A pen and a pup: Korean War Navy veteran cures the blues

Ross and Schatz

With the stroke of a pen and the love of one very special pup, an elderly Korean War veteran beat the blues that dogged him after the end of a three-decades long marriage.

A self-described “writer, poet, librettist of truth and beauty,” Ross served in the Navy during the Korean War and found a four-legged sweetheart to lift him from despair after he and his wife of 35 years divorced. Following nearly 14 years of military service, the former Naval officer worked across the East Coast and now calls Michigan home.

All the while Ross harbored a burning desire to write and, upon his retirement, finally got the chance. With his permission we share a letter he wrote to our executive director.

Of old age, the sun and “the greatest experience one can enjoy”

A wise lady once told me that the worst part of old age is that nobody likes “geezers” including doctors, nurses, children, etc. Old people stink, they do not heal, they pee their pants, they drive too slow, they moan, they get lost, they snore, they can’t hear, they don’t vote, they drool, they fall, etc. Ross and Schatz shaking hands

As a diabetic male in a wheel chair with hypertension and congestive heart failure, I am “par for the course.”

However, I have orbited the star we call “Sun” over 81 times. Frankly, it is getting boring. But make no mistake, life is the greatest experience one can enjoy.

However, old age cost me my marriage of 35 years.

Despite the admonitions of my children, I continue to live alone to experience the writing career I missed because of the Korean War. Instead, I earned a BS Degree in Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1956. I served 26 months on a troop ship as a Line Officer in the US Navy and about 12 years in the Reserve. And I almost started WWIII one day in Tripoli when I armed a sailor on the quarterdeck to search the stevedores who were stealing blankets from the troop compartments.

The lure of the pen

Hope you enjoyed my book of social poetry, “Sanity for Humanity.”

My current gig is a romantic comedy for the stage, “Ghosts of Christmas Past.” Ghosts is a stage play set in Detroit in 1941 as they broadcast a radio play. The radio play chronicles the adventures of the Jewish innkeeper, Gabriel, and his Arab wife Sabihah, after they shelter the Holy Family in his stable for the birth of Jesus Christ. Ross and Schatz

Alas, the pup

Thank you for matching me with my new dog, “Schatz” (Sweetheart). We are still getting acquainted and she even minds me some of the time. She can be stubborn, but being Swedish and German, so am I.

And because of your incredible program, I am less lonely, especially during the holidays.

Our thanks to the Michigan Humane Society for helping us bring some four-legged joy – a then five year-old Border Collie renamed Schatz – into this Navy veteran’s life. Learn how you can find your own sweetheart here.


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