I’m Calling Her Lassie from Now On
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.