Thursday, August 16, 2007


Scooby, my Australian shepherd who is seven and a half and thinks he's one or two, got to come in early tonight. It was thundering, and this dog, who is fearless about chasing squirrels, motorcycles, school buses, strollers, and whatever else, is terrified by thunder. He loses whatever common sense he has, paws at the door, whines, and paces. So I took pity on him tonight, though he's had to tough out a lot of the storms we had this summer and spring in his very safe, very dry dog house.
Scooby is a rescued dog. I got him from the Humane Society when he was three-and-a-half. He'd been a "backyard junk dog" in a place where they had way over the legal limit of animals in the city, and his owners had been forced to relinquish several dogs. I think Scooby always had to fight for food--to this day, he'll steal it whenever he can--and he was abused, because if you hold his collar, he freaks. They told me it was a wonder he hadn't been put down already, because of his age and size, but I was horrified. He's absolutely too beautiful to put down. He was wild as a March hare then, and if he seems a bit out of control now, I tell people they should have seen him when I first got him. I think Scoob knows he's got a good deal. And, no, I didn't name him--he came with that name.
Scooby liked having Martha and Dick here, because they stayed in the guest apartment and frequently wandered through his back yard between the apt. and the house. Dick took him for a walk one morning--something I don't do because he pulls me down--and when I asked how it was, he said, "It wasn't a walk. It was a pull."

Photo by R.G. Andersen

At my request, Dick took a picture of me and Scooby on the front porch. My cousin in Canada, who is in a nursing home and has little joy in her life, loves dogs. I sent her a doggie greeting card not long ago and got back a sweet but short thank you note that she had laboriously written. Melinda in my office looked at it and said, "Do you realize how much effort it took for her to write that?" I did. So tomorrow I'll send the picture of me and Scooby to Jennifer. I hope she enjoys it. Jennifer has no other blood relatives except our aunt, who is 95 and unable to take an interest in Jennifer's affairs. So I am trying to manage them long distance--an often frustrating experience. The bank won't recognize my power of attorney because Jennifer's signature on the consent form doesn't match her signature card on file. Of course it doesn't! She's had a stroke and is bipolar. Whenever I get frustrated, I remember the time my parents were leaving on a trip, when I was about seventeen. My dad looked at me and solemnly said, "Judy, if anything happens to us, you will take care of Jennifer, won't you?" At the time my only thought was "No! Nothing will happen to my parents." But now, with both of them long gone, I hear Dad's voice saying, "You will take care of Jennifer, won't you?" And I will.
I hope each of you have a lovely day every day.

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