Peggy Sue to Jeanne Marie
I know that my owners were overjoyed when their last child left the nest. Still, I wish that they’d asked my opinion before they let him move out. I may be just a dog, but I have feelings too.
The boy came by the house to visit last Sunday and it was then that I realized just how much I’ve missed him, him and his big, sweaty tennis shoes.
While he was busy talking to Dad, I casually strolled over to the rug near the front door where the boy had politely left his shoes.
I stuck my head, well almost my whole body, in one of them. I rolled all around on the floor with his shoe and the odor brought back such fond memories.
I remember when the boy and I first met. He was very young when I joined the family and quite a handful. I used to help Mom with his discipline. I didn’t mind. I was glad to help. When she’d yell at him, I’d chase his rascally butt right into his room, nipping at his heels for good measure.
We also had two girls. One lived in Boston, but the other one always said, “Yes Mom, okay Mom.” What she did was another story, but at least she pretended obedience and I never had to chase and snip her. However, she did give me a few exciting nights when she tried to sneak out her bedroom window and inadvertently set off the burglar alarm. When Mom checked on her and saw her “sleeping” in her bed, I uncovered the hoax with some strong barking at the foot of the girl’s bed. Mom caught on real quick. She unrolled the covers and sure enough, the girl was fully clothed. The girl was somewhat boring except for her repeated attempts to beat the alarm. (She was a slow learner.)
On the plus side, she did share her yogurt with me and she scratched my head with her long fingernails while she watched the soaps.
But the boy? Oh, he was such fun, a human ball of energy! A stick of dynamite waiting for a match! Running through the house, going in and out, in and out! Me, chasing and barking all the while!
Sometimes I’ve gone too far, I have to admit it. I did bite him on the eyelid once.
Then, one time when he was being hollered at, I jumped up to bite him for emphasis. I caught hold of a piece of his shorts and if I had caught him just one-inch closer…well, let’s just say that I could’ve endangered his future fatherhood, if you get my drift!
I hung on; unsure of the protocol required in this situation while Mom rolled on the floor laughing. Finally, I realized that she was saying, “Let go Peggy-Sue, let go!” So I did, no harm done.
Sometimes the boy was nice to me. I remember when I took a stuffed Donkey Kong off his bed and I adopted him as my own. The boy said, “Let her keep it Mom, I don’t want it after Peggy-Sue messed with it. And they look so happy together.” I have tears in my eyes just thinking about his generosity.
One day, as he lay on the floor watching cartoons, I paused to take a bite out of his apple. He just laughed and called out, “Mom, come see Peggy, she’s so cute!” He thought I was cute!
The last few years that we had him were the best. I adored the way he would come in at all hours of the night. The way that it allowed me to wake up Mom and Dad with my insane barking. (Mom’s description.)
Nights can be very lonely for a poodle, what with sleeping all day, so I’d just lie on the bed and wait for a good excuse. The boy would turn the key ever so quietly and shut the door softly. But I didn’t care.
“YIP, YIP, YIP,” I’d shout out, using my “stranger\danger” bark to get the full effect.
Then, the mutt the folks had bought to keep me company, Charlie, would join in the ruckus.
Dad would yell at the boy and Mom would yell at Dad. “The damn dogs woke you up, not the boy!” and the whole house would be lit up like Christmas morning!
Just when Mom and Dad would start to fall back to sleep, the boy would tiptoe out to the kitchen for a drink and the whole thing would start all over again.
“YIP, YIP, YIP!” Soon as things quieted down again, his phone would ring. Third time around, I was pushing it, so any noise the boy made after that-I had to let it slide. Ah, how I loved those noisy nights.
Another favorite time was when the boy’s friends knocked at the door. I got some good barking mileage from them. His girlfriend was a special delight to chase from the front door to his room and then I’d catch her again on her way out. I knew she was scared of me and that made me feel like a guard dog, tough and strong.
I even miss the arguments that the boy and Dad used to get into. Those were great times for starting up a storm of barking. I’d run around them in circles, yipping to my heart’s content, taking first one side and then the other, as I tried to mediate. Although they never seemed to appreciate my efforts, I like to think that my participation often helped them work out a quicker settlement.
Now when the boy comes over, no one fights and the boy acts so different. I hardly know him. Saying weird stuff like “yes, ma’am” and “no, sir,” to the folks. His shoes smell the same, but I think that maybe he’s a man now. That could explain his strange behavior.
Dad and Mom are so hum drum. I can see their Golden Years coming fast. Most nights they sleep right through until morning. Thankfully, a fierce thunderstorm or a strange car door wakes them up now and then.
Without the boy, I just lie here and think of the good old nights. How much of a racket we used to make…
I never realized that he was moving out; although, I should’ve caught on when I saw him take a pile of boxes from his room to his car and then he carried out his bed. When he didn’t come back that night, I realized, I’d lost the boy.
There’ll never be another pair of shoes that excited me like his did.
We were quite a team. That’s why I miss the boy.
I think Mom misses him too because her eyes were dripping when she typed this story.