Little Josie, ( one of Peggy’s and Buddy’s F1b toy doodles) went home to a wonderful couple in Chicago. Josie’s new mom is quite a talented author and has started writing a journal for Josie aptly titled “Josie’s Journal” …She’s graciously given me permission to post the entries on our website ! I know you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I do.
Check back often to follow the adventures of Josie and her new family !
Entry # 1, Sept. 4, 2010
After a very big day in which Josie left her birth home in Indiana, traveled to her new home at 848, met her godmother Claudia who lives across the street with her standard golden doodle ( BIG) as well as her husband Bob and a little terrier Ralphie, spent hours with relatives, Sid, Gayle, Paige, Perry and Allason, all of whom promptly fell in love with her, ( she took a quick snooze between Gayle’s shoes – she’s the same length as the shoes from nose to butt which makes her a size 9 dog ), was not offered any of Piero’s pizza but had to endure the intoxicating smells while having only to dine on her blatantly less inviting food, had another short ride to bring Allason back to her dorm ( during which she cuddled on Allason’s lap ) she was put gently and prayerfully into her crate lined with a soft blanket ( bonus from Audubon Ass. ) and several furry stuffed companions ), curled up and went to sleep. We held our breath, smiled at each other, fell into bed and slept until Josie sounded her little squeaky alarm at 4:20. Alexander had said he would wake and take her outdoors to do her business. I said, Uh huh, knowing a train can go through the bedroom without waking him. Well, Josie looked around the dark world, sat down and then looked at me and did nothing, in spite of all my encouragement to perform the necessary functions. So we went back inside, played with her toys – she likes a black stuffed rat with a long tail the best, ugh – and then noticing that she had not eaten dinner at all, offered her food. After due consideration she decided to eat, after which we played a bit more, and we made another outdoor trip. By this time Alexander joined us and stimulated by his presence, did her stuff. Oh, how we praised her! She seemed stunned by all this lavish affection and to earn it she calmly went back to sleep in her crate, curled around her chubby gray elephant and white fluffy lamb. She ignores the gorilla who has a nice smile but a rather hard belly. WE crept back into bed and whispered, held hands gratefully and went back to sleep until she woke ME at 6:40. Pretty good! I told her so and so we left the sleeping giant who hadn’t budged an inch and went downstairs. We played, indoors and out, and then decided he had slept long enough. I put her on the bed, and she crawled all over his interesting gray hair and he only woke when she stepped on his nose. “Josie” he murmured. He opened his eyes when she nibbled on his chin. She then settled down on the billowy downy covering his chest and promptly fell asleep. I transferred her to the crate most successfully, and once again she curled up among her silent, furry friends and went to sleep.And she is sleeping this very moment as I am writing about her. And it’s 8:30! And guess who sleeping, curled up, sweet as a baby in the high bed next to her! Guaranteed. She will wake before he, and I will take her out and play with her, and when he does wake he’ll say, Princess, I said I would wake and take her out. And I will smile benevolently and recall the times many years in the past when he would say much the same after I woke at 3:00 in the morning to a crying Deborah, Daniel and Joanie. Having a new baby makes you feel young. I’m going out right after breakfast and buy a skin tight tank top and a mini skirt! Your faithful reporter, Nana
I must make amends. Though I accurately recorded Alexander’s oblivious behavior in regard to Josie’s needs her first night, he has been a model of the 21st century father ever since, participating fully in the care of the new baby. At the first squeaks of the wakeful Josie at 4:00 a.m. he stumbles out of bed, dons his terry robe, thrusts his feet into his slippers, tenderly picks up the pup and takes her outside under the light of the moon to do her business. Which she does! Regularly! I’m happy to report that her behavior is as exemplary as his. She has found her personal latrine among the expiring violets under our hickory tree and has not once had an “accident” in the house! This extraordinary performance of course is the result of our vigilance in plucking her up many times during the day and depositing her in the violet patch. When she “performs” we applaud and coo over her inordinately.
I also must make note of the astonishing fact that I am up writing this journal at 6:30 a.m. while she’s still blissfully sleeping among her furry companions in her crate . And Alexander is sleeping one story up beside her. She indeed, is the paragon of puppies.
I’m discovering that she’s an eager but not particularly productive gardening partner. I wanted to plant some coral asian lilies. She participated wholeheartedly in the digging and I had to exercise care so as not to shovel her up with a pile of dirt. She is very small, remember. When we get the hole dug she is so swift in planting herself in it that I’m left standing with a homeless lily!
“Josie,” I plead. “The hole is for the flower!” She just nestles in more comfortably, her entire face now matching her very black nose. She regards me coolly and doesn’t move. So I put the lily down, scoop her out of the hole, and she jumps back in before I can retrieve the lily and plant it! I finally manage to insert the lily before she inserts herself in the hold, but only because she’s decided to give up her underground activity and attack a very tall beebalm.
She loves our yard and we are happy to see that she’s going to be a true wilderness companion. She much prefers the wild area to lawn and explores the territory with the attentiveness of John Muir, but I am sure a little more erratically. Why she’ll suddenly dart off and pounce on an innocent fern I don’t know. The vegetation is so high that I often lose sight of her, and then she dashes out of the high greenery to the lawn and races around joyfully, and comes to a stop under a garden chair and stares out at me with perfect calmness, content now to take her ease in the welcome shade.
Indoors, she’s an equally intrepid adventurer. She runs up those high stairs to the bedrooms and we find her in places we’ve never visited. A favorite is behind the dresser in our bedroom. Alexander has had to stuff his shoes at either end to block entry, a
touch that adds little to the coherence of our decorating design.
She is happy in my study and after chewing the straps of my book bag will often settle down and take a nap as I work at the computer. She is a marvelous combination of playfulness and mellowness, and I have to resist taking my eyes off the computer screen to dote on her napping, fluffy paws under her chin, perky tail at rest.
She just woke. It’s 7:00! She slept through the entire night! Since I’m at my computer, Alexander faithfully plucked her up to go outside. It’s another beautiful morning, made complete by my view of a fluffy, apricot colored puppy, and a silver haired man in his bathrobe among the expiring violets of late summer.
When I sent announcements to friends and family who don’t live nearby that Josie had joined our family, I entertained the notion of saying that if heads of state, generals, warlords, clan, tribal and gang leaders were each given a puppy, they would forget about waging war. Restrain yourself, I told myself, that’s silly and sentimental, hopelessly over the top.. So I made the announcement a model of simplicity, stating only how old Josie was and how much she weighed. Her photo accompanied this information, of course. And an invitation to come and meet her.
My brother and sister-in-law live fifteen minutes away from us. We rarely see the two of them except when we plan to meet at a restaurant for dinner. But the day we brought Josie home Sid and Gayle came to visit and returned three days in a row after that. We sat in our yard in the benevolent sunshine and watched Josie’s puppy play..The weather being mild and sunny, we stayed out for quite a while and talked about the books we were all currently reading, the films we each recommended, the trip to the Southwest they’re planning to take, and the scandal with our local park district. As they were leaving, Sid invited us to dinner at their home a week from Saturday and I replied that we’d love to come..
When their car was safely out of our driveway, I complimented Josie on what her charms had wrought. She didn’t do anything so momentous as stop a war, but she is a very small dog and accomplishes things on a smaller, more personal level. She brought about visits at our home with Sid and Gayle that led to a renewed rapport between us. And she did it effortlessly. Just by being herself.
I would reward Josie with a treat but she’s not interested in treats yet. Not the traditional kind, anyhow. The treat she enjoyed the most today was the time she had running off with the towel I was using to wipe the floor after I had over-watered a plant. Oh, how she loved wagging the black and white checked, drenched towel, spraying water over an even larger area.
And it’s not as if she’s merely been offered a treat of a bland milk bone. While friends were visiting vineyards in Napa, they saw bags of gourmet dog treats for sale. They bought a bag for their dog, but then decided to bring it to Josie instead. Yet she turns her button nose up at it and gets euphoric over a drenched towel.
Alexander and I come from Russian peasant stock. That fact asserts itself not infrequently. Alexander prefers a fully packed Subway tuna sandwich to a filet mignon. The filet is boring, he says. I agree. Our most gourmet dish is cabbage borsht, my turkey loaf a close second. So Josie fits into our life style perfectly. Oh, and like us, she loves books. She chews on them.
Josie Journal 4
It was just a little over a week that Josie was with us and we hadn’t yet left her alone. Wherever we went, she went. Today she joined us on our trip to Northbrook Court to see about getting an Apple computer. Our present one has become so slow that while it slogs along in its effort to connect to email, I had made the bed and rearranged the linen closet.
From the moment we left the car, Alexander holding Josie, we were stopped by people who just had to see that adorable puppy, and oh, she’s unbelieveable, what is she? and oh, oh, oh, I came to look for a printer but I want her instead. Many of those who cooed over her had dogs of their own, or had had them, or had always wanted one, but my husband would go up in smoke if I brought one home, or my wife would stop doing my laundry.
One little boy in a stroller in the Apple store cried, “Puppy” and his mother who asked to hold Josie, bent down with her so he could pet her. Knowing that Josie still nipped, I warned the mom, but Josie just licked the little boy’s face and he giggled. She treated him with astounding gentleness. Waiting for our turn with an Apple expert, we gave out nearly as much information on Josie’s model, her quickness in processing, her flexibility and memory bank as the resident geniuses gave about the Apples.
When we’re with Josie the neutral or oblivious world turns friendly, even warm. It’s as if we’ve moved to a different planet. Friends and family pay casual visits to see her, the way we spontaneously visited in my childhood when, on a Sunday afternoon after riding from the city to get a Homer’s ice cream cone in the suburbs, we stopped by the Rosens to say hello. I can’t trace how we came to the state we’re in now when seeing friends means planning two to three weeks ahead of time and deciding which restaurant to go to that would afford enough quiet for enjoyable conversation.
Missing the casual visiting of my youth I might take a chance when I happen to be in the neighborhood of a friend and stop for an unannounced hello. They’re usually glad to see me. But do they come by my house unannounced? No. One of them remarked that if the doorbell rings unexpectedly they know it’s Barbara. Who else would it possibly be?
We’ve become so programmed. So afraid to interrupt each other’s lives. Are we always involved in such significant endeavors that we can’t be interrupted for a friend’s half hour visit? We’ve come to believe you “ just don’t drop in” on someone. Horrors!
Friends and family are “dropping in” on Josie. My brother ,who isn’t given to unplanned visits, stopped in to see how Josie was doing right before we were to leave for her first vet appointment. Two hours later he called to see how things went. “She’s perfect!” I exulted. “Well, we knew that,” he answered. “Maybe I can drop in to see her tomorrow.”
Again, in her own innocent way, Josie’s causing a ripple of change in our social fabric.
***** To read the next entries, click on the link on the right of the page, right under the Josie’s Journal link.