January 19, 2012

General Manners: Don't give table scraps to the dog.

Our first Poodle, Gigi, was an expert nuisance during the dinner hour. She probably had been accustomed to begging at the table when she lived with her previous owner.

It was one of several irksome habits that Gigi never shook. For example, she would sit on the piano bench next to anyone who was playing the instrument, and she would howl. She also disliked most visitors. She once bit the piano tuner when he picked up his briefcase as he exited. Although her housebreaking was pretty good, she would "spite shit" if she were left alone for too long of a period. When my Dad had bypass surgery, for instance, Mom and I were gone from the house for about fourteen hours. We returned home to find "cupcakes" dolloped throughout the living room and on the bedspread of the master bedroom.

Despite these endearing qualities, I loved Gigi.

Suburban Chicago, January, 1970. Gigi begs at the table. Mom must have just returned from work. She's eating a late dinner that Tatjana has heated for her. You can tell it's a reheat because of the Corning dish on the table. Mom is sitting at the newish kitchen set. It looked like outdoor furniture, and the chairs featured pink, vinyl seat cushion. Mom was no fan of pink, but she felt tied to that color for the decor because the kitchen had pink tile floors, pinkish counters, and pink ceramic wall tile. It looks like my paternal Grandmother, Tatjana, is having a cup of Sanka. 

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Suburban Chicago, September 1969. Misery! I am practicing the piano! There's that chandelier that the decorator persuaded my Mom to buy. Next to the piano is the huge plastic plant that he recommended, too. On the piano rests an enchanting "Dresden" porcelain figurine. In the back, on the end table next to the sofa, stands a fashion doll outfitted in Lithuanian folkdress.

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Suburban Chicago, October 1969. Gigi's head is up, and she might be ready to howl.


Elise said...

My parent's Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix loves to howl along to the piano when my mom plays. He also likes to howl when I sing. However, I like it. He even modulates his tone to try to match the music. I think he's a prodigy of some sort.

Irene said...

How sweet!

The Border Collie/Aussie mix is the "Porsche" of dogs: only experienced drivers should take on their operation. It's a wonderful dog type: smart, affectionate, loyal, and quick. Your parents are lucky.