Vet trades dog tags for dog: I have a psychiatric service dog ["Service with a Snarl," Joe Eskenazi, Feature, 6/17]. As someone with mild agoraphobia, depression, panic attacks, and, most importantly, PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] caused by government service, my dog is essential to my being able to function normally. Increasingly, Veterans Affairs is granting veterans psychiatric service dogs for PTSD. It helps with all of the side effects of this condition and most importantly, helps prevent suicides.
In Texas and in the D.C. area, there are specific psychiatric service dog training centers. In California, the best bet is to get basic dog obedience classes, then follow up with additional training for you and your dog from an excellent trainer. Remember, just as with any dog, you must keep up your end and continually practice good behaviors and training with your animal.
Some People Still Read the Paper
Ad it up: Newspapers were chosen as disseminators of public information because of their ubiquity ["Your Ad Here," Matt Smith, Column, 6/24]. Everyone has an equal opportunity to read the city-sponsored notices by simply buying the paper. Not so with a Web site.
Although we of the computer generation would like to think that everyone has and uses a computer and an Internet connection, this is simply not so. My parents live in New York City; they are 83 and do not own a computer. The media source still most accessible to the most people is a newspaper.
Don't Slam Spam
Hail the grail: As a teenager at boarding school without television in England at the end of the 1960s, watching Monty Python was an offense that could result in a beating ["Not the Full Monty," Chloe Veltman, Stage, 6/24]. We still used to risk sneaking out to a local pub to see the TV show. Watching the shows now, they are still anarchic and clever, and you can see what a profound influence they had on TV, film, and theater, but they don't seem dangerous or particularly obscure.
The brilliance of Spamalot is taking threads of those memories and not trying to slavishly re-create a style of 40 years ago. Spamalot is parody: silly, angry, not politically correct, glib, sloppy in places, pandering in others, and extremely funny. It achieves the spirit of Python and yet is actually inclusive — something the TV series never was. It's everything that is wonderful (and awful) about musical theater! Anyone who has interest in the musical form should see it.
Blog Comments of the Week
In response to a blog post about sighting San Francisco 49er Vernon Davis at Old Navy: Can't play with 'em! Can't win with 'em! Can't accessorize with 'em!
In response to a blog post reporting that California jobless rates are slightly less than the national average: I think if we're headed for a Steinbeck-like ending, the only difference would be the lack of luckier people downstream.