Trust me when I say I was desperate. Two weeks had gone by and I was really adjusting well to life without my mom and without a job. My dad and I were having left overs for breakfast, pizza for lunch and steaks for dinner while my mom turned vegan at some hippie yoga retreat in the middle of nowhere. Or maybe it was a place called Portugal. I couldn’t have been more thrilled. Gone were the days sitting in front of a computer screen trying to think of something to write. I also took time off from gardening. While the weeds cropped up in my rose bushes, I laid back on the sofa I’m forbidden to be on with my dad and watched an orange ball bounce around as we shared ice cream. I was living the dream without a care in the world.
On Sunday night in the middle of my favorite commercial—you know, about barbeques—my phone rang. Suddenly, in an instant, my vacation came to a screeching halt. It was my boss and he sounded less than thrilled. “Bogie, tomorrow afternoon your interview pitch had better be on my desk,” he barked, “or else I’ll put you on the first bus to Carmel, California to cover the annual Poodle Parade.” I nearly choked. How could this be happening? I’d waited until the last possible moment and there was no way I could squeeze in an interview with anybully this late in the game. How could I have been so irresponsible?!
When I hung up the phone I turned off the TV, waddled upstairs and went right to bed. Sleep was what I needed if I was going to come up with any intelligent solution to this dire situation. At 8am my dad woke me up and shared half of his turkey sandwich on rye with me. For a fleeting moment I forgot I was on the brink of a crisis. As soon as we finished breakfast my dad gave me a pat on the head and told me to get ready because we were headed to LAX to pick up Mom. I guess her days of meditating in the mountains were over and she needed a lift home.
Like I said, I was desperate with a capital D. I put on my red collar and my favorite blue bandana and, as my dad grabbed me a few poop bags, dashed upstairs to toss my notepad and pencil into my duffle. You never know what celeb might be chilling in the baggage claim.
Bogie: Hi Mom, how was your trip? Got some good meditating in I trust and what not? Anyway, so like, can I, you know, maybe, ummmm, ask you a few questions? It’s either you or a bunch of poodles. Work with me here.
Mom: Bogie, you smell awful. The moment we get home you’re going in the shower. But sure, ask me anything you’d like.
Bogie: Today is really shaping up to be Bogie and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day material now isn’t it? Ok, let’s get down to biz. I know I’m your favorite, but I’m definitely not your first dog. Your mother, my grandmother, had as many dogs as she had children. Correct?
Mom: That’s right Boges. I was born in Miami, Florida and had two basset hounds named Baxter and Lucy. When I was six my parents moved all of us six kids (I’m a triplet) to Los Angeles, California where we almost immediately adopted Crash, a pit-bull mix. Hank and Soda came next – a brother and sister pit-bull mix duo who looked nothing alike. When I was 12 my parents bought me a horse named Spike. At the barn where Spike lived I rescued a black and tan Coonhound named Gus. He howled so loud our house shook.
Around the time all us went off to college and moved out my mom had a bit of the whole “empty nest” syndrome and decided to volunteer at Beagles and Buddies Rescue. That worked out really well for everyone because before we knew it we had Jake the beagle, Gracie, Carla and Bill the bassets and Phoebe the basset beagle mix. Needless to say there was never a dull moment at home.
Bogie: Don’t you DARE get any ideas… Ok, so you went off to college and then what? I think I remember something about a Dachshund with a funny name?
Mom: Bogie I seriously hope you made your bed every morning while I was away… Oh, that’s right! My last year of university I studied abroad in China for what was supposed to be six months. It turned into five years where I taught art at an international school and yoga at a little studio around the corner from my Shanghai apartment. My uncle also lived in the city and was walking by a pet shop one day and saw a tri-colored longhaired Dachshund pup peering at him through a window. Not thinking very rationally he bought the pup, named her Mumu and then gave her to me the next day. I lived in the rice patties (aka “the sticks”) and worked in the city, which meant long hours without seeing Mumu. I ended up giving her to a friend who spent more time at home and could care for Miss M in the way she deserved.
Bogie: Made the bed? Suuuurrre I did…sort of. I’m so glad I don’t have a sister named Mumu. Let. Me. Tell. You. So where do I come in?
Mom: Welllll… in 2010 I moved back to California. Talk about a culture shock! I had no money and since yoga teaching was the new bartending, I couldn’t find a job. So I started waiting tables in a downtown restaurant across the street from the superior courthouse. Fast forward a bit and that’s where I met your dad who lunched there everyday.
Bogie: I see. And then you guys started looking for me or what?
Mom: Oh and the white sofa. You better not have been snoozing on it. You know the rules apply even while I’m away. Your dad, well he’s not exactly a dog person, but he knew having a pooch was essential for me. So we started researching breeds. Your dad wanted a “low energy, low maintenance, low shedding” breed. Ha! We came across a photo of you online (note: I would never again buy a dog from an unknown breeder/source – lesson learned) and it was a done deal. You were born on Christmas eve 2011 and we knew that you had an “extra ordinary” under bite, but were otherwise healthy. So much for the low energy, maintenance and shedding part.
I picked you up at the airport in your little crate five days later. You were 10 weeks old.
Bogie: Best day of your life, yada, yada, yada. I remember that day too. I sat in your lap the entire way home and it was right then and there that I decided I’d keep you around. Before everybody starts falling asleep with this interview, wanna do a lightening round?
Bogie: Twins or triplets?
Mom: Triplets, but twins aren’t so bad either.
Bogie: Steak or Chicken?
Mom: Three Twins Ice Cream. Does that count?
Mom: Ashtanga, obvi.
Bogie: Walks with me or hikes with friends?
Mom: It depends if you’re in the walking mood…which is highly unlikely. Speaking of, did you take Dad on his morning walks?
Bogie: You’ll have to ask Dad about that. Poodle or Pomeranian? Come on, you HAVE to choose one.
Bogie: High tops or high heels?
Mom: High tops.
Bogie: Favorite rescue?
Bogie: Freckles or Tan?
Bogie: Venice Beach or Beverly Hills?
Mom: Venice Beach.
Bogie: Gingers or Brunettes?
Bogie: Red or white wine?
Mom: That’s a toughie, but I’m gonna go with Nena because of their song “99 Red Balloons”. Bogie! Have you gained weight?? What happened to the strict diet of no human food we talked about?!
Bogie: And that about sums it up. Thanks Ma, gotta go!