Growing up we had a few pets, we had Cindy, a Golden Retriever purchased to save us in the Fire Island waves… she hated water. We had Spiro (after Spiro Agnew) he mewed a lot and only liked my sister. My first real pet was Bozo he was a Yorkie, he came with a raincoat, a sweater, and a few super cute leashes, one had a gold tennis racket charm. I guess Yorkies like tennis. Bozo originally belonged to my dad’s first wife, Sally.
When I was little the idea of spending a Sunday afternoon driving with my dad to pick up my sister after a weekend with her mom… was bliss. Northern Boulevard to the 59th Street Bridge, to the FDR, to the white brick building on the upper east side of Manhattan. Time alone with dad, mostly listening to football games on the radio, it was lovely. Sometimes Al just came down and jumped in the car… “I get the front” and we were off. Other times I got to go upstairs… to the fanciest apartment ever. White shag rugs, white furniture, glass coffee tables. Sally with her deep voice and long drawn out way of speaking. “Kaattharine, how are you… go find Bozo.” I loved her dog, he was little and yippy and had lots of clothes, a dog barbie. Her new husband did not love Bozo, so one Sunday night Bozo (and his wardrobe) was with me in the back seat of the car heading to Queens. I was as happy as a little girl could be.
Bozo had a few issues and did not make it easy on my mom. Bozo was not used to the 1970s suburban dog freedom of going outside to do ones business (nobody walked their dogs where I grew up… upper east side dogs are used to walks). Bozo would rather poop on the antique Karastan rugs than grass. Not good. I remember the screams, the frustration, the baking soda all over rugs. He only pooped on the expensive rugs, how do dogs know? At the time I was terrified for Bozo, he would be sent away but looking back, my mother was a saint! How annoying it must have been to have your husband’s ex wives dog… poop all over your house.
My mom swore there would never be another dog in her life after Bozo disappeared. Yes. Bozo disappeared one day when we were away at Fire Island. The dog sitter lost him. I did consider Mom put a hit put on him, but she seemed super sad he was gone, so either she is a psychopath or a great soul who wept for her nemesis.
A few years ago my mom decided she wanted a dog… a Havanese, girl, under 10 pounds. My siblings and I happily got her one for her birthday, she deserved it. The problem is, training a puppy at 80 is crazy amount of work, and no matter what people say, flying with a dog is not always fun… so at the “almost done with the training” point little (8 pound) Jasmine came to live with us. As I cleaned up her little poop accidents from my floors, I could only think it was payback.
Since then, my mom moved in with us, reuniting with her Jasmine. Everyone poops where they are supposed to, and life is as it should be.
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Bozo was a lot of work! What wasn’t told me was that he was eeehem trained on paper and paper wasnt working either. We had him fixed and that didn’t help. Taking out the garbage one morning with Bozo behind me, my neighbor’s guest’s white German Shepard attacked Bozo. The Shepard had him by the neck and was shacking him. I hit the Shepard with the metal cover and she dropped Bozo. I picked Bozo up and drove to the Vets. Bozo was immediately taken in for surgery. The Vet said I’ll do the best I can, but it doesn’t t look good! He said, I want you to bring ground white chicken and Kat and a friends every day to visit Bozo. It wasn’t difficult to get Kat to bring a few friends to see Bozo and whisper to him in the cage to get well. Bozo survived, Kat was thrilled and the Vet was happy too. The Vet bill was very high, but my neighbor insisted on paying the bill! I spent a good deal of time trying to fine Bozo when he got lost in a very heaving fall storm. Advertisements, photos and driving all over the community didn’t help. Bozo is still mentionened now and then.