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Saturday, November 17, 2012

2012 is in full swing and Spring is here (opps nearing it's end)

I can't believe I am finding it hard to stay up on my blog. I love this thing, or I used too. My last update came with Cinco de Mayo last year and I talked about a new addition and 2 great losses for us.

Camden turned 1 and we celebrated with friends and family out at the Northern Fauquier Community Park in Marshall off Rt 55. Such a beautiful place and for July, it wasn't that hot.

We've suffered yet another loss with the passing of Angel, our foster failure pup who had cancer through out her little brittle body. She enjoyed almost 4 years with us and welcomed our son and took up residence by his crib to keep him safe.

That is also where she passed. Our vet came out to the house and she was surrounded by those who loved her dearly and she seemed to welcome it. She was so very tired and drained that she didn't even bark at the vets as they entered the house or her boy's room. I cried for days.

Life has gotten in the way again, cause here it is nearly the end of the year and I started this update in March. :( Well, we've had fun this year, added a new four legged family member and visited our first Carnival and Amusement park.

Maci joined us in May this year and she is originally from New York City. She was found tied to a fire hydrant in Manhattan. :( It's not entirely a sad story, because she's loved here and she's been training with Miss Charlotte of Duskland Dogs out of Flint Hill, Virginia.

Camden is now 2 years and 4mos and it will be a year after Thanksgiving that he started walking. Yes, he's been walking for a year and my life changed dramatically that day. I love love love this stage of his little life. He's sooo much fun to be around. Exploring, running, trying to jump, and meeting sooo many new friends.

We celebrated Camden's 2nd birthday here at home; nothing big, nothing fancy, nothing overboard and stressful. Oma and Opa came up for the weekend and Grandma and Grandpa Kenny came out too. He got everything he could have aske for if he were talking. LOL I can't believe it though, he's TWO and it's not slowing down, any at all! :(

We had a playdate on his birthday and a BIG Thanks goes out to Miss Kristin for the cupcakes and Miss Shannon for the wonderful photographs she took. My little man is growing up sooo very fast, I don't think my heart is going to be able to handle it.

This summer we hit the local public with Pool. Yeap, I wore a swimsuit, first one in nearly 8 years I've purchased for myself. It wasn't pretty, but it wasn't as bad as I had thought it would be.

Camden had a blast, he's a little water baby and loved being in the pool. We also went to Oma and Opa's pool and played with cousin Mason, Aunt Em and Uncle Kevin. Camden also had a his very own pool on the backporch, but sometimes he ended up sharing with his bestie, Hoss. Hoss really loves spending time and laying around with Camden, this was just one more cool spot to hang out with him in.

Needless to say, we've done a LOT this year, not all of it what we wanted, and we even missed out on some things we had planned on doing. Like hitting the Beach before the end of the season. :( We had planned a weekend for Virginia Beach and well, it was rained out so we spent the weekend with Oma and Opa which was just as nice for Camden. He loves his Omie and Opa very much.

We haven't done a lot of Reenacting this year either, or I haven't I should say. I really need to get working on finish sewing and getting Camden ready for next years season. Not sure how much WWII he'll be doing, but we are planning to participate a great deal in the American Civil War. :D

I'll do my best and try to catch up tomorrow and at least stay current from here on out. It's November, we are less than a week away from Thanksgiving and Halloween was a bit of a bust here for us this year. But next year it will be full of Pumpkins, ghouls and goblins, witches and warlocks, and specktors. Promise!

Thanksgiving is with my family and there'll be Family Portraits done with everyone there. Yeaaaaa! Christmas will be here at home and if I could ask, please keep our Brother John in your prayers. He's fighting the good fight, but we all know Cancer can be a very very nasty mistress. :(

I'll end this update with a picture that was taken by a photographer for the Northern Virginia Daily. Yeap, that is right; Hoss, Camden and I made a local paper while out for a walk during the first few warm days of Spring this year. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Jeepers, a year and 9 months since last I updated

2009 for me was filled with loss, I wasn't sure I was going to make it through 2009. In August we lost of our 11yr old English Mastiff Atlas. It was a loss I took hard, but he lived a long and happy life with us.

We moved from Marshall in October of 09 to Linden and a nearly brand new raised ranch with a 2 car garage. SWEET! No more wood stove for heat and AC in the summer. We are now on the side of Blue Mountain in the Shenandoah Mountain range.

By November of 2009, I was pregnant with my son Camden. The name belonged to Joe's Grandfather on his mother's side. I actually know very little about the man and the only memory Joe has of him was he wasn't very nice.

By Christmas, my family knew we were expecting our first child and while they were all apprehensive and scared for me, they were excited at the same time. Fingers were crossed for a little girl, but that wasn't to be. LOL

2009 ended with that preverbal Split in the road for me. That split I had never imagined I'd encounter in my life time. When life changes, it changes BIG TIME doesn't it?!

We brought in the 2010 in high fashion, at my best girlfriends house in Lorton. Andi had just returned state side from Italy. I met Andi while attending Ansbach High School on Katterbach Kasarne in Ansbach, Germany.

It was Andi and my sister Emily who set the Baby Shower for June, didn't realize just how close they were cutting it either. LOL

Camden was due in August 9, 2010 and arrived July 11th, 2010. He ended up spending a week in the NICU, but those ladies and gentlemen were AMAZAING! He is now a very healthy and extremely happy 9.5 month old, weighing in at at nearly 20lbs.

I'm still unemployed and not sure when I'll go back to work. I have started a 2 year degree program at the local community college in Computers and I should be starting back up with classes in the Fall of this year.

Our hands were tied when Angus, our little red nosed, red/fawn brindle APBT at age 6, wouldn't settle and appeared to be a danger to Camden. So we consulted both our Trainer, the Rescue group he came from, and our Vet. The decission was made to help him crossed over.

My mother came up and stated with Camden that fateful day in September and Angus and I took a ride through the country side like he liked. I sat with him the entire time, I rocked him, cradled in him my arms and cried. Out of all my loss the year before, it was this loss I felt the hardest. I felt like a failure. I promised I'd never be forced to choose between a human child and my canine children and I was.

I'm going to end this update here for now. I have soo much more that needs to be put to the preverbal paper (blog) and I'll work deligently to stay up on my life.

Mother's Day is this SUNDAY, May 8th, what are you doing for the MOTHERs in your life?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Long over due Update

It's been since March of 2008 since I've last updated my blog and the eventful year and a half I've had is almost too much to write about.

I purchased and began to train and ride a horse named Pete and then lost him almost a year to date to a freak accident out in the pasture of the Ranch where he was being boarded.

I purchased another horse named Harriett and she's been a live saver, truly. With the devastating loss of Pete, Harriett has stepped up to the plate and become my new partner in crime. And we are even doing that bareback. :D

I've lost my senior Pit girl Kacie to a ruptured spleen this past June and that has left an enormously large hole in my heart as well.

Back in Feburary of 2008, I signed on full time with the company I was a temp for and then in March of 2009, I found my self laid off due to cut backs because there just weren't enough government contracts to bid for.

I began working with my local United Daughters of the Confederacy Chapter, the Black Horse. I still have to recover 3 birth or death certificates and will have to venture down to the North Carolina Archives in order to do that.

I attended the 15th Annual Ladies & Gentlemen of the 1860's Conference in March of this year, it was put on by Carolann Schmitt of the Genteel Arts Academy. It was the most amazing fun I've had in a long time and the 3 days of Original 1860's clothing that was on display was AMAZING! Sad to say though, I failed to bring a camera with me. :(

Again, everything I've done the last year and a half would just be too much to mention. So, with some of the most important parts put down in script, I'm taking my leave.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Death & Destruction orchestrated by Ms Charlene Pedrolie

I wouldn't normally write about this subject with the new direction this blog is taking, but as many of you know me well, you also know just how passionate I am about my own Rescued dogs, 2 of which are Pit bulls. My eldest of 13 from a HIGH Kill Shelter in Arizona.

I first read about this horrible woman and the inhuman situation she's causing within the New York City Animal Control & Care via the Pit Bull Forum. I am appalled at what the NY Department of Health is allowing this MONSTER to inflict upon the helpless and speachless animals left to her care.

There is a petition to have Ms. Charlene Pedrolie removed from office, please consider signing it once you've read about the horrible conditions she's subjecting these voiceless creatures too.



After a 9 months search to hire a new executive director, the Department of Health hired Ms. Charlene Pedrolie, a nationally-recognized business consultant with NOT a shred of sheltering or animal medical experience.

Within weeks, 3 veteranarians and several vet techs resigned because of her misguided change of protocols. To add fuel to the soon to be raging fire, Ms. Pedrolie fired Ursula a head vet tech. Last week I was told by an insider that many of this medical team who resigned were bribed into returning with offers of large pay raises at a huge cost to this already grotesquely underfunded system that euthanized 20397 dogs and cats in 2006. Since Ms. Pedrolie's arrival more than 13 people have resigned and many are looking for new jobs.

An enormous turnover of staff. The core of what was a decent organization.

The resignations came from:

Liz Keller Director of Operations
Dr. Cruse, DVM
Dr. Lordes, DVM
Dr. Demmerli, DVM
Dr. Opperman, DVM
Dennis Owen Behavior
Katie Dawson New Hope Coordinator
Peg Guilotta
Adrian Brown
Daniel Valentine
Christine Torezz
Maria Onorato
Jenny Temba
Charney Fayer
Lisa Boden
Mark Halvorsen

This massive kill shelter system with a yearly intake of more than 44,000 animals is now under the control of a woman who’s egregious errors in judgment have thrown the system into chaos. ie. Euthanasia which was normally done in the morning, was now directed by the corporate-saving business woman to be done at night with skeleton crews on hand. Fortunately, this was reversed. In another cost saving measure the administration of antibiotics to prevent upper respiratory infections was discontinued. Ms. Pedrolie was warned by the Cornell Institute that this program's demise would be very bad for the animals but she ignored them. And now the animals are sicker then ever. Which puts them on the euthanasia list. Of course their numbers don't show up as euthanasia because the shelter "rarely" puts down adoptable animals. Sick animals are not considered adoptable.

But this was not enough damage for Ms. Pedrolie and the Department of Health.

A few weeks after she arrived, 7 major NYC rescuers and groups were banned from pulling animals from the shelter as partners of the New Hope Program. The animals these hard working people pull are the larger or older dogs, many Pit Bulls, Pit mixes and shepherds, the animals at the most at risk of euthanasia.

My name is Laurie Bleier and I am the director of the Brooklyn Animal Foster Network. My group is one of those now banned. In two years we removed more than 1,000 animals from NYCACC as New Hope Partners and through our Care-A-Van adoption events with State Senator Erik Addams. Every weekend Spring Summer and Fall you could see us on Seventh Avenue in Park Slope with 15 or more animals we just picked up from the shelter on Linden Blvd. My group would stay until every one of those homeless dogs, cats, puppies or kittens found safe homes. It was extremely rare that anyone went back to the shelter. And if one did we put a hold on the animal and pulled him/her a day or two later.

Ms. Pedrolie told me that my group was banned because one of my dogs in foster care was found to be emaciated. After a thorough investigation by the ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement those charges were found to be baseless and the case was dropped. You can call Joe Pentangelo at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4450 for confirmation of this. Just as a reporter for a major ny newspaper now working on this story did. In my estimation, Ms. Pedrolie made this story up in an effort to discredit a group that pulls pits and mixed breeds.

Now 9 weeks after our exoneration we still cannot pull from the shelters. She refuses to give us back our New Hope status. We have 33 new applications to foster and we have no animals to deliver to them. MANY MANY dogs and cats are needlessly being put down because 7 rescuers are being unjustly prevented from doing what they have been doing for years. And doing it quite successfully.

Where is the due process in my case? No response to letters written to the board members.

Lastly, in the last two years my company, Brainstorm LLC redesigned the website pro bono. The website which could not be found on google searches a year ago now gets more than 4 million hits a month. Brainstorm produced countless fliers, e-blasts and posters for NYCACC. All pro bono. I tell the Board of Health, the board members of nycacc and Charlene Pedrolie -- if this is how you treat your allies I shudder to think how you treat your enemies.

The famous journalist H. L. Mencken once wrote that the job of any good journalist is to "afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted." That being said this letter and the postings I see at Craigslist today are going out to every media outlet in the boroughs.

I ask you good people of NYC, what happened to the NO-KILL MANDATE of NYC?
PLEASE call Charlene Pedrolie on her direct line and demand the rescuers and groups who have been suspended from the New Hope Program be reinstated.

Here is her direct number 212 442-2059 or on her cell phone 732-939-7948 .

Laurie Bleier
718 –789-6865
718 789-1465 Fax

Sheltered Animals Aren't Criminals
Please visit

This message was sent by: The Brooklyn Animal Foster Network, 392 14th Street, 4B, Brooklyn, NY 11215


A petition to replace the Board of Directors of New York City Animal Care and Control

Sign here:

Dear animal lovers,

There is a crisis of management at NYCACC, the municipal kill shelter system which intakes 44,000 homeless animals every year.

I am hereby asking you to join me in calling for the City Council and the Mayor to convene an emergency hearing to create an Animal Care Task Force to oversee the replacement of the existing Board of Directors of NYCACC which has created this crisis.

This task force should be made up of humane professionals and animal advocates. This task force should also consider the conflict of interest that exists when the Commissioner of the Department of Health --who once said in an open public meeting, "you have to understand that from a public health perspective, I would't lose a moment's sleep if you were to euthanize every animal in your shelters if it meant that not one child was going to be bitten,"-- is also the Chairman of the Board of NYCACC.

The very board which hired Charlene Pedrolie, a corporate thug with NOT a SHRED of animal sheltering or medical experience, to promote their agenda and to ignore the No-Kill Mandate. Ms. Pedrolie's unenlightened change of protocols and abusive bullying of staff have resulted in mass resignations and an enormous turnover of staff. Suspension of animal rescuers has caused the needless euthanasia of adoptable animals.

The Board Members who make life and death (mostly death) decisions that result in the senseless slaughter of homeless animals.

Did you know that in the richest city in the world, the Department of Health under funds the NYCACC, providing less than half of what is recommended by humane professionals.

Did you know that according to law, New York City is required to have five full-time, full-service animal shelters. We currently have only three.

Concerns have been raised about insufficient animal rescue resources. Concerns abound about the invisibleness of the city shelters due to the lack of advertising dollars which could build awareness around the centers. Ask anyone where the homeless animals are in NYC and they will tell you the ASPCA or BideAwee. Most have never even heard of NYCACC. So thousands and thousands cats, rabbits and dogs a year languish in obscurity resulting in an endless slaughter of innocents.

The SAFER test which determines an animal's temperment, and which the board approved, is extremely biased against Pitbulls, Chows, Mastiffs and other large dogs. Nasty, small pure bred dogs and cats routinely pass just because of its size and breed. That is what the Department of Health wants and they have found an Executive Director who will execute their wishes.

Recent, outrageous decisions such as transforming an adoptable section with a holding capacity of 40 dogs into a boutique that now holds only 20. And the unthinkable trashing of perfectly usable old cages, which any number of less funded shelters in the metro area would have died for. These cages were left to rust in the lot and then carted for trash.

The seemingly calculated suspension of seven major NYC New Hope rescuers who do not discriminate against Pitbulls and Pit Mixes appears to be a conspiracy exterminate the breed without having to introduce anti-breed specific legislation which might offend the voters.

The ridiculous space-costing conversion of one New Hope room with 8 cages was transformed into a storeroom for a pet supply retail area that people rarely use.

The Board Members making the decisions for NYCACC are incapable of thinking like animal advocates. Even though advocacy for the animals is what they were appointed to execute.

I call for the immediate dismissal of Charlene Pedrolie and reinstatement and promotion of Liz Keller, the recently resigned Director of Operations and a genuine animal advocate, to Temporary Executive Director .

Lastly, we as animal loving New Yorkers who cringe at the slaughter of dogs and cats in China, must finally look at our own backyards and alleys. The animals can't wait. The time is now to demand that the New York City Council and the Mayor take notice...there is a crisis of management of NYC's Animal Care and Control which intakes 44,000 homeless animals a year. What are they going to do about it. Please contact the responsible parties below. Thank you.

Laurie Bleier
718 %u2013789-6865
718 789-1465 Fax

Who to contact to meet these demands:

City Hall

Michael R. Bloomberg
City Hall, New York, NY 10007

Department of Health

Thomas Frieden, MD
Commissioner, NYC Department of Health
125 Worth Street, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10013
Tel: (212) 788-5261, Fax: (212) 964-0472

City Council

Christine Quinn
Speaker New York City Council
City Hall, New York, NY 10007
Tel: (212) 788-7210, Fax: (212) 788-7207

The CACC Board of Directors

Thomas Frieden, M.D.
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
125 Worth Street, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10013
Tel: (212) 295-5347 Fax: (212) 295-5426

John M.B. O'Connor



31. Dr. Frieden and I had another long-standing argument during my tenure over the fact that he put a lot of weight in what was called the "length of stay" statistic. He considered the length of stay a direct budgetary issue that the longer an animal was in the shelter the more it was costing the Department of Health. And it just wasn't efficient. And he said, "Look Ed, you're required to hold these animals 48 hours. I want you to be able to have a disposition ready in the 49th hour for every animal."

84. If the concern or question is, does the Department of Health have the best interest of AC&C, or the animals in its care, at heart? The answer is clearly, "No, they do not." They don't support innovative programs, they don't support the executive director, they expect executive directors to kowtow and do as they're told. They don't expect them or want them to be innovative and progressive. They don't want them to be cutting-edge or leading-edge. They are basically looking for someone who is a yes-person willing to maintain the status quo.

WOW, March is here - Endview Plantation

Well, this is my first event of the year, Endview Plantation located in Newport News, Virginia. **pictures coming soon.**

I fell out with the 7th New York Calvary this past weekend. It was a beautiful Saturday, but the rains came in around 8 or so that night and stayed till mid-morning Sunday.

The civilian turn out was great! Far more than was expected, as I wasn't there on Sunday, I can't say how many there were then. Jill and Lynn were great Hosteses and kept their boys fed and watered, not to mention they took care of the horses as well. :D

Cpt Vince Aquino and 1stSgt John Jobe welcomed me as one of their own. Even though I was a Johnny REB. ;) I helped with Breakfast, I made the cinnamon apples that were a hit.

Later that evening, once the civilians fiddled out, we prepared for dinner over an open fire, as breakfast was done that morning. Of course, our supper was Yankee Potroast. I prepared the potatos, Lynn did the carrots, and Jill; once she returned for her ride around the battle field, seared the 4 roasts that were to make the maincourse.

Both Lynn and I also got to take a ride around the battle field and house. What an AWESOME way to end a beautiful day. And yes, I rode astride in my dress. :D **I promise pictures as soon as I have them.**

Until next time ...

Monday, January 28, 2008

Battle of the Bulge, Fort Indiantown Gap, PA

WOW, what a weekend, not too cold and no snow, darn-it. :( Oh Well, it could have been like 3 yrs ago, more than 2 feet of fresh beautifully white powdery stuff. :D

The Photograph to the left of the 2 American Soldiers was STAGED. The photograph was taken at a previous Bulge a few years back, but it's still a pretty cool photograph.

I arrived late on Friday, managed a quick hair updoo and then got dressed for a spin around the party scene. Saturday morning I was able to locate a wonderful woman who does wonderfully period hair for free and she did a spendid job on mine.

This is us that evening at the USO Show being held at the Officers Club on FIG.

Saturday was full of adventure. Got up early to watch the guys truck out to the field. Got a lot of really great photographs, I'll upload a few later and update the post.

Hung out with a friend of ours on Vendors Alley and even managed to find a few decent period finds myself. A classic brown corded clutch and 2 pair of forearm lenght gloves. Great finds. :D

The USO Show was okay this year, nothing to rave about. So I won't. :D

Joe and I ended the night with a photograph of the two of us, which we don't have near enough of. :D

I have a notebook of things to write about, I'll update a bit later once I have more time. See you next year!

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Story of A Fallen Marine & His Dog...Full Story at CNN

I wish I had come across this story sooner. It's heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. The sacrafice of both family and Man's best friend is felt by all.

From Rusty Dornin

(CNN) -- A U.S. military dog whose handler and best friend was killed in Iraq gets a new assignment on Friday -- retirement with the late Marine's family.

Dustin Lee's parents and younger siblings prepare to take Lex home from Albany, Georgia, on Friday.

It took months of lobbying by the family to get the adoption approved by the military.

Lex was beside Cpl. Dustin Lee when Lee was killed in a mortar attack in Falluja.

In spite of his injuries, the dog didn't want to leave Lee's side after the attack, according to the Marine's father.

Other Marines reportedly had to pull the dog away from the young man's body so medics could reach him.

It brings tears to my eyes everytime I read it. I can't imagine what both family and Best friend are going through, I just hope they can find some closure in each other. Here's to the Lee family and to Lex! THANK YOU both for your sacrafices!

My Pit Bull Terrier - A Poem

~author unknown at this time ...

What Animal Do I Speak Of? By Patty Letawsky

Their love is like no other,

their heart as pure as gold.

Yet while going on a friendly walk,

they're faced with stares of cold.

They're so very close to human,

in how they act and what they do,

Unless you've known their devoted love,

it's impossible to explain to you.

They are greatly more misunderstood,

thany any other breed.

We tend to punish this loyal dog,

Instead of mankind's deeds.

They are always and forever clowns,

with a wish for center stage.

Yet while displaying this sense of humor,

most people disengage.

They, oh, so want to make new friends,

and run and jump and play.

Yet when they happily approach,

most people shy away.

Often I've seen children poke,

or hop on for a ride.

And when I felt they might get mad,

they've only beamed with pride.

I've seen there children yank and pull,

with nary a reaction.

Yet media's not interested,

unless they've put someone in traction.

When other dog's have made the news,

this breed's name they affix.

But when this brave dog saves the day,

they call him "boxer mix".

They love to snuggle up real close,

to give lots of loves and kisses,

Yet they suffer more than any,

from unfair prejudices.

Their tails wag hard and hips twist, too,

more so than other mutts.

So those of us who know the breed,

we call them "wiggle butts".

What animal do I speak of,

Whose love is so unique?

If you've truly known one,

you know of whom I speak.

There is no creature on this Earth

who will ever make you merrier.

The animal I do speak of,

it's the American Pit Bull Terrier

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A War Dog Mystery - SOLVED

From the pages of The United States War Dogs Assocation comes a story that left me choked up. A supremely done website dedicated to honoring the Past, Present and Future of our Nation's War Dogs and their Handlers.

Here lies Hambone Jr.

Faithful Friend

of the

47th. Infantry Regt.

9th. Div. U S Army

May 1944

Simon Newbery, Vet. UK emailed me with this photo and the following information:

This grave marker of a WWII War Dog (Hambone Jr.) is near Simon's parents home in Alresford, Winchester, Hants, England along side a famous River walk called "The Dean." This town was used for the D-Day invasion.

By posting this photo and information, I am hoping someone who reads this will be able to further enlighten us.

If you have any further information, please email us at:

Mystery Solved ...

Reverence for military mascot show memories of WWII still live.

"If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England." -- from the poem "The Soldier" by Rupert Brooke

By Vincent Z. Whaley
Johnson City Press Staff Writer

(Published Thursday, Aug. 17, 1995)

ALRESFORD, England — Although Hambone Jr. never participated in battle, he was granted a privilege many soldiers tried not to think about during World War II.

He was buried in his homeland.

Hambone was an infantry regiment's canine mascot, and his duty was to run alongside the soldiers, provide entertainment and keep their thoughts away from battle and pain and death.

During a recent trip to England to retrace the wartime steps of my late grandfather, Starlin H. Hughes, I came across the dog's grave in the quaint village of Alresford.

This is where my grandfather, who served with the 47th "Raiders" Infantry Division, 9th U.S. Infantry Division, had been stationed prior to the D-Day invasion of Normandy, France, in 1944.

Hambone's grave, alongside a weathered path, was just one example of how America is remembered in a country that was once bombed nightly. For example: In Winchester, about eight miles from Alresford, I stopped an elderly lady treading the cobblestone street and asked for directions to the bus stop for Alresford. She was going to her dressmaker's shop to have her late husband's Royal World War II medals sewn to a shield. After kindly displaying the gallant war achievements, she directed me to the bus stop — just across the street.

I met a gray-haired gentleman in an Alresford pub, the Swan Hotel — one of several pubs in which GIs of the 47th frequented during the war. After consuming a mid-morning pint of "bitter" beer, he escorted me through the town square in search of the building where the 47th had been headquartered.

We arrived at a white and navy building with a small, plaster plaque attached to its outer wall. The inscription states: "THIS HOUSE WAS THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE 47TH. INFANTRY REGT., 9TH DIVISION, UNITED STATES ARMY, 1943 TO D-DAY JUNE 1944."

The man then explained the legend of Hambone Jr. and supplied directions to his grave, which is located just beyond the village along a rocky footpath beside the Alresford River.

A thatch-layered cottage outlined with pink and violet flowers sits along the river. A cobblestone bridge possessing arches that sink beneath the calm brook complements the fairy-tale dwelling. The grave of Hambone Jr. is not far from the moss-covered riverbank.

Along the opposite side of the footpath, the tombstone rests among thick vegetation. Weather-beaten and etched in algae, the monument clearly states, "HERE LIES HAMBONE JR., FAITHFUL FRIEND OF THE 47TH INFANTRY REGT., 9TH DIV., U.S. ARMY, MAY 1944."

Countless war memorials can be found across England during this final year of World War II's 50th anniversary. None, however, seem as classic as the one dedicated to a military mascot known as Hambone Jr.