Dear Mom,

Whenever I say to dad on the phone, “I have good news and bad news, which do you want  first?” He always says, “Let’s get the bad news out of the way.” The bad news today is that someone you know on your floor died of the Covid19 virus last night. He sang with us in our Songs By Heart sessions and his kind son would also sing with him. We belted out, “You’re a Grand ol’ Flag” and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” together. I loved singing next to you in those sessions with Olivia leading and dancing with your hands and swinging in your chairs. She gets you all moving and marching in place to “When the Saints Go Marching In.” I can’t speak more highly of Songs By Heart so I’m recommending them here.

This fine and handsome gentleman who passed always beamed a smile for you at the dinner table, in the hallways or during activities. I’m going to miss him when I get back in there! R.I.P. sweet, smiling singer!

In the spirit of thanking you for the truly AWESOME mother that you are and I mean that in the truest sense of the word, not in the cheapened —apply this word to everything, even getting a parking spot vernacular, I’m thanking you today for loving dogs. Yep, you are a dog lover and in the midst of Coronavirus many people are becoming dog lovers or yearning to own a dog. We just prayed with a sweet man on Sunday who asked God for a dog so he wouldn’t be so lonely in this pandemic. If a person has a parent who is a dog lover, they usually become a dog lover themselves (my scientific research on a sample of about twenty tells me, with Caleb as the outlier.)

Your dad was a dog lover and he owned many hunting dogs that he named after his grandchildren. I remember visiting them in their kennel and loving them from a distance because we weren’t allowed to play with them since they trained as professional dogs. I do remember throwing dummies into the lake and watching them jump into the water and swim out to retrieve the grey, stuffed dummy. They’d swim back coughing and choking on water while keeping that dummy in their jaws. One of those dogs gave birth to a “runt of the litter,” what an awful expression that is, and we came home from Hayward, WI with a black lab pup, McDuke. I think this name is some blend of McGreevy and the nickname you always called your sisters, “Duke.” We called her “Duker.” What a sweet dog! As a child, Chobey was an even greater lover of animals than myself so I always thought of McDuke as Chobey’s dog. Nonetheless, she was a perfect pet for our family, except that I never believed dad loved our dog so that was a bit of a downer. When she ripped all the wallpaper off the wall during a storm I think that did dad in on Duker. The worst thing about her was the smell of her wet Alpo dog food that I scooped into her dish in the “little kitchen” while holding my breath and gagging to the point of near cardiac arrest.

Your love of Duker triumphed and your children now revel in dog love! Here you are with Snoopy who joined us this past Christmas, along with our dog Snuggles and Jessie’s Persian cat, Smushie. Snoopy ate the sugar cookie ornaments off the tree, rascal! Check out these primo photos of our animal planet holiday get together. Thank you for making the trek with us to Missouri to get our precious Snuggles. Sorry I didn’t tell you how far away Snuggles lived when we adopted her, but if I’d told you then you wouldn’t have come along!  xoxo to you doglover! 

Mom and Snoopy
Hot babe Snoopy in his holiday gear
Smushie the diva in her holiday midriff
Spry girl Snuggles