My name has been changed, and actually, so has Meinís. Our new families have renamed us Lady and Jenny. Helen says that I remind her of a Ďgrande dameí, whatever that means.
Anyway, this is a note that I sent to Jenny through Helen and Dan (her owner), and her response.
So your name is now Jenny. Mine is now Lady. New names, new identity, new life.
Helen said she talked briefly with Dan this morning. I want to wish you a good new year, since this is the first New Years that we have been apart.
I understand that you still stay close to Dan. He is your person. I have gradually realized that Helen isn't going to leave, and that when she goes out, she returns. I still look around to make sure that I know where Helen is, but am not feeling the need to be right next to her as much. So hard to let go and feel a little bit more comfortable. You need to give Dan love and attention, but not smother him.
I'm still having some problems with itching. Helen has me on lamb and rice diet, but yours of duck seems even better! I also take a half of an allergy pill about 3 times a day -- it is getting better, it was 4 times, but I am going longer between pills. The other dogs like this because Helen gives it to me with cheese, and everyone gets cheese. (She thinks that I don't know that there is a pill in mine, and I'm not going to let on that I know.) The weather seems to make me itchier sometimes, like the cold. Helen says that the heat in the house also may be drying out my skin. Iím not sure that the bath with some hypoallergenic shampoo every couple of weeks helps, but I try to be a good sport about the whole thing.
Guess this is all for now. Wishing you the best this year.
Hi Mom: So you've got the itch too. Sometimes I think it'll drive me crazy; Dan sprays my butt (and my "you know what") and it makes me jump when he does it. But I know it's for my own good, or he wouldn't be doing it. I think it helps some. I think I'm not scooting as much, especially right after he zaps me.
I still hang around him a lot; I don't know why, but I just need to be close to him. Sometimes he doesn't see my right underneath him, and he steps on me; but I forgive him. He feeds me a special diet of duck and potato, and won't let me eat anything else. But I know how to scrounge food, if he ever leaves anything around. He scolds me when I do, but I think he's getting smarter; he doesn't leave anything around anymore. I still love to eat ice and snow; like we used to.
I feel pretty miserable when he leaves me alone here in the house. I still don't really trust that he'll come back. (You know, we were deserted once, so it could happen again.) He does take me with him a lot of times, and leaves me to guard to car. Then I jump over and sit in his seat until he comes back. He doesn't mind that. When we're driving, the windows in the back seat go down, like magic, when I want to stick my nose out and get a real good sniff of air. People wave to me as they drive by. They must think I'm pretty cute; (tell you the truth, I think so too.)
I sort of miss you, but it was time for me to go out on my own, and I now don't need to share my attention with anyone, and I have someoneís full attention. Guess I need that.
From your beautiful Daughter. Jenny ( nee Mein.)
Before we start with any news, hereís something that Helen received from a cousin via the web:
If you can start the day without caffeine,
If you can get going without pep pills,
If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
Then YOU Are Probably The Family Dog!
This is really a winter! Lots of snow and cold. Much as I like to roll in the snow, the cold and the packet snow on the roads sometimes really get to all of us. Lady has a warm coat because her fur is thinner than Donís and mine, and she really minds the cold. Our walks are shorter and fewer and we use the back yard more. Just the seasonal pattern. But Dick laughs at me. Sometimes I go out and enjoy the scenery or the sounds so much that I forget to Ďdo businessí before I come in and have to go out a second time.
The holidays were good. Krista and Don went to visit Erik and Patches for a week after Christmas. That gave Lady and me a chance to work out some of our needs for attention. We actually take turns on the dog beds by Helenís bed. Whoever goes to bed first gets to choose the bed for the night. Having to share my people with Lady has taken some effort. But one of the benefits is that Krista now allows all of us onto the futon Ė it just used to be Don and the cats. Sometimes all of us, well us dawgs and a cat or two, will be there.
Tess, Helen tells us when she sees you. Glad to hear that you are doing well. Weíre sending you this note today. Helen says that she doesnít get a chance to talk with your family as much because you donít have a phone right now. But she says that they use e-mail. Iím not sure exactly what that is, but maybe we could start using that more to keep in touch with you! We could just ask Helen to add a note from us when she sends a note to them.
I had a good vacation at Erikís. I donít think that Patches liked having me there. She has really taken over the place. She even tells Erik which curtains to open or close and when so she can see out. But it still was a good time. Kris and I took walks all round Ocean Park. It is flatter there than here, so walking is different. It was a good break, because I had Kris to myself. But it was also good to get back to Litchfield with the larger family.
And we realize that we did not get BIRTHDAY greetings out on time.
Mahler turned 9 November 16.
Tess turned 9 in December 31.
Don turned 10 in January 1.
Lady Ė well we all agreed that since we really do not have the birthday information, that she would share Donís birthday on January 1, although she may actually be a year older.
So, TO ALL OF US, BELATED BIRTHDAYS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR