I noticed that you had been subjected to another long travelogue. Then silence. First you are bored and then ignored. What is a reader to think? Well here I am, happy to step in and fill in the gaps!
One of a dachshund’s main responsibilities is to pick up the pieces for family and friends when they tire of the jigsaw of life. So I am going to share a little slice of real life from the Anthony family.
Life at our house has become a bit more optimistic. Mom is busy administering COVID-19 vaccines, much to my human siblings’ dismay. Mention the word “vaccine,” and their eyes get big and they get a haunted look. Being the children of a public health nurse means everyone—including the loyal canine—is always current on their vaccines.
“You won’t be getting vaccines for a while, so don’t look like that,” Mom said after announcing that the entire family will be inoculated.
The haunted look disappeared.
“But as soon as vaccines are available for your age group, you will get them.”
The haunted look returned.
“Don’t look so worried,” Grandma Bella said with sparkling innocent blue eyes. “I got my shot last week, and I only had a dead arm for about three hours.”
The haunted look was replaced with outright alarm, and Pinky, who is needle-phobic, reared back in her chair.
“Mom,” Dad said somewhat reprovingly, but then laughed outright. He was joined by Mom and Grandma.
I sometimes don’t understand the humor of humans. Why terrorize those who are already anxious?
As if reading my mind, Grandma said, “I didn’t mean to scare you. Well, I guess I did, but really, my dear sweet ones, I didn’t feel a thing.” Smiling, she reached across the table and gathered up their hands, patting them. I noticed that Joey’s nails weren’t black, so he must actually be washing his hands.
“I don’t see why we have to get vaccines, when kids don’t that sick,” Pinky whined with a hopeful “I’ll take my chances” look on her face.
“That’s true, Pinky, but some children have become very sick. Older people like Grandma and people who have other illnesses can become very sick, too, and many have died. The more people that are vaccinated, the less likely it is that vulnerable people will be infected.”
“And that’s called ‘herd immunity.’ ” All eyes swiveled toward Joey as he made this announcement.
“What?” Hattie asked skeptically. “How do you know that?”
Joey rolled his eyes and said, “Because Grandma Bella listens to all Dr. Fauci’s talks on her iPad, and it’s pretty loud. I mean, you can even hear it outside.”
“What did Joey just say?” Grandma Bella asked the air innocently—then cackled. “I heard every word, Joey. I like to listen to the news briefing while doing other things.”
Grandma Bella has just gotten hearing aids and has had a great time hearing everything—even things not intended for her ears. She could become the family mole. Now she gets offended when the family bellows at her like they used to, saying irritably to them, “I’m not deaf, you know.”
“Well, Joey is exactly right, and we will all be immunized in due time. But we have another pressing matter: you have six take-out menus sitting in front of you,” Mom said. “We need to make a decision about dinner. And remember, this is a democracy, so everyone has a voice, then we will vote.”
Joey was first out the gate with the suggestion of Chinese food. Grandma wanted something from the Soup and Salad Emporium but was good with whatever was decided. Hattie and Pinky, although they hated agreeing with Joey, opted for Chinese, as well.
“George?” Mom asked.
“Chinese sounds good to me too. So I guess it’s decided.”
“Not so fast, George. I would like a salad. There are two dissenting voices, and I think we can compromise. You get the Chinese, and I’ll pick up Grandma Bella’s and my dinner.”
My interest lay in the offerings that would be slipped to the faithful canine under the table—Joey’s favorite Mongolian beef was a sure bet—as long as he didn’t try to foist off any vegetables, and Grandma Bella would be sure to share some of the chicken from her favorite chicken noodle soup.
Mom asked, “Is that agreeable to everyone?” and there was a chorus of affirmative voices and several enthusiastic yips from me.
After dinner I was cleaning up under the table and I thought about my family and the pre-dinner conversation. All in all, I would say that I am a very blessed dog with such an interesting family that practices the principles of democracy and fairness (most of the time). And, of course, my family is blessed to have such a hard-working and intelligent canine that understands that democracy means sharing everything and protecting the vulnerable.