Friday, January 11, 2013

Family dogs and the misfits...

When I was growing up we always had a dog in the house, usually more than one much to my mother’s dismay.  Some of us would bring them home and soon after forget to look after them.  Somehow they got fed and cared for (I'm sure by my mom) who already had a multitude of things to do.

The first dog I remember was a beige standard poodle named Snuffy.  He was there one day when I got home from Kindergarten.  I remember being afraid of him.  I'm sure that didn't last long, he was a good guy.  He ate the peas I used to fork onto the floor along with other vegetables I didn't like and refused to eat.  What's not to like about that when you're six?

We had plenty of other dogs after Snuffy too.  There was Oscar and Batts and I even had Wilbur - although he was mine during college and not really a family dog.
When I got married we found a breeder and got Clarice, a Samoyed (looks like a pure white Husky).  We chose her name from Rudolph... remember her? she was his girlfriend.  I always loved the scene about his nose, it never ceased to crack me up each year even though I knew what she was going to say. 

I even have the CVS misfits.  You might too if you were in that craze...  If you don't I'll tell you about them. They were popular years ago and I ran all over town to every CVS store buying them so I could gather the whole crew.  They're stuffed animals.  A new one came out each week so it wasn't possible to get them all at once. I even went so far as buying some on eBay because I was obsessed with having the complete collection!  I'd be disappointed if the store was sold out.  My sister and I would call each other to see what store had which ones.  We'd try and buy them for each other too. Good memories - and a staple in my Christmas decorating each year (except this one since I didn't decorate)... I totally digressed from my "dog" topic...
Along with Clarice we got Chelsie, a shepherd mutt, protective and laid back.  Unlike Clarice who was, in my opinion - a very selfish dog.  She had an attitude and often seemed to be in a bad mood.  Chelsie was always happy for a pat on the head or a snack, Clarice, not so much, very stingy with affection.
Most recently I adopted "Happy" a toy poodle. He was a rescue from Kentucky who was not long for this world if someone didn't take him in.  Lucky me!  The adoption group insisted on seeing my home and meeting everyone who lived in it so they would feel satisfied the dog would be properly cared for.   When the woman arrived and brought in this scrawny underweight pup I called Chris downstairs to meet him.  The little guy bounded around the room, Chris looked over at me and said "Seriously??? That's our new dog???"  Of course I gave him dagger eyes with the adoption lady in the house listening. 
He grew on Chris though, Chris loved him - as does Bailey and her sister Nikki.  I think they may come to visit him more than me!  Chris called him "Dragon Breath" and "Pooper Head". He's a very cute little guy and I'm glad he keeps me company when I'm blue.  We sit in Chris's room together sometimes and he stretches out on that soft tempurpedic bed.
I've always been a dog person, not much on cats.  I like to hear them coming when they wander down the hall.  They bring comfort and cause laughs with their antics and personality.  I hope you too have a pet to snuggle and love.
I'll leave you with this text exchange between Chris and me the night before he passed... Kind of appropriate for this blog...

Thank you for reading.


  1. I love snuggling with my two big labs when I'm sad. I'm glad you have a dog to cuddle too :)

  2. Happy looks like a miniature version of Snuffy! I thought that the first time I saw him. I think that you found each other and you introduced to Chris the kind of dog that we had when we were little, and who we loved too. So Chris bonded to Happy and Happy has given us good memories from the past and present. Love you, Joe

  3. We got a dog right after 9/11 to bring some joy back into our house when my kids were 12 and 8. They thought it was important to "rescue" a dog from a pet store. So off we went and got Biscuit, a Chinese crested powder puff (also part of the toy breed). He is simply the best dog who ever was (such a wonderful feeling that most dog lovers will attest to). I think their therapeutic value is incalculable. I hope Happy has been and will be a tremendous comfort to you...and another link to Chris' presence in your midst.

  4. And in another sign, "69" was part of the secret Google code I had to type in to get my comment published this a.m.!

  5. Regina. I too love doggies. Have always had one. Recently rescued one and he is the best dog ever. They sense when your blue and they are surely mans best friend. "Happy" came into your life for a reason. "Happy" is what Chris wants you still to be! And your doing a wonderful job with that. Chris is "Happy" to see that when he is near you.

  6. Clarice what a name for a dog:) I'm laughing inside because I used to hate for people to find out my middle name. I didn't like it when I was young. It was given to me because I was named after my grandmother. When people ask now I say my middle name it's "Clarice" you know like Rudolphs girl friend. I love the name now because it reminds me of a Grandmother I was named for but never got to know because she passed just before I was born. But I was also given the honor of being born on her birthday Jan 7th. I'll keep the name. Thanks for sharing and making a connection with me today that made me smile:)

  7. Regina great blog this morning. My boys want a dog but having a dog comes great responsibility and a lot to take care of. Its like having another child in the house to look after.
    When I was younger right before I entered into second grade I had spit my chin open, had forty stitches and on our way home from the emergency room we saw this poodle mutt in the ditch. I told my parents to pull over. I got out and this little dog was cold and hungry. I looked at my parents and said we have to save her. We took her home I named her Casey. I took care of this poor little helpless dog and was part of the family till one day when she past. After that I was heart broken but we ended up getting another dog and her name was Amy. Amy loved all of us. Friendly would snuggle us when we were sick. Anyway to get back to my boys. Years ago when they were younger we were given a rodie/hound mix we had her for ten months but I have to get rid of her because she started to snip at the boys.
    We now have a cat and she knows when the boys are sick she will snuggle them and follow them she is a cute little gray chocolate strip cat. The things she does make us laugh.
    Thanks for sharing I enjoy your blogs daily.

  8. Aww, that was great. You made me laugh so hard this morning. Sometimes technology gets such a bad wrap, but you like me must save your texts...Thank God you have that stuff to look back at. Everyone always says to me, why do you save all that stuff on your phone, it would run faster if you didnt. Not sure why I do, anything involving my kids, hubby, or family I guess I have a emotional attachment to. My phone broke after my grandmother passed away last year and I was frantic making sure they transfered the sim card correctly so I didnt loose all her voicemails, its nice to have technology sometimes!

  9. Happy is so cute! Love the ending to your blog! That made me laugh. I just want to say I'm totally obsessed with u and your blogs! I'm a mom of 4 kids. 3 boys one girl. Ages 15,13,8,and 2 on Monday. My daughter is the oldest. U really help me as a mom. As I get mad and aggravated a lot at the stupid little things. Like when the seat is left up, to the boys being loud and wrestling in the floor. When I really don't want to hear it at that time. To last night after my sons basketball game his stinky clothes. Lol I thought of u. When u wrote about how Chris would smell after a game. As I start to get to the point where I'm gonna go say something to them. U come to mind. All the the things u no longer can do. So I stop and think one day I could lose these little things So what I'm saying is dont sweat the little things. Thank u. I'm sure with me and many others u are are teaching us all to cherish what we have.
    U really are a great person. Thank u for your posts.

  10. Good morning Regina. Your blog made me laugh. The similarities again reach out to me. We have a Standard Poodle (Rusty) who was a rescue. We are his 3rd and forever home. It warms the heart to save an animal. He's a lucky boy too, because a few months after we rescued him he was diagnosed with Addison's disease and we were just talking in the car on the way to school this morning. He is a $21,000+ dollar dog to date! He's turning 11 on Sunday. When he was diagnosed we had no idea how long he would survive, depending on how the medicines worked, and here we are, 10 years later visiting the vet every 25 days with him for his medicine! You would never know he had the disease. It's amazing what we do for our pets. We also have a boxer who is the clown in the house, and like you said, adds a certain comfort and cause laughs with their antics and personality. Brooke does that hourly! If you haven't witnessed a boxer in rare form, you are missing out. We were just taking pictures of her precious nose and lips last night because she has the best "mug" around!

    The picture of the text made me smile. I wrote a poem after the memorial on December 5 and little did I know, instances would keep coming up that would draw me back to the truth in the words that I put on the paper. I hope this poem brings you a sense of comfort. It was written after Chris' friend spoke some truly amazing words...

    We Must Smile

    Through the tears, a grieving teen said “we must smile”,
    How true I thought, because life is so fragile, we are here such a short while...
    It is our life to live to the fullest each day,
    Making each day count ~ it is the only way.

    The only way is to make a lasting “footprint in the sand”,
    Those who are reading this, are sure to understand…
    To make our life count ~ so when we are gone,
    Those who knew us will reflect, and help us live on.

    Live on through the examples we set,
    Those whose lives we have touched, this message they will get...
    It’s okay you didn’t know us until we were gone,
    God works in mysterious ways, our presence will now go on.

    Do not let those who pass before you be in vain,
    Help those around you, their happiness to sustain…
    Try to move past the sadness and tears,
    “Smile” each day, as you walk through your years.

    We are in heaven looking down,
    A smile on your face we want to see, not a frown…
    Be happy our lives were rich and full of love,
    Go on with your days, and we will be watching from above.

    ©Justine Crowley-Duncan
    December 5, 2012, Latham, NY

  11. Aunt Gina- I am cracking up over the text message between you two. PRICELESS! He is too funny. Love you xoxo. ~Anita

  12. My husband calls this "fuzz therapy". Animals always make us feel better.

  13. I did the same things with the family especially my 13 year old thought I was glad you rescued that dog he needed you and god knew you would need him.i know the comfort of having that small dog there when you need them most.they seen to know when we are down and need them most.

    Last nite was amazing and after we went home to celebrate my sons 13"b'day.we had an extra candle for Chris since they share so many qualities.i am in awe of you and how you go on.please keep writing and fighting for speeding and driving with drugs in your are my hero and don't know if I could do what you sure my son would want me to be a fighter and never give up so my irishness would come out in strong force.god bless all of you and remember every sign u see that may have never been there before is Chris.hope to meet you give me hope that our world will be better BC of people like you and your husband

  14. Regina, I've never commented before, but I look forward to this blog and read daily. This post, in particular, really warmed my heart. I often find myself wondering, as I read, how does she do it? You have a beautiful way of igniting such warm, fuzzy, nostalgic feelings within us during a time where, if I were you, I'd just want to hunker down and be selfish. Yet you continue to share so much of yourself, your family and Christopher. It's truly remarkable and admirable.

    I loved reading that text message between you and Chris. It really shows both of your personalities and gave me a chuckle... so thank you! :) My daughter is only 18 months old, but I know the kind of mother I want to be for her. I want to have that unique combination of parent and friend, like you.

    You inspire me.

  15. I read your blog every day. I have only posted one other time. Today your blog made me smile. You remind me of all I have. To cherish my children. (who are now adults but that dosen't seem to matter.) Thank you for all that you do. Your son Chris pops into to my head every day. I have a brother Chris who passsed 5 years ago Dec 21st.Your son makes me think of him often. Remember to see the signs. My brother sends me the number 21 in the most random places. I saw a car the other day when I was out. What did I here "that's Ruby". My mom's nickname in high school Ruby. (she passed 31 years ago.) So thank you for your blog. Please keep writing. Chris, you, and your fmily are always in my thoughts. <3

  16. Regina, this too is my first comment. I read the blog everyday and am truly amazed at how your hold yourself together and compose yourself so well. You truly have a talent for writing, and I feel I know you and your family, Christopher's girlfriend and friends, and even your friends. You have such a peace in your writing about your beloved son and I hope your words give you as much comfort as they do your "new friends".
    Interestingly, this was given to me just today by a friend and after reading it, I thought of you. Perhaps if you have the time, you would enjoy it as well.

    Bless you, your family, and especially Christopher.

  17. Perfect! Love your energy :) Chuckled and shared this with the office today.

    Saw you on TV last night at the game (my girls were there but we watched from the comfort of home). You look great! It warmed my heart to see you and your husband connected in spirit with each other and speaking of Chris with such an open heart.

    God Bless!

  18. Dear Gina,
    I was wondering all day at work today what you wanted to share with us, what a great story! Joe is right, Happy looks just like a miniature Snuffy, he was a good dog too. The text at the end of your story is just awesome, and I'd like to Thank You for letting us all enjoy both of your senses of humor, it made my day "Happy". I love dogs, always have, and although I'm not big on cats, it seems my children have inherited some of our traits in bringing home some "poor little things" a few times. But it's all good, and eventually they fit in as members of our family.
    It was really great seeing you last night. Wish we could have spent more time together, but just being in your presence and watching what unfolded was truely amazing. Thank You for lifting us up today, and last evening, that's a very special gift. We"ll always be here for you! Always In My Thoughts And Prayers, Love You, Eddie

  19. LOL! My boys(3 of them)sometimes don't even bother to put the seat up-so, I always have to check before I sit down. Boys will be boys-they say. Drive you crazy one minute, make you so proud the next.

  20. Loved today's blog. Totally cracked up over the text because it reminds me of the ones I might send to my two teenage boys! Of course we don't have a dog for them to blame. My kids always remind me how mean I am because I would never cave to their pleas for a dog. They especially like to remind my husband and I how unfair we are because we both grew up always having dogs! But with four kids, who at one time were all involved in scouts and sports, I never felt it was fair to bring a dog home because we were just way too busy and always on the go. Not to mention I knew whose responsibility it would become. And I swear to this day I can still smell the dog food from when I'd have to feed our dog as a!

    Thanks for the chuckle and memories of my dogs.

  21. OK the text was funny! I had the exact same conversation with my son often over break, it seems that living on his own at college he forgot the seat down rule, lol. We too are dog people cats are just too pretentious we love, fun, playful, floppy, sloppy kisses and unconditional love you get from a dog.

    We have 2 dogs, a 13 yr old beagle mix and a jack Russell mix. They are both so loving and funny. The 13 yr old acts and looks like a 5 yr old pup most of the time I think because the 6 yr old jr mix keeps her youn. The younger dog is a ball of energy and so funny! She also loves to cuddle. If you are sitting she is right next to you. We play this game when she is sitting next to us we will scooch over just a bit and then we laugh because she will scooch over to be closer to you, she has to be touching you at all times!

    Again thanks for sharing your blog I know many are enjoying it.

  22. I drove all over the capital region for the CVS rudolph and misfits characters. The first year I didn't get started in time so I had to go to every CVS from Queensbury through Albany. When I didn't find the ones I needed I called up a friend in New Mexico and sent her searching and thankfully she was able to find the ones I needed! Phew! The next year CVS came out with the characters again and that time I was on my game. I take them out every Christmas.

    I have 2 dogs, a beagle and a victorian bulldog. Katie, my beagle, is 13 years now and her attitude reminds me a lot of Maxine, the old lady on the shoebox cards. She is having a tough time finding quiet and a peaceful place to sleep with all the boys running around her all the time. Ginger is my 100lb baby girl. She loves to snuggle and make kissing noises at me. I'm so lucky to have her. She is very special to me.

    again thank you for sharing your life with everyone. you are so inspirational.

  23. What a cute story and text exchange between you and Chris. That's awesome. :))