Responding to Calls & The Dog Show

September 28th, 2021 – Post #18

A clipping my mom kept from the local newspaper when I won second place in the dog look-a-like contest with my Cocker Spaniel
My one claim to fame is placing second in a dog look-alike contest. Keep reading to find out how my mom is the one who “stole the show” in the talent portion… I think our cocker spaniel was about as embarrassed as I was…

Hi again,

I just picked up my mom’s phone and saw that she has 22 missed calls, and 35 unread texts. So sorry if you have been waiting for a response from her. I know there are other messages and texts she has checked, because before she laid down, she kept listing the people she needed to get back to.

If there is one thing my mom loves to do it’s “work the switchboards”, as we say around here – talking on the phone is one of her favorite past times.

This summer, she said, “You know I’m sick, if I don’t feel well enough to go to the swimming pool.”

Today she told me, “I want to talk to everyone, but I just need a nap.”

I’m glad she said it, because that’s what we’ve all been thinking. It’s a sure sign she doesn’t feel well at all. So, please know she cares and appreciates all your calls and texts – she’s just plain tuckered out right now.

October 3rd, 2021 – Post #19

After some adjustments to her blood pressure medication, my mom has been doing a little better this week than she did last week. She’s still pretty worn out, and mostly just needing to rest, but not quite as wobbly as she was. This Thursday she plans to have her sixth dose of chemo, then the next week, she will probably have another scan to see how things are going.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share another little known highlight from her life:

(If you missed my last post, you might want to backtrack and read about one of my mom’s classic adventures)

Not many people know that I once placed second in a dog look-alike contest with our Cocker Spaniel, Buffy (who we didn’t name). I’d also signed Buffy up for the talent portion of the local dog show, but bailed out, because I got too embarrassed.

My mom bravely stepped in to take my place. I don’t think she won, but after all these years, she ought to at least get this honorable mention:

Buffy had little talent, but if there was one thing she could do, it was sing.

She only knew one song: the high-pitched love song, “You Light Up My Life”.

That day, I dressed her in a sequin gown – from material Megan used to make a mermaid costume, and pinned back her long, golden ears, into an updo, leaving a few curls scattered about in an elegant looking arrangement.

I’d planned out her whole outfit, knowing she would be a star at the Goldie’s Department Store Parking Lot Dog Show, and win for sure. My one oversight was that Buffy needed to hear the song to be inspired to sing. She had no other way to know the people had all gathered for her performance.

Called to the center of the stage – a parking space in front of a strip mall – a hush fell over the crowd, and then, – and then, I realized I was going to have to sing “You Light Up My Life” for her – in front of all those people.

I wasn’t about to embarrass myself like that. I didn’t even like to sing out loud in the shower.

Naturally, I turned to my mom.

Certainly, if she really loved me, she’d embarrass herself for my sake. I just knew she would.

And, of course, she did.

Stepping forward, she cleared her throat, paused, nodded at Buffy, and began the operatic song:

Yoooooooouuuuuuu light up my-y liiiiiiiiife.

Yooooooou give me hoooope.

To carry oooo-oo-on.

You light up my days…

The duet had not begun, so my mom stopped her solo.

Buffy, was still sitting attentively in her sequin gown, perhaps she thought she was merely there to spectate, but my mom nodded to her again, this time more encouragingly, and began the song with greater gusto:

Yoooooooouuuuuuu light up my-y liiiiiiiiife.

Yooooooou give me hoooope.

To carry oooo-oo-on.

You light up my days…

My mom might as well have been singing Faith Hill’s “Just Breathe”, because that’s all the dog was doing as she sat there panting in the sun.

“C’mon Buffy, sing – “

Yooooooouuuu light up my-y liiiiiife…

Buffy continued to look at my mom, then she turned her elegantly arranged head, and gave each member of the audience a knowing look that seemed to say, “Get a load of this lady – how embarrassing!”

For my own part, I’d stopped breathing, pleading with my mom (in my mind) to stop embarrassing me.

She’d come to my rescue, and I wanted to run away.

There I was, a middle schooler, and my mom was singing opera in a parking lot at a dog show – alone.

I was mortified.

Silent and mortified.

Begging her in my head, ‘Please stop mom. Please stop now.’

Undaunted, she tried again:

Yoooooooouuuuuuu light up my-y liiiiiiiiife.

Yooooooou give me hoooope.

To carry oooo-oo-on.

You light up my days…

Buffy and I both pretended not to know her. Her fortitude lasted a little longer, but slowly fizzled out. Much to the relief of everyone.

I don’t remember if they had participation ribbons, but if anyone had earned one, my mom certainly had.

What that woman wouldn’t do for her children.

Click here to find out why my mom’s doctor said her brain is unremarkable.

*To read more on my mom’s cancer journey from the beginning, or share it, please click below:


I'm not sure what to say here: I once got second place in a dog-look-alike-contest? I know how to fold a fitted sheet? I'm pretty much a poster child for social backwardness - at least as far as social media is concerned; but I have some stories I think I'm supposed to share and am attempting to do that here, in this space.

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