Menagerie à Trois: Almost As Much Fun As It Sounds

charlie

A Box of Charlie

We gotta get out of this place...

...if it's the last thing we ever do.

The Animals-1965

You all remember Max . Our 90 pound multi-breed will greet you at the door with his Irish Wolf Hound-like smile, a loud but friendly bark, and a demand to be loved. He is Barb's shadow, though happiest when I am giving him his nightly chin rub. When I do, his swishing tail cools the bedroom like a powerful Casablanca fan. Phoebe, our featherweight kitten, is much less likely to be seen when you stop by to visit, but for Barb and I  she is a rolling ball of fluff who loves a good tummy massage and racing us up the staircase. Although Max's aging joints will love living in a ranch home and Phoebe the speed burner might hate it, the two are our Model U.N. picture of peaceful coexistence.

This Thanksgiving our weekend has been livened up by a visitor primed to end our domestic tranquility. With Laury travelling for the holiday, we have stepped in under the provisions of the "Forever Plan" to baby sit Charlie, Laury's six year old Havanese puppy. Charlie was Laury's loving companion through her years in New York City and transition back to Chicago, and is always a welcome visitor in our home.

The American Kennel club describes the Havanese breed as " a small, sturdy dog of immense charm". Charlie is indeed small, is indeed sturdy, and does his exuberant best to demonstrate immense charm. He can bounce high off any floor or wall, gobble up cat food faster than Phoebe can come out of hiding, and his playfulness has helped Max remember what it was like to be a doggie adolescent again. Like all dogs, he loves Barb to death and tolerates me as necessary. He comes equipped with  little blue pills for us  to slather in peanut better and give him nightly (the pills are  for behavior, not for  the other blue pill type of problem,) as well as a limited supply of Valium. The Valium is to be ingested when he demonstrates  too much "Crazy Havanese Time", but the instructions Laury left were unclear. We are not sure if we are supposed to give Charlie the Valium or take it ourselves. Fortunately, Charlie was on a leash when a magnificent looking coyote trotted across our front yard yesterday; if  not, Charlie might have waggled over to say "Hi!" and become an excellent appetizer.

Laury will be picking up her pooch later today, ending our Thanksgiving holiday.  But before the weekend closes, let me give thanks.  I am blessed with a loving wife and healthy, growing, family. Nothing brings me greater joy. I am thankful for the professional skills and opportunities both Barb and I have that allow us to be of service to our community. I celebrate the roof over our heads, and the fun we will have doing it all over again while building our empty nest home. And I am grateful and proud that I have been able to chronicle it all in these posts, and that so many readers have gotten to know us and say "I didn't know you could do that!"

In closing, an entertainment note  for our local readers. "We Gotta Get Out of This Place", the big hit for The Animals, was written by the  Brill Building songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. Their story is a part of the Carole King musical "Beautiful", which is just coming to town. If you love music, King, or just a good time, you must see this show!

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