If My Pet Could Talk

Kissy Face White Puppy Dog Love, Kahuna Luna c...

Image by Beverly & Pack via Flickr

True, True Love

I’m Callie and I am a nine year old “mixed breed” or mutt as some would say and my mom is the best mom EVER. I’m her favorite child because she says that I just give unconditional love and my siblings are both teenagers and they have something called “attitude.” I don’t. I just love to lie on my mom’s bed and we talk and she rubs my belly and I lick her face. I know when she is sad so then I just go up to her and kiss her cheeks and she puts her arms around my neck and cries some more but it’s now like a happy cry. She doesn’t leave me alone all day and I’m so lucky. I’m a lazy dog and I definitely fit in with THIS family. My mom picked me, yes me and not my stupid sister at the shelter and it was love at first sight. I told my sister not to eat all the electrical wires there but she didn’t listen. Hey, sometimes my Mom and Dad say that about my HUMAN siblings too about how they “don’t listen.” I listen and I crawled right into my mom’s lap and stayed there and never left.
At meals, I always sit next to her, my chin rests on her leg. I don’t bark, she likes all her children to be polite but when I look into her loving eyes, she always cuts a piece of food (or 3) for me and hides it in her hand so Dad won’t see it even though everyone knows she does it and that she’s a sucker for me! My mom loves food and she shares, my new favorite are ginger snaps and my mom was surprised but I LOVE THEM. She puts half in her mouth and the other half she lets me have because I go right up her mouth and the cookie and eat it. We share. My mom was also surprised when I liked blueberries but she stopped letting me lick hand lotion off her hands because some mean woman at the vet’s office said it wasn’t healthy. Who does she think she is? It was good for my pretty coat of hair.

My mom and my sister always have a birthday party for me, every year on March 1st. They invite my good human friends Margaret and Christina and John, but my brother and father are NOT INVITED on purpose because they think it’s stupid. I don’t even care. I get presents and a special meal and they sing the “Happy Birthday Song.”

So, Dad, I know you are the alpha male but ‘ll tell you now, it’s not MY fault I shed so PLEASE put away those stupid sticky tape rolls and stop with the vacuuming already, that vacuum machine scares me and there’s only so much noise I can take. My mom now puts a clean sheet on top of the bed so we’re all happy.

My mom is the best; I love her and she loves me. There is nothing she wouldn’t do for me and there is nothing I wouldn’t do for her. It’s Love, True Love. Lick. Lick.

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Happy Birthday Daddy

Wiener Schnitzel

Image via Wikipedia

November 13th is my dad’s birthday, he would have been 88. He passed away almost 9 years ago but the pain on holidays, birthdays, Father’s Day, is the same raw pain as the day he died.  It’s a pain that is hard to describe for people who have never lost a parent. Believe me, I know.

Instead of wallowing in depression this year I am going to try to remember and honor the man I loved so dearly. His blue-gray eyes, child-like qualities, generosity, pep-talks and his warmth. I miss the soft yet sturdy hugs as if a limb of my own had been amputated. I miss the familiar smell of his after-shave cologne that he sprayed with enthusiasm. My dad and I were very similar; he and I had an amazing connection and a strong emotional bond. We thought alike and we completely understood each other. The day he died, my heart was gauged with intense pain, my heart missing an essential beat.

My dad and I had so much fun together when I was younger. We traveled to  Vienna, Austria, where my grandparents lived. We ate sugary-sweet meringues that were shaped like delicate white swans and sipped hot chocolate with “schlag”  (whipped cream). We ate exploding red-berry sweet and sour tarts in Viennese cafes. My grandmother would fry up her famous wiener schnitzel,  served with plump lemon wedges every single night.

I was in first grade when my mom couldn’t come to open school day but my dad came. I think he was the only father in the class and I was so proud, so happy that he was there. I remember sharing my milk and cookies with him and I felt so important. At a shared birthday party with a friend he surprised me by coming home from work early, sneaking into the party like a secret surprise. It was a joy so innocent and so intense that I remember the feeling to this day. I was shocked and delighted as I wrapped my arms around his tall legs like a clinging, furry animal. Back then dads’ weren’t as involved in their children’s’ lives as they are today but he always had time for me; his little one, his mouse, his baby.

We had adventures, the two of us. My mother worked a great deal, she traveled the world being a tour director and translator. One night my father and I went out to a Spanish restaurant and sipped sangria, with glistening, beaming chunks of bright oranges and green apples bobbing in the rich, red wine. We toasted people we knew with every sip we took. The more we sipped the stranger the toasts were. I remember we toasted a wall -paper hanger guy that never showed up to our house, people we barely knew and random people from the past.

We went to the bagel store together, early on a Sunday morning and the store was closed. However, the fresh, warm, doughy bagels had already been delivered to the store in huge paper sacks. My dad happily took some and we left, an experience a teenager doesn’t forget! We would go grocery shopping at a huge Pathmark store with my mom and he and I would find the biggest size jars of silly things: three-pound troughs of peanut butter and dill pickles, tubs of mandarin oranges and hide them in the cart as a joke. My mother would roll her eyes and shake her head, clearly not amused, but my dad and I would laugh hysterically. Often, there would be open boxes of cookies or candy and we would help ourselves to free samples. Back then, we weren’t worried about poison or germs or anthrax.

My father spent his entire life working for TWA,  getting free airline tickets for our family.  My father, mother, older sister and I flew to: France, Greece, Portugal, Israel, Switzerland and Germany. First class seats were a mere eight dollars extra but that was a lot of money years ago and a very special treat.

This Saturday on my dad’s birthday my husband and I are going to visit my mom and take her out for lunch, we don’t want her to be alone. I know that spending the day with my mom would make my dad very happy.  He loved my mom more than anyone else in the world. Later, that night, my kids and I will remember him with his own, signature and messy concoction, “Papa’s game”: a “mixture” containing  little bits of everything that is leftover on our plates and in our glasses, swirled together with a spoon and a smile. This year, I will toast to his memory.

20 ( Illness- Free) Random Things About Me

Jelly Doughnuts

Image by JMRosenfeld via Flickr

1)  I hate spam in my folder and if it reaches above 10 or 15 I HAVE to delete it. I won’t wait the month they promise to automatically delete it. I don’t trust them, plus I’m a little OCD.

2) Need to love my dinner on Sundays. An old family tradition dating back to when I was a child.

3) Still love and own (and may purchase more) stuffed animals or as I call them “friends.” And, I’m not embarrased about it.

4) I have been known to put either grape jelly or strawberry jam on pizza. Happily. It started with dry pizza in college, it has continued. Don’t judge, try it.

5) I am happy for 3 seasons of the year. Winter? Not so much.

6) I have NO sense of direction but can remember every word from a fight with my husband that happened 25 years ago. (My husband hates this.)

7)  I love jelly doughnuts:  I always pick raspberry jelly instead of strawberry jelly at Dunkin’Donuts. Made that mistake once, won’t make that mistake again.

8) I don’t care about my age but I always care about my birthday. I used to think it should be a National Holiday…..and why isn’t it?

9) If there was a fire and my family and dog were safe and I could pick one item to save it would be Nokey, my frail, old stuffed animal that my Dad bought me when I was two. Nokey (from not knowing how to say Monkey, will be 52 on my/our birthday) in October.

10) My favorite cake is a cake that is chocolate with layers of raspberry jam and chocolate cream. An Americanized version of the Austrian Sacher Torte.

11) My husband is an absolute sweetheart who makes me a cup of coffee every morning; he makes a mean gazpacho too.

12) I sometimes worry about things before they happen, called anticipatory anxiety.

13) I don’t get people who get “high” on exercising. Never has happened, never will. I guess I’d have to exercise more to find out. LOL. So not happening.

14) The cicadas singing their songs at night in the summer comforts me. I imagine them having conversations with each other as I try to fall asleep.

15) I used to throw up in the bushes before day camp every day when I was little.  Did my parents think this was normal behavior?

16) Old friends are not “always” there. Some are, some aren’t. There is no guarantee. New friends are a special gift.

17) Chris Rock changed the way I think about my hair. I had my natural brown color glaze to hide the fake highlights he said everyone in his audience had.

18) Love Arnold Palmer lite iced tea and lemonade mix.

19) I used to have a crush on John Denver and before that, Bobby Sherman. In my fantasy we sang on stage, together.

20) Did I mention how much I love jelly doughnuts?