Life had changed.
The engagement was over.
With good friends life was moved to Austin, TX and we are all better for this change. Ed and I got there first. Laid the groundwork for a home that once Clare arrived a few months later became cozy and absolutely fun.
As the lease was coming to renew at the end of year 1, I knew that they were planning the next stage of their relationship and that I could more readily move myself to a new place.
I found the cutest little 1 bedroom house. A place that had a huge yard that simply screamed for a dog.
The ex- was a cat person and so that was also a good break from bad tastes left lingering. I went to Town Lake Animal Shelter in Austin, TX and had a heart wrenching stroll looking at all of the different dogs. Some had heart worms. Some were old. (more…)
It’s a long trek from my apartment in Manhattan to my parents’ home in the Ozarks of Missouri. Usually I would take the standard trio: a train, a plane, and an automobile. But this time I met my boyfriend in Pennsylvania and we drove. My dad’s home cooking alone is worth the trip; on this particular occasion he’d spent the hot June night in his camo-boxers, wide awake, meticulously monitoring a smoking pork shoulder as we drove under the black starry sky. West Virginia, Iowa, Ohio, Illinois and onward, we were motivated partly by the relaxation of the country, and more by the deliciousness of the barbeque we were sure to be eating later that day. And, as planned, we finally arrived, immediately crashing as we slept off the twenty-hour drive, waking just in time for a perfect late afternoon dinner on the front porch.
As it turned out, we weren’t the only ones who had travelled a long way for my dad’s home cooking. First, I must mention here that my parents’ neighbors have an ever-changing and indeterminable number of dogs, averaging around eleven. My parents themselves have four. And every time we eat on the porch, they all lounge about, spread amongst the grass, drooling and staring, all with fixed gazes on our plates, ready for my dad’s famous “Oh Boy, Oh Boy, Oh BOY!” which is the end-of-meal cue to come and get ‘em. I would never have noticed an outsider dog in this motley crew, except that, this night, when the “Oh Boy, Oh Boy, Oh BOY” came, there was one dingy brown beagle who looked very pathetic and who meekly stayed behind while the others fought over the scraps. On account of this pup’s good manners, I knew he definitely did not belong to the neighbors; on account of his nasty looks, I knew he definitely did not belong to my parents.
As it turned out, no one at the table had ever seen this beagle before but, considering his condition, he had obviously been lost for some time. I remember being a little grossed-out by the huge ticks all over his face (one was so big he could barely open his left eye), but I felt sorry for the little guy. Unfortunately, due to the high number of strays and abandoned dogs in our area, my parents make a rule to never feed them anything too tasty that might keep them around, conceding that there are plenty of dry dog food bowls in the yard. That being said, I chose to forgo the pork, but went over and gave the little pup a nice ear scratch. Maybe it was the ear scratch, or maybe it was the smell alone that kept him around. Either way, he plopped down right there at my feet and got comfortable on the grass. He looked like a dog that had been wandering for a year and, this night, finally decided to lie down for the first time. (more…)
I want to remember how I found you because this year I lost you.
I wanted another dog because Ms. Beesie the Cocker was sleeping too much during the day. She was only five-years-old and it was decided that she needed a playmate. Watching the Westminster dog show, we noticed the Clumber Spaniel who won Best in Show: a comical looking white dog that looked like a Basset hound with the face of a St. Bernard. There was a picture of him in the paper with three tennis balls in his mouth. We decided we wanted a Clumber Spaniel. We researched the breed and found a breeder. There would be a litter in 2 months. It was so exciting waiting for you and hoping that Ms. Beesie and you would get along.
The day finally came when we would go and pick you up at the breeder’s house about 2 hours away. We couldn’t wait to see you; until then we had only been sent pictures of you at four weeks old. We named you Charley Parker after the famous jazz musician. You were huge and white and chunky looking with light tan heart-shaped marking on the side of your back. (more…)
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