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-   -   Baltho, The Dog Who Owned a Man (http://www.shirleymaclaine.com/encounter/showthread.php?t=214006)

Thomas Ramey Watson 08-15-2013 12:46 PM

Thanks, Steven. I sometimes wonder if anyone is out there, but I see the string hits keep rising geometrically.

Be sure to help me spread the word and ask your local and college/univ./HS libraries to order a copy of Baltho.

Thomas Ramey Watson 08-19-2013 10:27 AM

We've experienced a bit of a miracle with Sky. I've been waiting to make sure it's lasting. So far, so good. I'm able to let him off the leash over on the fenced in peninsula so he and Melkie can run around and explore together. Sky hesitates for a bit but then takes off. Previously he refused to do anything but wait at the gate wanting to go home to safety.

At first he didn't want to follow me and Melkie back to the gate once he got going, but Melkie started fetching him and getting him to follow. Now he even stays with Melki and follows me back, though a football field behind.


And, Sky willingly goes to the door for our night walk now. For some time he resisted, not wanting to go outside after dark.

Melkie seems to be taking up his role as co-therapist for disturbed dogs now too.

Don't forget to join us on Baltho, The Dog Who Owned a Man's FB page https://www.facebook.com/BalthoTheD...Man?ref=hl--and buy the book--either from me or from Amazon or your local store. And ask your local public, college, and univ. libraries to order a copy so others might enjoy it.

Cher O 08-19-2013 01:07 PM

It's nice to see your dog coming out of its shell....
Isn't it wonderful when they do something so gratifying? Sky sounds like he was a very shy, maybe fearful, dog. Your work with him is paying dividends now. I could visualize him running and playing with Melkie and it was a very happy picture. Thank you for painting it.... Love, C.

P.S. And you ARE being read.... :)

Thomas Ramey Watson 08-19-2013 06:00 PM

Thanks, Cher. I appreciate the feedback. Sky spent his first five years as a kennel dog, going to shows, winning his Championship, and I suppose breeding. Then they neutered him and wanted someone to adopt him.

I brought him home the morning I had to take Hattie to be euthanized because she just couldn't go on. It was all too crazy.

Poor Sky lacks socialization skills but loves going in the car. I'd guess that reminds him of his past as a show dog.

Thomas Ramey Watson 08-24-2013 09:37 AM

Here a link to an article that Geoff Ward wrote about my ongoing journey with co-therapist Afghan Hound Baltho. Geoff is a British freelance writer and lecturer in English Literature living in SW Ireland. He is vitally interested in the mysterious.


Trust the mystery: Baltho, the dog with three lives
The extraordinary world of Denver psychotherapist and coach Thomas Ramey Watson and his therapy dogs. . . Tom got a message to say the Afghan pup

Thomas Ramey Watson 08-26-2013 08:27 AM

Should I start a call-in talk show?
My publicist suggests I start doing an internet talk show with call-ins. The program he's recommended gives you a two hour slot every day. I don't think I can manage that. I've got to find out if I could do it maybe twice a week. I'm thinking weekends. Days, nights?

Any ideas? I would need a number of you to call in and help keep things going.

I would no doubt center on dogs and cats, with a spiritual perspective, since that's my own focus.

Thomas Ramey Watson 08-31-2013 10:15 AM

Selling more copies of Baltho, The Dog Who Owned a Man, both paperback and Kindle. The publicity campaign, slow but sure, is helping.

A reminder: if any of you want to order 2 or more signed and inscribed copies of Baltho directly from me, I'll make you a better deal if you send me a check so I avoid the Pay Pal and other middleman charges. Just message or email me.

Thomas Ramey Watson 09-01-2013 10:28 AM

Last night both cats decided to follow me and both dogs down the street toward the peninsula. The cats dropped out midway. On our way back home, I met a neighbor out trying to get his black lab inside. We stood to talk a few minutes.

Noir soon appeared. The neighbor said, "That cat is crazy."

"That's Noir, our cat," I said.

"He follows me down the street," the neighbor said. "He'll see me and start following."

I laughed. "He more than the typical cat. He thinks he's part dog."

Noir followed me and the dogs back.

I figured Poos Poos would be home waiting. He was.

Thomas Ramey Watson 09-09-2013 07:42 PM

Well, about an hour ago, just as a big thunderstorm was starting Melchior insisted on going outside. Reluctantly, I agreed. He peed but didn't poop. There was no way I was going to keep going when the lightning was flashing and rain was starting to pour.

Noir finally came to the door soaking wet. We all stayed inside till the storm passed.

Then both Noir and Melchior insisted on going out again, with Noir following several paces behind.

We lost Noir for a bit. Suddenly, he appeared on the neighbor's four foot high wall. Melchior ran over, raised up, and tried to paw him, knocking him off onto the other side. Melchior almost leapt over the wall after him--except that I held the leash.

Thomas Ramey Watson 09-18-2013 10:27 AM

One of my neighbors complained that I had to keep Noir in my own yard because he suddenly appeared on her upstairs deck and looked in at her partner and her cat. She even sent pics to prove it.

Those are the HOA rules, she said.

I finally wrote her this. I hope it works. It isn't as though he's out attacking them or their pets.

Have you tried talking to Noir and asking him not to visit your house? He's very smart and intuitive. I know that as an old soul, he understands a lot. I've been talking to him about it because several neighbors have pointed out that our what-used-to-be bad squirrel problems have disappeared because of his patrols. Maybe a year before Noir arrived, [name] had squirrels invade their attic and ruin their wiring and insulation, costing lots of money to repair. Frank was telling me that he and his wife watch Noir running around my roof chasing the squirrels off. I know he does that elsewhere. And he also keeps them from destroying my fruit and vegetables as they used to. I heard that he no longer hangs out at [name]'s as he did for awhile when their cats interested him.

Channel 9 News Storytellers is interested in doing a story about me and the incarnations of Baltho and Figgy, who, as I've mentioned, are now Melchior and Noir.

Btw, please put in a word in support of Storytellers doing a segment on this. They're dragging their heels after expressing interest. https://www.facebook.com/9NEWSstorytellers

ShelleyD 09-22-2013 07:19 PM


A really nice note you wrote in response to that lady. I hope it settled her down. And very good point you made about your cat helping to keep the squirrel damage down.
I have a cat who is now about 16. In her youth she was quite a rat hunter. We used to live in an apartment complex in So. CA that had a bad rat/mice problem for the simple reason that the lush, tropical foliage they used to decorate the landscaping attracted them. A lot of palm tree/rats. I used to joke that they should give me a discount on my rent for all of the rats that she helped to eliminate. ;)

Good Luck on that!!

Thomas Ramey Watson 09-23-2013 01:06 AM

Originally Posted by ShelleyD

A really nice note you wrote in response to that lady. I hope it settled her down. And very good point you made about your cat helping to keep the squirrel damage down.
I have a cat who is now about 16. In her youth she was quite a rat hunter. We used to live in an apartment complex in So. CA that had a bad rat/mice problem for the simple reason that the lush, tropical foliage they used to decorate the landscaping attracted them. A lot of palm tree/rats. I used to joke that they should give me a discount on my rent for all of the rats that she helped to eliminate. ;)

Good Luck on that!!

Thanks Shelley.

My neighbor reminded me that we also have lots of mice and other vermin around here because of all the water and vegetation around it, which Noir also helps to keep under control.

I tried to make him an indoor cat in the beginning but he just wouldn't do it. He knows he must be in for the night. Usually he's good at returning home by then.

Thomas Ramey Watson 09-25-2013 06:42 PM

The Necessity of Symbols
My book of poetry, The Necessity of Symbols, will soon be available in both paperback ($5.99) and on Kindle ($3.99). As always, it bears my body, mind, soul slant that stems from Christian mystical tradition. Here's the inscription:

But now, to the best of our ability we use symbols
appropriate to things Divine, and from these
again we elevate ourselves, according to our degree,
to the simple and unified truth of the spiritual vision.
Pseudo-Dionysius, On Divine Names

The book is 100 pp. Unlike lots of modern poetry, it's approachable (and not drivel). Many of the poems have been published in various widely circulated magazines and journals.

Thomas Ramey Watson 09-30-2013 06:04 PM

Here is the cover for The Necessity of Symbols, which should be available later this week.

Thomas Ramey Watson 10-04-2013 02:50 PM

I was shopping today when a white rescue poodle in someone's cart caught my attention. I looked into his eyes and thought, "You're a male, aren't you?"

I walked on. A few feet later, I heard him say, "I'm unhappy." Not something I experience often.

So I looked at a couple of items and decided to go back to see him. I asked the owner if he wasn't a male.

"Yes," she said.

"He just told me he's unhappy." I reached out to pet his face.

"He doesn't like going shopping with me," she said. "He hates staying home even more."

We talked awhile, and she wanted a copy of Baltho.

She went before me into the checkout line. Just as soon as she'd paid, I noticed how happy he looked.

Thomas Ramey Watson 10-04-2013 07:10 PM

I posted this on my FB page and am getting quite a bit of discussion. Come over and join us--or start a discussion here. One person had a hissy fit and unfriended me. But every time I've brought up sensible gun control laws she overreacts and thinks I'm out to take her guns. https://www.facebook.com/thomas.watson.790

Thomas Ramey Watson 10-09-2013 07:08 AM

I forgot that I didn't have the Library of Congress number for The Necessity of Symbols. Otherwise, it would have been released last week as promised. So... Still waiting.

Thomas Ramey Watson 10-11-2013 12:40 PM

I just realized that the Library of Congress is shut down too. No wonder I keep waiting and waiting for their number!

Thomas Ramey Watson 10-29-2013 02:46 PM

If you buy a paperback copy of Baltho, the Dog Who Owned a Man from Amazon you can now also buy the Kindle edition of it for $2.99. A real deal, since the Kindle by itself costs $9.27.

Thomas Ramey Watson 11-01-2013 11:24 AM

Got the Library of Congress number so I'll be able to release the new book maybe tonight or tomorrow.

So, tell me readers, do you think I should wait till Monday? Or does it matter?

Thomas Ramey Watson 11-02-2013 11:42 AM

The Necessity of Symbols is now ready to order from the Amazon E Store at $5.99
and will then be listed on Amazon in a week or so.

The Kindle edition will be available within 24 hrs. at $3.99. I'm making it available at a special Kindle Matchbook price of $1.99 when you also purchase the paperback.

Even though it's poetry, you should find it approachable. As usual, strict Christians balk at the sensuality of my work, and those with allergies to spirituality in any form balk at the spiritual core.

Here's the Foreword:

Foreword: What Body?

You still believe the body is a temple for the spirit? Then read Thomas Ramey Watson and be delighted and appalled with him! The Necessity of Symbols plays again and again on the sacredness of the body—the body in love, the body in ecstasy of spirit and memory, even the body of Christ in communion.
Like the forgotten troubadours, the poet gives a credible poetic ground that loving the beloved’s body is close to loving God, or at least appreciating the universe. “Knot Intrinsicate” celebrates a woman’s power:

I am seventeen—
you, soft-voiced Guenevere.
But a Russian doll,
you held inside Mary,
hawk of Catholicism,
and Cleopatra,
salad of the crescent world:
eaten—undone—whole again.

In a long poem that summarizes loss of job, loss of wife, loss of environment (Colorado), the poet holds psalms and songs in memory step by step of the way, shoring up the many threats to his spiritual life (“A Book of Hours”):

My mind
stayed on echoes:
whether one eats

God's words,
or wakes
within them—
does upheaval
always follow?

In the poem, “Holy Communion,” the poet does not scruple to equate the host with two lovers, who, as the poem progresses are separated, however, with the finite limits between them implicitly contrasted to God’s infinite love: “Broken from you, / I am set on a shelf.” However, the lover remains an inspiration:

past the fragrance of ankles and thighs,
lingering on chest and neck, to pause
on tiny moles like cinnamon
sprinkled about your mouth

that explored with words, and tongue,
and smile, then to those eyes,
brown as buttered crust on fresh-baked bread;
still I hear your voice, yeasty, low.

These are fine points of a book with a broad sweep—poems about family, poems contrasting the poet’s native Denver with the signal cultural meccas of Europe, poems most often of joy. The range is admirable and the poems intricate and dedicated to spiritual growth, with creation the touchstone where reality is tested and embodied.

Alan Naslund, author of Silk Weather

Thomas Ramey Watson 11-03-2013 09:41 PM

The Kindle version of The Necessity of Symbols is now available on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Necessity-Sym...sity+of+Symbols

Thomas Ramey Watson 11-05-2013 12:51 PM

Hey, you who like detective work. One of the poems in the collection is about my having breakfast with Vanessa Redgrave some times ago. Can you figure out which one it is? There are clues in the text.

Thomas Ramey Watson 11-08-2013 07:59 AM

Yesterday I had the pleasure of talking with Tom Martino on his radio show "The Troubleshooter." We ended up talking for some time about my book Baltho, the Dog Who Owned a Man. He was very interested and gracious in knowing more about me, about the book, and about my ongoing experiences with the dog first known to me as Baltho. As as result, Amazon.com sales of the book really shot up last night, both in paper and on Kindle. I had been pretty worried because my rank among paper backs had dropped the lowest it's ever been, over 2 million. And the Kindle had dropped to 933,000. The paper back and Kindle ranks last night were just under 100,000. Great news. Thanks Tom!

Don't forget the Amazon.com Matchbook special now: You can get a Kindle for $2.99 if you also buy the paperback.

Thomas Ramey Watson 11-10-2013 10:04 AM

Today is Melchior's first birthday. I recall vividly how I was walking along the big lake on Sunday, 11 of November, of last year, when I heard Hattie's voice announce, "I'm born."

We were expecting her to be born later in the week. I PMd the breeder Deb Ridley, who said he'd been born on Saturday and was indeed "an unexpected color," just as she'd told me she'd be so I'd know her from her littermates, who were black and silver--and was indeed a male.

Hattie had told me she wanted to be called Melchior this time. The inner voice I'd been hearing soon switched from that of a mature female to that of an eager young boy.


Thomas Ramey Watson 11-10-2013 10:07 AM

Here's Melchior with his cat Noir, who, Hattie told me had been Figgy/Figaro during the life as Baltho.


Thomas Ramey Watson 11-14-2013 07:32 PM

I just uploaded Melchior's birthday pictures on my FB page, which is public, so everyone can view them. https://www.facebook.com/thomas.watson.790

Thomas Ramey Watson 11-25-2013 05:15 PM

I just got some copies of my new book, The Necessity of Symbols. http://www.amazon.com/Necessity-Sym...sity+of+symbols

You can buy them directly from me and I'll sign them, just as with Baltho, the Dog Who Owned a Man. I'll get Pay Pal button up on my site for it ASAP. I'll make you a special deal if you buy two or more books. They'll make sweet little Christmas and Holiday presents. I'm thinking of offering 2 signed books for $10 plus $3 S & H. I'll do more if you want more than 2. Just write and let me know.

Thomas Ramey Watson 11-25-2013 05:17 PM

I'm even thinking about bringing out before Christmas my most mystical book of poems about a series of soul travel and soul retrieval experiences that lasted well over a year. I just found it and realized how lovely so many of the poems are--and how intriguing the tale.

Here are two poems from this collection:

Here's are two of my favorite poems from this collection:


Like Orpheus,
I would descend
to where you weep,
from all who would pursue
and pluck you
the finest flower
of earth's meadows.
In song’s brilliance
you'd bud again.

Like Christ,
I’d search
the darkest realms
for just your soul.
Finding its light
alloyed by baser metals,
flickering and cobalt,
we'd tune our wings,
making every turn and lifting his.

I come to fields
with bachelor's buttons
among the golds and greens
and hesitate,
hoping for a glimpse of you—
your voice,
your eyes
so deep,
so blue.


Artesian Waters

but perhaps you chose this body
not so that you'd not be alone
but that all might see
that physical attraction
is not sufficient.

You've slept so long
that you weep when I tell you
what you've revealed
in dream,
when all the eyes of being
open like peonies,
their nectar
having drawn healing,
like the helping ant, near.

Your sadness reaches
like your hand—
clutched in you for a moment,
I perceive that you've arched
into the doorway:
no longer alone,
your deep beauty has drawn me
through space and time
in a curved line.

Clenched in your belly
like a stillborn child
lies your sorrow.
At first thinking it my own,
I recognized the pain as yours:
the notes greener
and more reedy.

Today I heard your joy,
welling like sweet water
that you'd dowsed
but lost,
years ago.

here, in the still, small voice,
the point
of all that is
and was and will be,
the word still bubbles still
still, Come.


Thomas Ramey Watson 11-27-2013 12:20 PM

I now have on my website information about my new poetry book, The Necessity of Symbols, along with Pay Pal buttons so you can buy signed and inscribed copies directly from me. You are also welcome to send me a money order or personal check.


Thomas Ramey Watson 11-29-2013 09:25 AM

Douglas County Libraries are buying paperback copies of my books, Baltho, the Dog Who Owned a Man, and The Necessity of Symbols--as well as eBooks of both for their patrons. They're really supportive of Colorado authors.

Thomas Ramey Watson 12-20-2013 12:21 AM

Kindle Countdown Deals
Kindle just started a super countdown deal on Baltho for $3.99 as well as The Necessity of Symbols for $1.99. Prices go up in 3 days to $6.99 and $2.99--and then back to their regular price on Dec. 26 at 11.00 p.m PT.



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