroom so that I could observe her class.  Watching her class was magical. Children were engaged, smiling and kind to each other.

One day I noticed one of the more troubled children doing classwork during recess.  After he finished, she effusively praised him and sent him out to join his classmates at recess.  This child, who had not asked for his circumstances, left with a big smile on his face.

I praised the teacher and told her how wonderful my daughter was doing in her classroom.  

She smiled. “I don’t know how it happens, but every year I get the best children.  I don’t know how I am so lucky.”

I did a double-take and managed an “Are you sure, we’re talking about the same class?”

“Yes, it’s amazing, isn’t it?” She replied.

Trying to make her see “my reality”, I commented that the child I just observed must have misbehaved since he was missing recess.

She ignored my comment and continued enthusiastically. “I just love listening to his stories, he is so creative.”

In that moment I discovered her secret, why she was the best teacher in that school.  She genuinely believed these were special children and since she believed it, they believed it, too.  

For one year, each of those children was extraordinary. Maybe it would be enough for them to get through their hardships.

Maybe.

So May the 7th is Teacher Appreciation Day. But since these teachers are no longer around to thank, I am going to spend 60 seconds just remembering and thanking them. I hope that you can join me with your own memories.

Angela Rieck, a Caroline County native, received her PhD in Mathematical Psychology from the University of Maryland and worked as a scientist at Bell Labs, and other high-tech companies in New Jersey before retiring as a corporate executive. Angela and her dogs divide their time between St Michaels and Key West Florida. Her daughter lives and works in New York City.

Hope by Angela Rieck

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Early spring has it all. The landscape is shaking off its winter doldrums.  Bright green shoots are appearing on seemingly dead shrubbery. The trees cast a light green or red tint, letting us know that large expansive leaves are growing inside of them. The grass has turned a bright green and evergreens are getting their color.  

But what this season offers the most is hope.  This is the going to be the year.

As I fill my bird feeders, I convince myself that this is going to be the year that I get something other than brown birds, black birds or squirrels.  I am not asking for much, just a cardinal or two, or a blue jay or a house finch. I am not even asking for goldfinches or woodpeckers, just some color.  This is going to be the year. I fill my feeders with sunflower seeds, Nyger seeds, mealworms and a sugar solution for my hummingbirds.

This is going to be the year that my gooseneck Loosestrife remains contained, this is going to be the year that my Astilbe blooms like it did in NJ.  This is going to be the year that my nonstop roses really are nonstop.

All around me is hope, the daffodils provide bright yellow color when the sun is hidden by clouds.  Multi-colored tulips stand upright saluting spring. Flowering cherry and pear trees provide soft, puffy, pastel pink and white clouds against the sky. The Red Bud trees send pink-purple branches into the sky. My Helleborus has abundant, bushes of flowers.

Yes, this is the year, we’ll get rain at just the right time, the coffee grounds will work and I will have blue Hydrangeas.  The crab grass will refuse to germinate.

I can feel the hope and promise in the cool air as I happily weed, fertilize, remove debris and mulch my garden.

Suddenly, I hear the unmistakable caw-caw sounds overhead, I look up to see blackbirds circling my yard.  

I go inside.  I am not ready to give up on hope just yet.

Angela Rieck, a Caroline County native, received her PhD in Mathematical Psychology from the University of Maryland and worked as a scientist at Bell Labs, and other high-tech companies in New Jersey before retiring as a corporate executive. Angela and her dogs divide their time between St Michaels and Key West Florida. Her daughter lives and works in New York City.

 

Scenes from the Dog Park by Angela Rieck

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Dog Parks are the new water coolers.  Yea, it surprised me too. You know the proverbial water cooler where office workers gossip and connect, that has been replaced by dog parks.

After my world imploded, I went to the Key West to hide out and recover, well mostly hide out.  I had been invited to take my dogs to the dog park. I finally summoned the courage to go this year; it took a little while, but eventually I got it.

Key West is a dog town like St Michaels, MD.  It has several dog parks and even a beach for dogs.  Dog owners routinely allow their dogs to run freely along the piers, seeking new furry and non furry friends.  

But the actual dog park has become a kind of social club, a perfect place for introverts or extroverts.  There is no commitment, you can come if you want. Eventually people time their visits to socialize with the same people. Tourists and residents alike come to sit in a circle and catch up on local news and events. People of all ages, all incomes, all races, all orientations, come to the dog park to find acceptance. Even people who don’t own dogs drop by. A homeless man just comes in to pet the dogs.

As a widow, I have met other members of that awful club, we tend to sit together quietly, talking about our lives without judgement or fear, in a mutual understanding of the un-understandable.

It is a place of generosity and connection. I have received kind offers from businesses for discounts, assistance and I have offered the same.  

The sparse research supports my experience. The COLA (Citizens for Off-Leash Areas) organization reports that participants surveyed indicated that they never knew their neighbors before going to the dog park.  Dog parks seem to be most effective when they are within walking distance of the community.

A 2014 study published in Leisure Sciences, an Interdisciplinary Journal affiliated with the Harvard Kennedy School, found that dog parks helped residents build relationships and enhance communities. In particular, they discovered:

  • At dog parks, pets serve as avatars, allowing owners to meet people through their pets.

  • The demographics of park visitors are irrelevant in forming relationships, friendships are formed unrelated to politics, race, gender, age, religion or sexual orientation.

  • Dog parks provide a place for owners to get information about local services as well as referrals related to housing and employment. Some owners have shared resources such as offering to carpool or tutor a child.

  • Some relationships extend outside the park and regulars refer to their park as their “community.”

According to a 2018 poll conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), 91% of Americans believe dog parks provide benefits to the communities they serve.

Maybe there is an opportunity to create something in St Michaels (we have one in Oxford).  St. Michaels is ideal because it is a walkable town and it is a tourist town that is dog friendly. Somehow dog parks bring out the better angels of our nature.

Oh, and the dogs like it too.

Angela Rieck, a Caroline County native, received her PhD in Mathematical Psychology from the University of Maryland and worked as a scientist at Bell Labs, and other high-tech companies in New Jersey before retiring as a corporate executive. Angela and her dogs divide their time between St Michaels and Key West Florida. Her daughter lives and works in New York City.

 

Emperors without Clothes by Angela Rieck

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I am intrigued by the Theranos story. But not in the way that most people are.

For those who do not know this story, Theranos was a start-up Silicon Valley company that was founded by a 19-year-old woman, Elizabeth Holmes, who dropped out of Stanford to change the world. In her vision, her company would offer inexpensive blood tests using blood collected from a finger stick. She convinced many that being able to test your blood regularly would revolutionize healthcare. She saw her vision as “disruptive” and revolutionary.

To me, this is the first error of logic. Early detection is helpful, but it is hardly a panacea because it only works for existing tests and treatment. There are too many tests available to know which to choose. Also, there are many diseases that cannot be diagnosed with blood tests. (Medical scientists feared that this would lead to “overdiagnosis, false-positive findings, or overly zealous diagnostic and screening efforts,” John P.A. Ioannidis, Stanford Medical School.)

The next problem was that this vision was impossible with any technology. Holmes was very inexperienced, young and lacked basic knowledge about the myriad of engineering and sciences that would be required to realize her vision. Hundreds of tests from a single drop of blood drop performed with a portable tester violated laws of physics, medicine, pharmacology, microbiology, biomedicine, engineering and biology, seriously? Yet, she obtained $900M in funding over 12 years.

One of the reasons that she received this funding was her impressive Board. It consisted of such powerful men as Donald Lucas (an aging Venture Capitalist), George Schultz, Henry Kissinger, Bill Frist (Medical Doctor and former Senator), Marc Anderssen (founder of Netscape), David Boies (arguably the most powerful attorney in the country), General Mattis, Larry Ellison (founder of Oracle), and a powerful group of former cabinet members, generals, executives, venture capitalist, an admiral and senators. She fooled experienced writers such as Ken Auletta and Roger Parloff (who relied on the credentials of her impressive board of directors).

Recognized as brilliant and dedicated, she added to her enigmatic image by lowering her voice, using makeup to distort her facial features and copying Steve Job’s wardrobe. She created an almost a cult-like following by these powerful and very intelligent men, based solely on their “gut”. (Don Lucas, for example, relied on the fact that her relatives included a physician and an entrepreneur. “It is in her blood,” he replied as to her qualifications.)

The Theranos con would have been discovered earlier had Theranos not intimidated current and former employees into silence. Led by the over-aggressive Boies law firm, Theranos surveilled, threatened, harassed and abused employees to prevent them from exposing Theranos’s fraud.

Ultimately, Holmes’s house of cards was exposed by a Wall Street Journal investigation by John Carreyrou. (He also wrote a great book: Bad Blood.) He reported how Theranos faked the data, lied about revenues, brutally intimidated employees and risked people’s lives. Fortunately for the American people, the Federal government, another hero in the story, quickly stepped in (CMS & FDA) and shut down Theranos.

Here is my question.

How could such an experienced and brilliant board be fooled? There was not a single board member who had expertise in this area. It consisted solely of aging, powerful, wealthy, white males. (An early board member, a former Apple executive, was forced to resign for asking too many questions.) These powerful men followed her willingly and often; despite being warned that her claims strained credulity. No board member required that her technology be reviewed by an expert. (Apparently venture capital firms that specialized in biomedical companies refused to invest.)

In the beginning, Holmes met with a Stanford University professor (who was also an MD) who cautioned Holmes that her vision was not possible. When Holmes refused to accept that advice, she found another professor who fell for Holmes’s vision, quit his tenured position as Department Chair and followed her to her company.

Listening to Holmes’s double-speak, even I, who can certainly be fooled, could see that she was just talking in circles. Yet these men, who met with her quarterly and sometimes, monthly, never recognized it and some even refused to accept it after it was uncovered.

In George Schultz’s case, he was even willing to “sacrifice” his grandson. His grandson left Theranos disgusted by its fraud and deceit. The Theranos legal team, using surveillance, confidential sources and other proactive investigative techniques, discovered that he had spoken confidentially to a reporter (who had reached out to him). Schultz enabled Theranos to threaten his grandson and his grandson incurred almost $500,000 in legal fees defending himself from Theranos’s aggressive legal tactics.

I keep asking myself, why? Why would these men, who had successfully negotiated with other powerful men, who had adroitly managed their own careers follow her so slavishly? While she was attractive, she did not appear to use her sexuality. Instead I believe that they were blinded for several reasons.

FoMO (Fear of Missing Out). I think that as we age, we see a world that we are not longer leading. This fast-paced, multi-tasking world is so different from the world we commanded. I believe that many of these men just wanted to be relevant. They wanted it so bad, that they were willing to shed their natural skepticism.
Greed. Perhaps greed played a part as well. Who doesn’t want to be the investor who made millions of dollars by discovering the right startup at the right time?
Culpability. The governance of the board gave Holmes 99% of the voting shares. Now they claim that they saw themselves as advisory only; but did not consider how their names and their contacts (they brought Theranos the important publicity) would validate Theranos.

The Old Boys Network. Many boards have the same people on them. Since they trusted each other’s judgement, they felt that there was intelligence in numbers.
Lack of Diversity. This board consisted of older, successful, powerful men. Six were from the Hoover Institute, a policy “think-tank” housed at Stanford University. No members requested audited statements of revenues. (It was later discovered that Theranos grossly overstated its revenues.) No members requested a technical review. This group had too much faith in their own and each other’s judgement.

Arrogance. We believe that we are smart, talented, and successful because of our intelligence and talent. We don’t recognize how much luck is involved in our success. Underestimating the value of luck leads to arrogance. That arrogance allows us to be played. (Curiously, women do the opposite. They attribute success to luck and failure to their lack of talents. But there were no women on this board.)

Fortunately, in the long run, few people were hurt (with the exception of an employee who committed suicide because he was scheduled to testify about Holmes’s fraudulent authorship of patents). Most investors who lost their money could afford to lose it. Despite their incompetence, the board members have survived with their reputations intact.

So I doubt if there will be a lot of learnings from this. To me, the key learning is that diversity matters. Had this board contained experienced women (who had not been seduced by her charisma), scientists (who would ask the tough questions) and younger, “hungrier” people; I don’t believe that this would have happened.

But since we don’t seem to be able to learn from history, you can bet that this will happen again.

Angela Rieck, a Caroline County native, received her PhD in Mathematical Psychology from the University of Maryland and worked as a scientist at Bell Labs, and other high-tech companies in New Jersey before retiring as a corporate executive. Angela and her dogs divide their time between St Michaels and Key West Florida. Her daughter lives and works in New York City.

On Prejudice by Angela Rieck

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Prejudice comes in many forms…even in the dog world.  There are some breeds that are universally feared: Pit Bulls, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Rottweilers.  Yet these dogs have a bad reputation only because they have a powerful bite. Their dispositions are usually gentle and sweet and often nicer than smaller, less intimidating dogs, but their menacing appearance engenders fear.

Which brings me to my story. Last year I adopted an adorable Maltese mix named Gus.  As Gus gains confidence, he becomes even sweeter. He approaches people with his big brown eyes, smiling expression and sweet disposition.  As I walk through town, many people and children ask permission to pet his soft baby-fine, white fur and look into those big, beautiful brown eyes. Despite his gentle appearance, he has a fear of big dogs.  When he encounters one at close range, he often takes an aggressive stance, planting his feet and staring at it while giving a tiny growl, too cute to be menacing to anyone but another member of the animal kingdom.

Last summer I took Gus to the farmer’s market and out of the corner of my eye I saw him direct his threatening stance to a pit bull mix. That dog, believing his owner to be threatened, immediately charged Gus, growling fiercely and almost knocking his owner down.  We both were able to grab our dogs (Gus is only 14 pounds, so it was pretty easy for me) and continue shopping.

The observers, on the other hand, were not so forgiving and glared at the pit bull mix. They went to Gus to console him; as they kneeled down, he would put his soft little front paws on their knees, showing his big brown sweet doe eyes, perk up his small ears that lopped to the side, and give a little snuggling grunt. As they were soothing Gus, I informed them that, indeed, Gus had started the fight.  They found that even more charming and pronounced him to be both brave and cute. Gus just stared up at them blinking his sweet big eyes, begging for their affection, who me?

Yes, you.

Angela Rieck, a Caroline County native, received her PhD in Mathematical Psychology from the University of Maryland and worked as a scientist at Bell Labs, and other high-tech companies in New Jersey before retiring as a corporate executive. Angela and her dogs divide their time between St Michaels and Key West Florida. Her daughter lives and works in New York City.

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