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I’m Calling Her Lassie from Now On

September 28, 2013

Abbie watching a video of Anastacia Campbell’s dog howling

Abbie Lynn woke me up at 4:30 this morning. That’s pretty unusual: she’s a good sleeper. She always sleeps through the night. Half the time she doesn’t even get up when I get up, but keeps snoozing on the couch until it is time for walkies.

I opened the front door to let her out and it hit me: a face full of smoke, weird-smelling, strong smoke. It wasn’t the terrifying smell of wildfire consuming sage and dried brown late-summer grass, but a more complex smell like a trash fire.

Aside: I’m old enough to remember when we burned our trash in the back yard, in a small brick oven thing called an “incinerator.” Certain days of the week were set aside for trash burning, and the whole neighborhood was hazy and smelly that day.

Back to this morning. It still smelled like trash fire, but a big one, not like a garbage can on fire. I thought about what to do. I couldn’t see a fire, though the sky was a bit glowy, but the smoke was thickening and growing more choking as the minutes passed.

The internet came to the rescue. I looked up our local fire department website, remembering it from my newspaper days. A market and bargain store about 8 blocks away were going up in smoke.

So Abbie didn’t exactly save my life, but she alerted me to danger, and that’s pretty good for a pup who doesn’t know not to eat cat poop.

My dog has turned into Lassie, which is about the pinnacle of my life so far. My dog is a hero! Lassie was my favorite show as a kid, next to Flipper, because the only thing cooler than a danger-alerting dog with a gorgeous hairstyle is a danger-spotting dolphin, am I right?

Good girl. I rewarded her by giving her an extra day at dog day care, which might as well be Dog Disneyland multiplied by Dog Super Bowl for as much as she loves it.


We got my mom moved into assisted living today. Glory freaking hallelujah. It’s about time. I have been having regular heart attacks at some of the close calls she has had at home cooking and trying to do other things around the house, like the time I came in about 5 minutes after she had set her bamboo steamer on fire by leaving it too close to the stove burner element.

You’d think moving out of her home of 40 years would be cause for some reflection, a little ritual, a toast or something, but we are Not That Kind of People. We are so bad about anything emotional or potentially emotional. We dumped the last quarter-carton of milk out, locked the doors, walked out, and didn’t talk about it at all, even though the whole family had a massive Chinese lunch together.

So goodbye house. 41 years. Lots of memories. Onward.

  1. September 28, 2013 20:39

    If you had asthma or another breathing difficulty, Abbie could very well have saved your life! She’s just erring on the side of caution.

    • September 29, 2013 09:07

      She is smarter than I give her credit for. She seems really goofy, but she doesn’t miss much.

  2. elvie permalink
    September 28, 2013 20:44

    Good girl Abby. an extra tummy rub from me,
    Moving-hope you had a spring roll for me. There was enough emotion before today. You didn’t need any more.

    • September 29, 2013 09:06

      Mom loves some Peking Inn! We had a nice time and PK snuck next door to Vons to get a fancy birthday cake for Ashley. Ashley was so pleased and cute. She’s really a good girl.

  3. September 28, 2013 21:02

    Onward. Good on you.

    • September 29, 2013 09:05

      Mom called and is having a great time – says the place is “just perfect.” I am so relieved.

      • elvie permalink
        September 29, 2013 09:44

        You have carried a heavy load for a long time. Maybe now you can rest a little, or go wake boarding or something. Love you lots,

        • September 29, 2013 13:09

          It doesn’t feel that heavy, but is is great to not have that worry anymore.

  4. September 29, 2013 07:08

    Abbie is so cute in that video. “What’s wrong with that dog? That dog is not right. I have to leave now.”

    I’m glad for your mom.

    And unrelated, but the font used in your sidebar headers makes “FLICKR PHOTOS” look like “FUCKR PHOTOS” on first pass. Hmm. “Flickr” is in WPs spell-check but “fuckr” isn’t. They’re both equally wrong, if you ask me.

    • September 29, 2013 08:58

      Yeah, it makes me wonder how she’d be if a dog was in trouble – “Oh, hey, gotta go!”

  5. September 29, 2013 08:04

    A big lunch out is a good idea. You get to squash the emotion but still feel celebraty. Glad mom is safe… and you, too! Good caretaker, that dog.

    • September 29, 2013 08:57

      My family is big on lunch out.

  6. deborahro permalink
    September 29, 2013 09:19

    Abbie did great! We’re so lucky to have these smart companions.

    And glad to hear about your mom’s new home. That must be a huge stressor lifted.

    Flipper was everything!

    • September 29, 2013 13:08

      Putting on lifelist: get an alert-dolphin.

  7. September 30, 2013 17:21

    Still a life saving effort. I wouldn’t even call it “almost”.

  8. September 30, 2013 18:42

    Good dog!!!

    And as for Mom moving – we went through that in 2008. She didn’t look back. It was kind of funny how she just let everything go. I am visiting her now – she is having her 87th birthday celebration. In 2008 we were afraid we’d lose her. Now, she is fit as a fiddle, and living a full life that involves, gossip, complaining, and bossing people around. Good for her!!

  9. October 2, 2013 18:27

    3rd try – Glad that your mom is somewhere safe, and that she likes it!

  10. October 7, 2013 06:14

    I could watch that video all day. She’s awesome, that one.

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