It has been a particularly pup filled holiday season, beginning with my troublesome but adorable Shih Tzu puppy Teddy’s 1st birthday in September, which Joanie will admit, was completely excessive, marked with a full on five- alarm fire celebration- “Holy hell, Marge, would you look at this spread!” One guest at the event, which by the way took place on the very last balmy summer evening on the patio at Farragut Gardens, commented to me later: “Joanie did you know that not one of the dogs at your party were over 8” tall?” They each had party hats, custom created of course, and from what I hear the little creatures all had a blast.
Seems like dogs are stealthily creeping into what used to be a fairly canine free existence for Dear Paul and I. In the last few years we only had the occasional visit by three sweet little poodles, Lambie, Charlie and Barney and suddenly this year we now have regular visits from Oliver- a little caramel colored puffball of a Pekinese and of course dear “Teddy Rumpus”, or “T” or “TT” or “Monkey Dinks” as I like to refer to him, who lives with us now- as well as occasional visits from Chloe, pup of Dear Sister. Chloe is a runner- a dog for whom an open door is an irresistible temptation… so she doesn’t get out to visit much. Just like the old grandma in the birthday cards “She left the house and we have no idea where the hell she is!”
That said, it has been a lot of fun to have the pups around. Nothing like a wrestling match on the down filled couch, right? Trying to dig a hole in the couch cushions to bury a chew toy seems to be one of the basic tenets of Teddy’s life lately. That and continuing to chew on the dining room chairs and snooze contentedly on our occupied bed, scratching his fleas and taking up more than his share of space. We oversee him like doting parents, and have fallen in love with dogs, do you even believe it? So, recently, when dogsitting for little Oliver, whose ears were all wet for the entire weekend because the Tedster was chewing on them, it was particularly upsetting when Dear Paul misplaced him…
As you may know, Dear Paul has the attention span (to quote David Sedaris because this is so good) of a common housefly. Things happen. Last week he volunteered to take little Ollie out for a potty break and promptly lost him! I was at the time just getting out of the shower, and I noticed Paul on the patio, in his robe (naturally), hosing the patio down like the cousin in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation with the hose. When I asked through the screen where Oliver was he looked at me blankly and said “Oh I don’t know- he was here a little while ago!” Of course I promptly went into a rage about “How could you lose him, Paul! He’s not EVEN OURS! We will lose our manny! (Oliver’s owner Jim is Teddy’s male nanny…)”
Needless to say, I threw on my robe, wrapped my wet head in a towel and grabbed the car keys, while Paul was otherwise engaged- getting ready, apparently. He can wear the robe to Albertson’s but I guess dog hunting he can’t do in it… in any case I screeched down the road and found our little charge, panting and shaking on the front porch of his house, five or so blocks away. I scooped him up, set him in the front seat and had him back to the house before Dear Paul had managed to pull on blue jeans.
These little furry people fill up places in our hearts that we didn’t even know existed, and I for one am thankful for our smiley little pup. My good friend recently lost her wonderful and faithful companion of many years, and as I reflect on the year that has just passed, I am thankful for the 10 + years she had with her. I know she will rest in the sweetest peace because she loved and was loved by a wonderful family. All dogs go to heaven. Of that I am totally convinced.
Happy New Year to the dearest of the dear. Amen and good night.