“I’m with the band”

When walking in my neighborhood, a friendly one I’ve written about before, I used to be the headliner. Whether trotting with baby in stroller or chasing my speed demon son on his tiny trike, neighbors would call out, “Hello, Kristine!” I’d wave back and smile. It seems I’ve been relegated to mere groupie on my…

An encounter with unwavering optimism

As I walked the dog the other day, I ran into my neighbor Ed and his new puppy, Mango. If you knew Ed, you’d know he is an unlikely muse. But this week, he was just that for me. Ed’s dog Ginger, a standard poodle, died last year at just three years old—very suddenly. He…

When the rescued rescue

She makes it look so easy. My teenager, still a boy-man, does not believe in showing weakness. I completely understand this; at his age, weakness can be received by peers with scorching disdain. But our “rescue” dog is aptly named. We call her a rescue because we thought we saved her from the pound. Turns out,…

Frick and Frack

They fly in the door, trailing snow, one with rosy cheeks, both with bright eyes. As each jostles the other for post position, they enter the family room to greet me. Frick and Frack are home after a romp in the snow. My youngest and our black Lab mix have an ever evolving relationship that…

Retreat

She woke me again this morning with joy, so happy we’re both still here, together and alive. Her cold, wet, nose sniffing my face. Her head and body trying to burrow into my back and stomach to roll me out of bed. She does this every morning. She is a constant in the unconstant of…

Meet your cruise director

Well, my cruise director, at least. In true Julie McCoy fashion, this girl makes sure I mix and mingle each and every day. Sick, grumpy, tired—no matter. I will be mixing it up with humanity at large, thanks to her. In case you’ve not met Julie McCoy, aka Bailey, a brief history. And in case…

Coming full circle at Christmas

We had come full circle in the space of two years. There we were, on the couch. I was giving a hug filled with love. It was gratefully accepted. And before you get too excited, my dog was the grateful recipient. Bailey. My faithful companion. My shadow. The one who has perfected the art of…

Put a stick in it

When walking my retriever, Bailey, she likes to set the pace. As she confidently trots toward whatever we may encounter, she rarely falters. Except when we come to a fork in the path. When a direction must be chosen, left or right, she hesitates often. Roughly 10 percent of the time, though, she knows what…

A herd is born

We talk about love as if it can’t be seen. As if it’s some ethereal bit that vibrates between us and does not show itself. We make it too complicated. I prefer to keep things simple. As I sit and write this blog, a furry 80-lb. bundle of joy sleeps at my feet. Not quite…

Crazy dog lady

When some people get divorced, they celebrate. Others cry. Others do OK overall but occasionally have a fit of hysteria in which they fear they will turn into one of those old women who live alone with lots of pets. Or one of those women living in a box on the street. These women usually…

Score one for the mama

“I love you soooo much.” Said in the sweetest voice, just oozing aforementioned love. I turned around in delighted surprise, to tell my usually reticent 12-year-old I love him too. However, as I watched our nine-month-old black lab mix, Bailey, lick his face, I realized to whom he had been speaking. And it wasn’t me….

The girl has issues

I knew this day would come, just not so soon. My boys have fallen in love with a girl—the same girl, in fact. She is strong-willed, extremely overprotective and needs to get a grip on her separation anxiety. Bit of a whiner. The girl has issues, no doubt about it. She’s a brunette—lean and muscular….