I Love Lucy


imageDear Flash,

I was so proud of you, buddy!

You tackled the hill at Camel’s Back Park like a champ.  Though the wind was blowing (with all the intensity of a stiff breeze), and the storm clouds loomed (three thousand miles away in Boston), you waddled your way to the top.  Determinedly, you marched on, only pausing every five feet to sniff the weeds where another dog once peed.  I can only presume you were so deprived of oxygen from the altitude change (100 feet, at least), or so awed by the view of downtown Boise, that you didn’t notice the size of dog bounding up the slope to sniff your hiney.  The way she snarled and growled, it is only natural you responded by tucking your tail nub as far between your legs as it would go and trying to burrow under the chicken wire fence.  But friend, at the end of the day there is no way to hide the fact that you just had your ass handed to you by a three-pound chihuahua named Lucy.

I am shamed.


Chez Mac Princess Cruise

Dear Flash,

I struggled with the decision, when Jay and I planned a little trip to Montana, as to whether or not we should take you along. On one hand, Montana is full of cattle and sheep, which in all likelihood would provide a grand adventure for one of your ilk. On the other hand, Montana is full of cattle and sheep, and your behavior would likely incur the wrath of a hard-working rancher with a firearm who did not want his herd bunched into the back seat of a Ford Edge. Reluctantly, I decided to leave you behind. And even though I know Baby Mac and Mama C (Catherine and Ellie) would be the most gracious hostesses EVER, I felt just a twinge of guilt as I dropped you off and headed to Big Sky Country.
Just so you know, Catherine kept me abreast of your shenanigans while you were invading her house. I know, for instance that you hogged the cool air in her house by laying on the air conditioning vents. I know you terrorized the cats she was also pet-sitting. I know you drank the water from the kiddie pool faster than Ellie could fill it (and probably peed in it too when Catherine wasn’t looking.) But your behavior at meal time was the most extraordinary of all.
For the record, I know Baby Mac hand-fed you each kibble at each meal while you were there. She’s only two – she simply does not yet understand when she is being played like a fiddle. I, on the other hand, am old enough to be Baby Mac’s grandma. Which means I’m a whole lot smarter and a lot less nimble. I have seen you scarf a bowl of food in two seconds flat, without chewing. And I will not be getting my arthritic butt onto the floor to place each bite of food lovingly in your mouth. Deal with it.

Love, Nina



Fear in the Heart of God

Dear Flash,

What was Hope thinking?

Inviting you over to model good adult dog behavior is a little bit like turning a fat kid loose in a cupcake factory. Sadly. Sammy is a fast learner. Not only did she pick up on every bad habit you showed her, but she was able to replicate each one tenfold. Based on everything I observed last night, and the fact that combined the two of you combined pee enough to flood the earth, I anticipate consequences of Biblical proportions.

I’m second thought what was God thinking?

Love, Nina




The Viper

Dear Flash,

I haven’t written in a while, and I do apologize for that. Part of that has been that you’ve been on relatively good behavior. Admittedly, part of it is also that I have been distracted by other things. And while it has seemed like you have been a supportive, positive influence in the turmoil that has ensued lately, today the true Flash revealed himself once again.

You and I have traveled down many a road together. I thought you understood the basic workings of an automobile and taking a ride in the car. At least, you’ve always seemed to enjoy it. But I guess you haven’t figured everything out yet so now’s the time to tell you: they’re called windshield wipers. And while they clearly drive you mad, I must use them when it’s raining outside so that we can get home safely when riding the car. In the future if you’re confused by something please feel free to simply ask me about it. You don’t have to turn into a freaky Freakazoid every time you see something new.

Love, Nina



Thank Heaven for Little Girls

Dear Flash,

On your first Thanksgiving, you clearly felt blessed by your cousin Josie. So blessed, in fact, that you acted on your perceptions in the living room in front of the children. (The words, “Aunt Nina, Flash plays funny!” will forever echo in my head, and no doubt prompted some uncomfortable conversations in each of my brothers’ households.) You clearly have forgotten how cold the snow was, when you were thrown out into it when it was 15 degrees below zero. Did you also forget the little procedure as soon as we got home which ended in the removal of your boy bits?

Fast forward 7 years. New cousin Trudy, no children present, and you clearly felt emboldened enough to invite her into your bed. Right there in the living room in front of all of us. And she’s only a puppy, certainly making it a crime no matter what state you live in. Forgive me, but that just ain’t right, no matter who you are. Consider yourself separated.

Love, Nina




Loofa Palooza


Dear Flash,

As a child, it was not uncommon for me to spend the night in the hayloft of the barn with 40 of my closest cousins. I grew up in Butte, Montana, where a typical night of entertainment in high school was a tire iron fight on the main drag. I worked my way through school in bars and restaurants, many of them in areas of limited sophistication. I had an internship in the ER, working with people with mental illness and substance abuse problems in moments of crisis. I presently serve Alzheimer’s patients for a living. I have been married for 30 years. I really was beginning to think I had probably seen everything. Until now.

Where in the name of all that is Holy did you find the loofa, and what process in your little pea brain made you think it was a dog toy? Did you use it to scrub the butt feathers off of your hiney? Please tell me you did not use it on either of the cats. And most importantly, where is it now? On second thought, don’t tell me. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know the answers to any of these questions.

You continue to amaze.

Love, Nina




Dear Hope,

Let me start by saying, you need give Nina some grandchildren. Soon. Or maybe it’s time to just put her in a home.

I was so excited this afternoon when she invited me for a walk in the park. It all started out just fine – me doing my Happy Dog Dance at the door, Nina rummaging in the bench seat for poopy sacks. I had my usual *ahem* “constitutional” as soon as we got in the park, and pranced like a Lipizzaner pony to attract attention and collect pats on the head. When we got to the playground, though, there was an ugly and unexpected turn of events. She put ME on the jungle gym. There was an awkward moment when she tried to push my rotund rumpus down the slide. Things got downright dangerous when she completely ignored the fact that I DON’T HAVE ANY THUMBS and tried to suspend me from the monkey bars.

I think the ol’ girl’s done gone ’round the bend a little bit.