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DEXTER AND RITA
The last few newsletters have included pictures of Dexter and Rita, whom I refer to as our firm’s mascots. A great number of clients have asked me about them, so we decided to talk about them in this issue. About four years ago, I was living in an apartment in downtown Chattanooga. I decided that I wanted a dog to keep me company. I have previously owned labs, boxers, a French bulldog, small mixed breeds, and large mixed breeds. Every dog I have owned was unique in his or her own way. I started doing some research, and I knew that I wanted a large dog that was intelligent and didn’t shed much. I eventually ran across a breed of dog known as black Russian terriers. They’re huge dogs! Unfortunately, the males of this breed often weigh north of 140 pounds. That seemed a bit large for the apartment — and that’s not even considering the amount and size of the … uh … droppings I would have to collect. That led me to a breed called giant schnauzers. Size? About 85–100 pounds for a male. They also shed very little, have a great temperament, and are very intelligent. All the boxes were checked, and I ended up buying a giant schnauzer whom we named Dexter. He is the male on the left in the picture below.
children. Those characteristics are typical of the breed. Fair warning, though: Giant schnauzers must be clear on who is the boss! If you cannot be a true pack leader (in the words of renowned dog trainer Cesar Millan), this is not the breed for you. Dexter was everything I wanted in a dog. Pretty soon, though, I decided
Dexter needed a companion. My wife, Casey, and I purchased Rita (above left) from a breeder in Atlanta. Rita is also a giant schnauzer, but she’s much more “standard” than Dexter. She’s jet-black and really just a beautiful animal. Rita is much more athletic and determined than Dexter. Her speed and jumping ability are quite amazing for a dog her size. I was not surprised to learn that giant schnauzers are used as police dogs and for personal protection in Europe. Like Dexter, she is also very smart and affectionate. She is a little shorter than Dexter, but she weighs more. She loves to climb into Casey’s lap and watch TV. She seems especially interested in shows with horses, although she appears to like Willie Geist on “Morning Joe”! If you have any questions about either of them or the breed in general, give me a call at 267-6715.
Dexter was the runt of the litter and weighed 12 pounds when he was about 11 weeks old but that didn’t last long! About eight months later, he tipped the scales at 95 pounds. Despite a hip issue, Dexter has turned out to be a great dog. He’s loyal, smart, protective, and very affectionate. He is also gentle with
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Baking with your children isn’t just fun — it’s educational! There’s nothing wrong with store-bought chocolate, but nothing tops the personal touch of some homemade baked goods. If you have kids, baking alongside them can be just as rewarding as enjoying the fruits of your labor. As a bonus, baking is a hands-on opportunity where your child can learn all sorts of important concepts. Here is a short list of some of the educational lessons hiding in your kitchen. Education in the Kitchen What Your Child Can Learn From Baking
Math Baking is a numbers game. Just take a look at any recipe, and you’ll recognize the importance of math in building a beautiful cake. Having children measure out ingredients helps them learn about fractions and ratios. You can also test your kids by doubling or halving a recipe for multiplication and division practice. With older kids, practice unit conversions by asking, for example, how many pints are in half a gallon. Following Directions Not unlike computer science, baking requires a strict order of operations. The wet and dry ingredients often need to be mixed separately and then folded together. It only takes one deviation from the instructions for a pastry to go from
delicious to disgusting. Spending time in the kitchen, then, is a great way for kids to learn the importance of reading directions carefully and comprehending what they’ve just read. Cultural Understanding Cuisine is a fundamental part of every culture. Introducing your child to dishes from around the world will expand their horizons. Want your child to be a less picky eater? Involving them in the cooking process is the surest way to get them excited about trying new flavors and ingredients. Nutrition Now, you might not think that baking cookies will encourage greater nutritional awareness, but hear us out. Sugar is often
buried within packaged foods. When you bake something at home, a child gets to see, firsthand, just how much sugar goes into certain sweets. Meanwhile, cooking savory dishes also allows them to learn what constitutes a balanced, healthy diet.
“These guys are great! You can tell they are very respected and confident in the courtroom. They fight very hard and truly care about their Clients. I was nervous about having to go to court until I sat down and talked with them.”
“Being faced with any legal scenario is miserable; however, while working with Johnny Houston and his team, I was able to overcome a significant obstacle. The first meeting was solid, but it was the subsequent 20 that made the difference in outcomes possible. Johnny fought from a strategic position for nearly three years. Three years!!! His advice was sound, and his strategy paid off. He saved my job, helped my family overcome through good communication, and helped me not to become overwhelmed every time I was concerned.
“Houston and Alexander are knowledgeable and experienced. They have assisted me on a couple of matters and have always provided favorable results.”
“This is the best of the best in Chattanooga.” –Ryan C.
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The federal criminal justice system can be a terrifying mystery to people who face charges. The procedures, timelines and punishments are very different from State Court cases and having an experienced attorney is a MUST! The Pretrial Stage If you become aware that you may be UNDER INVESTIGATION for a federal matter, IT IS IMPERATIVE that you immediately contact an attorney experienced in federal criminal defense. Once you are arrested, there will be a quick detention hearing to determine whether you should be released on bond. The granting of bond in federal court is rare but may be allowed under certain circumstances. There are often “conditions of bond” that may include home confinement, gps tracking, drug testing, etc. A plea bargain is possible and most cases do not go to trial. AGAIN, it is imperative that you have a COMPETENT, EXPERIENCED attorney to represent you. The Trial Stage This stage of the process requires you to be in the courtroom. It includes everything from the selection of jurors through the sentencing phase. The trial will be in front of a jury of your peers who will decide if you are guilty or not guilty of the charges levied against you. The Four Stages of a
The Sentencing Stage If a person is convicted, the sentencing phase begins well after the trial. There are many factors that will determine your sentence including criminal history, cooperation and prior criminal behavior (even if you were not convicted). There will also be a pretrial investigation by the probation department. All of this information will be used to determine where you fall in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Your attorney will likely spend many hours working on this part of your case. Federal sentences are usually very harsh and unlikely to be disturbed on appeal so it is an absolute MUST that you have experienced counsel. The Post-Sentencing Stage After sentencing, you have a right to appeal. This process is very involved and tedious. It must be handled with care and in accordance with strict time limits. Miss a deadline and your appeal could be dismissed on technical grounds. It is impossible to adequately explain the complex federal criminal system here. This is a very simplistic overview. If you, a friend or loved one is facing a federal charge, IMMEDIATELY call us at 423- 267-6715. Our attorneys will be more than happy to meet with you. In particular, Bret Alexander with Houston & Alexander is not only experienced, he formerly worked as an assistant United States Attorney in Arizona. Bret has experience prosecuting as well as defending federal matters, a unique perspective, possessed by few.
Tater Tot Bombs Bacon-Wrapped Sure, your showoff pal can wrap a tater tot with a piece of bacon and call it “The Daniel,” but you can take it a step further. Prepare a couple batches of these savory snacks for the next family get-together. Snag a few for yourself before they disappear!
Recipe courtesy of ThisGrandmaIsFun.com.
• 2 cups frozen tater tots, defrosted • 1 ounce sharp cheddar, cut into ¼-inch squares Ingredients
• 4 slices bacon, quartered • ¼ cup brown sugar • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1. Heat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 2. Press a cheese square into each tot, then wrap with a piece of bacon. Dredge each tot in brown sugar. 3. Place tots seam side down on baking sheet. Bake for 20–25 minutes, using metal tongs to turn halfway through. 4. Garnish with parsley, if desired, and serve immediately. Directions
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE Dexter and Rita PAGE 1
Cook Your Way to Better Grades
Client Testimonial s
The Four Stages of a Federal Prosecution
Bacon-Wrapped Tater Tot Bombs
A Dog and His Seeing Eye Cat
The Heartwarming Tail of Terfel and Pwditat
Judy Godfrey-Brown of Holyhead, North Wales, was at a loss when her dog, Terfel, began to go blind. Suffering from severe cataracts, the 8-year-old Labrador mix could only distinguish light and dark. Unable to navigate his own home without bumping into furniture, Terfel confined himself to the safety of his sleeping basket, too frightened to leave even when Judy called his name. Unable to afford the surgery that would help restore Terfel’s vision, Judy feared what kind of life her old friend would have. Little did she know help was on its way. One evening, a small gray cat appeared at Judy’s door, seeking shelter from the cold. When Judy let the stray inside, her fearless new houseguest approached the bedridden Terfel. Judy watched in amazement as the cat used her paws to coax Terfel out of his basket, leading the dog into the backyard! Staying
right beside the aging dog, the cat kept Terfel from bumping into anything, and the pair enjoyed a stroll around the garden before returning indoors. Judy named the newcomer Pwditat, pronounced “puddy tat,” and since that night, the two have been inseparable. Despite the old saying, “hate each other like cats and dogs,” there are plenty of examples of canines and felines getting along swimmingly. The trick is to give your cat enough space and to make sure your dog knows the cat is not something to chase. But when it comes to Terfel and Pwditat, their story is truly one of a kind. “Pwditat immediately seemed to know that Terfel is blind through some sort of sixth sense that animals have,” Judy said in an interview with Huffington Post. “They are glued to each other and even sleep together now.”
It’s clear both Terfel and Pwditat’s lives were improved by their amazing bond. Anyone would be lucky to have a friendship like theirs!
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