The Puppy List

So far this morning I have made delicious fry-like baked potatoes, perused four high school notebooks, and half-assed a kickboxing video. What have you accomplished since midnight? ;}

One of the things I found was a list buried in the back of the last notebook I picked up. Here is the list:

Monday June 15 1998

Very big, not too marked:
Archibald, Oldest, 12:00 PM (big, almost no spot)
Otto (VERY LOUD!), Third, 3:00 PM (big, bigger marking)

Slightly smaller:
Fergus, Seventh, 5:40 PM (middle marking)

Big girls:
Cassandra, Sixth, 5:30 PM (3 spots – little ones)
Elektra, Fourth, 4:30 PM (“7” marking)

Itty bitty girls:
Mina, Fifth, 5:00 PM (bigger marking)
Isabel, Second, 1:30 PM (littler marking)

Gregory, EIGHTH, 7:10 PM (big, marking to right of chest, very small)
Zeno, NINTH!, 9:00 PM (bowtie sorta mark)

Liesl’s puppies were born on a pile of blankets in the corner of the master bedroom on Warner Road. I was all alone in the house when it started, and it was incredibly scary and awesome.

Archie, Elektra and Gregory sold when they were small. Cassandra was sick, and Mina was too very tiny; though we tried to get them to eat from a bottle, they died soon after they were born. Dad buried them in the back yard, and played Amazing Grace on his bagpipe chanter. Fergus survived for longer but he was weak; he stayed very little and, as it turned out, had a congenital heart problem. We gave him a big, strong name to disguise his size. He stayed and got loved for awhile, but eventually moved on.

Zeno and Isabel were fluffy throwbacks, and we dispensed with all delusions of selling them—we like throwbacks. We always have.

Otto stayed with us, too. He was always a big scaredy. His list designation of “VERY LOUD!” refers to the constant yowling and whining of his puppyhood. He (mostly) grew out of it, into a great-looking dog. All dogs should be as brilliantly handsome as Otto, and as eager to please.

Isabel stayed with us for many years, Zeno’s bestest pal and partner in crime. We think she got something out of the garbage that made her sick. We were so sad to have her leave. It’s easy to remember the moments when she was the sweetest possible dog—but her mischief and sheer ability to vex others are also a credit to her memory.

Now Zeno and Otto live with my parents in Ohio. Zeno’s the youngest and maybe the best of them—but the biggest left at home and definitely the one in charge. He’s full of clever and awesome. He asks politely before climbing up on a couch to snuggle the people there. He’s a great dog. Otto’s constant companion is a stray Emily brought home in high school, Hopey. And a few years ago, Marty’s little sister picked up an adorable little dog we later named Goliath, and Emily took him home to New York with her. It wasn’t too long after that she went on tour, though, so Goliath came back to Ohio and became Zeno’s new buddy. Far more vocal, I’d say, and more obnoxious than Isabel… but it’s nice for Zeno to have a bud. You know?

Even if they do make a racket!

Hey. I miss my dogs.

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