As I sit on my sofa with two of my three dogs, half watching a “Twilight Zone” marathon while trying to keep paws off my keyboard, I have to marvel at a year gone by so fast, at a year during which I have worked too hard and not written enough. It was a year seemingly unremarkable, and yet it was marked by milestones.
Early in 2012, my great guy and I left Victoria Park and moved to the beach. We loved the two-block walk to a quiet beach. We couldn’t believe our good fortune to have a beautiful manicured and fenced yard for the Boston pups. We made a tentative peace with our duplex neighbors who parked in our spots and routinely woke us up at 5 a.m. with their drunken idiocy, and we only called the police three times on the back-door neighbors who only know how to communicate by screaming and throwing household objects at each other.
Just goes to show, no matter how nice the neighborhood, there goes the neighborhood when it’s SoFla and you can’t afford $3000 a month in rent to live a block away on the Intracoastal.
Today our beach is closed, thanks to hurricane Sandy who didn’t come within 300 miles of us. At least I don’t own a million-dollar home on that now virtually nonexistent strip of sand.
On May 1, I was promoted to private event manager, promptly took 4 days off to enjoy the experience-of-a-lifetime Kentucky Derby, and then became buried in weddings, retirement parties, baby showers, and any number of surprise birthday celebrations. Mine is not a store with banquet captains, linen service, or high-end events. It is, however, an incredible learning experience every weekend based on usually great and sometimes horrible clientele. Mostly, I have learned that when reasonable and decent people host events, the events hardly feel like work; and when a bride vomits on the dance floor, a four-hour reception feels never-ending and never ends well.
This October, I was determined that my beloved Bostons would win a costume contest at their vet’s office. They did, as portrayed in my last post, dressed up as “Boston Baked Beans.” The prize included treats, a shout-out online, and a free office visit. In an incredible and incomprehensibly sad turn of events, our younger Boston Angel fell ill mere days after the photo was taken and the prizes won. On November 3, we made the surreal and so difficult decision to allow her to rest in peace.
One day your dog is seemingly fine, and the next you’re shown an X-ray riddled with splotches that mean inoperable cancer. The vet’s office applied the office visit prize to her last visit. Her ashes now rest on a shelf in the dining room, surrounded by photos of her in happier and healthier days.
Rouletta seemed dazed and aloof after Angel’s passing. My great guy perused every pet rescue Web site in Broward County, trying to find an angel to make us feel better. I worked hard to forget Angel’s last visit to the vet, which resulted only in my constantly reliving it. Our little family was, in a word, a mess.
Then a funky Pug/Boston/Beagle/Corgie and everything-else mix named Mr. Bow came to our home for a trial visit. Rouletta perked up, my great guy stopped his online searches, and I could finally let Angel rest. Once-abandoned Mr. Bow, with his turned-out paws and meat-loaf body, was all too happy to call our house his home.
And that would be the end of the story, except for a call I received while my great guy and I were watching the ponies race at Gulfstream a couple of weeks ago. “You’re on a list for a Boston Terrier and we have one. Can you come by today to see him?”
“We’re on a list?” I asked my great guy.
“We were on every list, before Mr. Bow,” he answered.
“Well, one of those lists still has us on it and they have a Boston for us to see.”
You don’t just go “see” a dog at a shelter. You kid yourself if you think you won’t walk out with a wriggling, too-skinny bundle of long legs and a slobbery face.
And now there are three.
Rouletta celebrating her 10th birthday.
Rufus, the skinny Boston, who we hope to fatten up in no time.
I saw both my kids on Christmas, the Redskins beat Dallas to win the division, and I am off tonight, New Year’s Eve. In my world, that’s a pretty nice way to say goodbye to 2012 and welcome 2013.
Happy new year to all.