I love my Dad. My family does not say stuff like that very often. We are not a very mushy talking huggy family. I give my Mom a hug when I see her but that’s about it. If I tried to hug my sister she would probably assume I was either trying to hang a ‘kick me’ sign on her back or hiding a can of Spam in her purse (my family has been hiding the same 2 cans of Spam in each others belongings when we visit for about 20 years). When I see my siblings we tend to give each other a ‘I know that you know that I know that I care about you’ knowing nod. That said we all know how we feel about each other. As for Dad, well now that he is in his 80s I figure I better learn to deal with saying the occasional ‘I love you’ because I know some day I will regret not doing it more.
Like most kids, I grew up I repeatedly saying I hoped I would not turn out like my father. As I have gotten older I realize being like my Dad is not such a bad thing. I know it would be easy to pick apart the bad things but he really is a nice guy who truly does mean well. I could easily dig into the bag of old family stories about my Father but I will save those for another time. Today’s blog is about dogs. Really. Don’t worry; I’ll get there. But to quote my Dad “to make a long story longer…”
One trait I definitely inherited from my Father is his warped sense of humor (Yes, now you all know who to blame). He might not be as ‘over the top’ or ‘in your face’ (feel free to insert your own hackneyed expression here) as me but he is a bit unique. My sister and I want to start a quote book of stuff my Dad has said. I am most amused by his request of me to repeat something I quickly told him with the line “whoa, whoa whoa, slow it down to a waltz”. My sister’s favorite Dad‘ism’ is when he got into a verbal debate with someone about aeronautics during a holiday dinner and he loudly proclaimed “what you know about airplanes you could stick in a thimble, shove it into your eye, and it would not blind you.”
My Dad’s favorite watch is an elegant old Omega that he put the hands from a Mickey Mouse watch on it. Of course this makes sense if you know that when his father turned 90 he said he was tired of time going by so fast so he reversed the movement in one of his pocket watches so it would run backwards. That watch is the only thing I have asked my parents for after they… well… you know. When my grandmother passed away all I asked for was an old wooden ruler of hers that she got free as a gift from the Colombia Savings Bank. I used to play with it when I was very little and it reminds me of her whenever I see it. Memories do not need to be attached to some fancy expensive item; that ruler means as much to me as anything sitting in my safe deposit box.
One of the good ways to describe my Dad’s sense of humor is to mention the names he has given dogs over the years. Whereas my Uncle Lester stuck to one name and every dog he ever had was named Rowdy, my Dad was a bit more creative (interesting, odd) when picking a pet’s name. When a friend of his was trying to come up with a name for a brown mutt he picked up at the pound my Dad suggested the accurate but bizarre name Brown Dog. For years his owner had to explain that his name really was Brown Dog and often had to show his tags to prove it (or so I was once told by my Dad, so you just never know. What I know about Brown Dog I could stick in a thimble, shove in my eye and it would not blind me).
The dog I grew up with was named Pussycat. A family friend went to the pound in search of a puppy with the potential to grow up into a huge guard dog for his auto-body shop. My Dad got one look at this Shepard/Husky mix dog cleaning himself like a cat and dubbed him Pussycat. I do not know if the name was all too accurate or if he simply just lived up to it, but at two years old Pussycat was retired from the guard dog business and this big goofy dog with the wacky name became a member of our household. Instead of teaching him to ‘sit’ my Father taught him to ‘park’. My Dad often referred to him as Bonehead a term I have affectionately used for dogs for years as well.
I have come up with some good pet names (granted not as good as my friend Allyson’s kitten in 1983 Elvis Catstello), but none quite from the same warped prospective of my Father. I have often thought I would get a kick out of having my Dad name my next dog. Unfortunately that is not going to happen right now.
My wife and I just got a new pup but he came already named. I have always loved big goofy dogs like golden retrievers and Irish setters but through an interesting chain of events we now have a five-year-old wiener pup. His name is Brisco. He does not look like a Brisco. I am not sure what a Brisco looks like but it is certainly not a 13lb Dachshund. So we are trying to come up with names with similar sounds or syllables so as to not confuse him. More then likely he will end up staying Brisco. My wife took him to the vet today and told them his name is Brisco Jones but his nickname is BJ. That way he will fit in with our two cats and fish named respectively Max, Rader, Zelmo, Francis and Sparky. I hope my Dad approves of the name