Surveillance

Living in a suburb of Washington, DC, means that highly placed government officials, the kind that warrant a personal secret service detail, occasionally live in our neighborhood. On our early morning walks, Pettigrew and I see parked outside of homes, the distinctive, dark SUVs, motors idling on cold mornings. On warm days, they sport bike … Continue reading Surveillance

Support Animals

A sloth. Yes, a sloth is Pettigrew’s support animal. Surprisingly it took me a long time to realize this. First there was the recognition that he was not shredding, but cuddling with his toy sloth. Then I noticed that when he is feeling strong emotion, he tracks down his sloth and tosses him around in … Continue reading Support Animals

Just Love

“Just love,” I call out, throwing my voice ahead of me, as Pettigrew hurries us towards the woman in the neon yellow jacket standing in the middle of the street with her arms stretched wide. Sandy, the school crossing guard, keeps a pocketful of treats for the dogs that pass her intersection. A flash of … Continue reading Just Love

Neighborhood Watch or Busybody?

As someone who loves language, words, and a good story, I have long been aware that there is often a positive and negative way to describe an event. Or maybe it dates back to when, as a little girl, my mother told me that what we know about someone else is only part of the … Continue reading Neighborhood Watch or Busybody?

The Weather Outside is Frightful…*

It was close to an ultimatum. One minute I was curled up on the couch, talking to one of my oldest friends curled up opposite me. Between us, Pettigrew lounged. The next minute I was contemplating the ending of a friendship that had spanned decades. How had this happened? Weren’t we just catching up after … Continue reading The Weather Outside is Frightful…*

Know When to Hold, Know When to Fold

The list of Pettigrew’s triggers  (see What's a Trigger) has blissfully shrunken. FedEx? UPS? They now pass by unremarked and unmolested. Pettigrew saves his ire for the mail carrier. Yes, those foolish, foolish USPS workers wear the same, easily identifiable uniform. Plus, there are still some of the old trucks rumbling on the roads and causing us … Continue reading Know When to Hold, Know When to Fold

Wrapped Around A Furry Paw

Betrayed! In the Doghouse! After Pettigrew’s deplorable actions yesterday, these were the headers I was contemplating for my blog post. Yesterday, craving something sweet, jelly donuts preferably, I stopped in at a local bakery that caters to the large, Central American population in our neighborhood. I had been interested in it for years, but never … Continue reading Wrapped Around A Furry Paw

Ask Not What Pettigrew Can Do For You, But What You Can Do For Pettigrew

Ask not what Pettigrew can do for you, but what you can do for Pettigrew. I imagine this question is in Pettigrew’s mind whenever we ask/command/have an expectation of him. Needless-to-say, this is not what I expected when he joined our home. My father trained the dog with whom I grew up. She obeyed us … Continue reading Ask Not What Pettigrew Can Do For You, But What You Can Do For Pettigrew

Playing Possum: A Pettigrew Mystery

For the past several weeks I have been pondering one of Pettigrew’s distinctive behaviors. I have talked to colleagues and friends. I remain in the dark as to what is going on. Pettigrew likes to lie, one might say collapse, in very public places and remain there unmoving. Seemingly dead. Everyone in the family has … Continue reading Playing Possum: A Pettigrew Mystery

Welcome! to Our Home

Stores aren't the only place to have greeters, a person who stands at the entrance and says “hi!” in a chipper voice if you put a toe over the threshold. Our home has a greeter too: Pettigrew appointed himself to this role. He’s the first to respond when the doorbell chimes. Once the door is … Continue reading Welcome! to Our Home