Jesse's Story


People love their pets. They become our friends, companions, entertainers and incredible service providers.  I became a dog lover at the age of 30. My transformation is a story for another day because last Tuesday we found out that Jesse’s cancer is in remission.

Jesse is a Husky who is our pet. He is not a show dog like his mom and dad, if he were we would not have had the opportunity to adopt him.  He did not have the “right stuff” for Westminster, but he sure was a cute puppy. He came to work with us when he was young. Some of our regular customers stopped in just to see him. He was missed when he decided lying around at home was better than going to work.

Sunday October 25th we came home from shopping and let Jesse outside. After a few minutes, his chilling cries caused a frantic trip to the PVSEC emergency room. We had been keeping an eye on him since he seemed a bit sick for a couple days.  A calm car ride and a relaxed wait took the edge off the event.  After an examination that lasted about an hour, a somber doctor broke our hearts. Jesse had a tumor the size of a softball and they sampled cells that appeared to be cancer. In complete shock we broke down – we were not expecting that diagnosis.  He had just chased a rabbit around the yard and he was only six years old. She said he should stay overnight for additional tests. Because of the size and location of the tumor, his prognosis was bleak. Crushed, we went home and cried all night.

On Monday October 26th an early morning call from oncologist Dr. Erfourth confirmed cancer. He would consult with the surgeon and warned that she may be reluctant to remove such a large mass. Ultra sound and x rays were recommended to look for cancer in other body parts that, if found, would necessitate euthanasia.

Tuesday October 27th we went to PVSEC veterinary hospital to visit him.  Jesse cried out when he saw us. We stuffed ourselves into his small cage trying to avoid all the iv’s and tubes and wondered if this was the last time we would see him.  Jesse has a habit of waking me up around 4:00 am every morning to go out and I promised him that I wound never complain again about doing that. After all the tests, there was a small glimmer of hope, the cancer did not appear to be in any other organs.

On Wednesday October 27th a sympathetic Dr. Erfourth came to work on his day off to discuss Jesse’s case with surgeon Dr. Julie Compton.  She contacted me and compassionately outlined the concerns and risks of surgery. After that call it all happened so fast. Surgery was scheduled for 1:00 pm that day. It was a very tense afternoon, but we received a call from an upbeat Dr. Compton about 2 hours later. I remember little from her call other than “it went as good as it could have gone”. To our complete surprise we brought Jesse home 24 hours later! Thank you Dr. Compton, you are truly amazing.

Shaved for surgery

Shaved for surgery

His hair grew back very quickly

His hair grew back very quickly


After three months of chemotherapy with Dr. Erfourth and his incredible technicians Jesse is doing well and acting like a puppy again.  Thank You PVSEC.

Working Overtime

I got a call Saturday. It seems that my 6-year-old grandson wanted to know if he could go to the shop with me and clean up the place. He did not want to go to the Carnegie Science Center with mom, his younger sister, aunt and cousin Sunday morning. He said he had been there lots of times and cleaning the shop with Grandpap was what he wanted to do. He can be relentless, as most kids can, until they get what they want. So I got the call asking if I was planning on going in to work on Sunday for any reason. I wasn’t, until the call, then I had the world’s best reason to go to work.

The little guy really likes to work. He gets so excited if he thinks he’s helping. He will hang with dad for hours working on projects around the house or struggle to push the vacuum helping mom. 

He arrives with his lunch box, and a big smile. Mom tells me he wanted 2 P & J sandwiches and 2 drinks because it was a big job and he might need stay for lunch and dinner. We talk for a while as “G” immediately picks up scraps of paper adding to a nearly full garbage can. Minutes later, I was informed that the can needed emptied. The two of us rolled the can to the recycle dumpster which has a higher opening then the regular dumpster. We push with all our might, sliding the can up until we can tilt and empty. After a spontaneous high five he turned to mom who gave him a “thumbs up”. “Grand pap, you couldn’t have emptied that without me, could you?” he asked. “No way, I wouldn’t have even tried” I responded to a euphoric little face. I reached for the handle and was told that he would pull the can up the hill to the door…..and proudly he did.

Next, we decided that the ink mixing area needed our attention. This is sloppy. Offset printing inks have the consistency of peanut butter and you need about 15 “mixing colors” to make all the Pantone colors. I have about 30 open cans and globs of ink on the table. I went to look for an ink knife to use as a scraper and “G” got started without me, with his hands. 


No need to worry, our inks are safe, vegetable oil based. We did need a lot of hand cleaner. We got the area cleaned and the ink cans organized neatly by color. 

Never thought going to work over the weekend, picking up paper, scrapping ink and emptying garbage cans could be so much fun. What a great day.
— Neil

Paper, and other stuff

Well this is my first post. I am new at this, so just going to wing it for now. I love to talk about paper, printing and anything graphics related. My wife says I talk about it too much. I guess I have bored a few customers with grain direction and basis weight rants.  When you have been around printing and paper as long as I have, I guess you can get like that.

I am lucky about a few things. After 37 years and counting, I still like what I do. Secondly, I have handled hundreds of millions of sheets of paper, printing, folding, collating, binding, hole punching, scoring, perforating….and I don’t remember one paper cut!  Now that I said that out loud, I better be extra careful Monday. Last but not least, I still have all ten fingers, a story for another day.

Maybe you will find some helpful or interesting information here. My next article will be about the excuses printers use as to why your job is not done yet. What they say, but what it really means. This is inside stuff.

I will try not to be too boring, I promise. Keep pressing on....Neil