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Tag Archives: Dad

Meet Sunny.

The SPCA of Northern Virginia has a great “Guardian Angel” program.  You can sponsor an animal up for adoption for $10 a month.  This money makes sure that they get all their food and medical needs met while they wait for the perfect home. 

This is Sunny and as of today she’s my little “pet” project.  For the next three months.   I will get pictures and updates on Sunny from the shelter in turn for my sponsorship. 

Today is my dad’s 79th birthday and growing up in Ireland he had two dogs that were very dear to him.  His father’s hunting partner, Smuttyface, a  greyhound that met an untimely demise.  And my dad’s own loyal companion in the fields, Rex The Protector!

I have happy memories from childhood of my dad sitting on the edge of my bed telling the great story of how Rex chased the fox out of the hen house and saved the family from starvation!

My father is a quiet man but a great story teller for those close to him.  I made a nightly request of the story for bedtime.  It goes something likes this:

 “It was a dark and wintery night and the wind was HOWLING  ’round the house.  [he attempts to whistle like the wind]  There Seamus and I are tucked in our beds… [he tucks me in and stops with jolt] WHEN I HEAR A NOISE!  I whisper to Seamus, “There’s a fox in the hen house!”  [stops to make the same face Seamus had upon hearing the news] And Seamus turns to me, “Call Rex!”  So I let out a call to REX!  Seamus and I run to the window!  [points to the window above my bed]  We don’t see him at first but we hear him coming!  BA-DA-BOOMP BA-DA-BOOMP BA-DA-BOOMP!  ‘There he is Jack! ‘Seamus says.  AND HE COMES GALLOPING PAST OUR WINDOW AND STRAIGHT INTO THE HEN HOUSE!!!   And then they’re out!  And Rex is chasing that sly fox UP and DOWN the fields as far as Seamus and I can see…

Seamus and I run down to the kitchen and already there is Rex with his tail wagging.  ‘ATTA BOY, REX!,’ we shout.  And Rex gets his bone.  The end.  Time for B-E-D, Tara.  Say your prayers.”

It wasn’t until I was in college that I thought to ask what kind of dog Rex was.  And not having told the story in a long time my dad quickly and honestly replied, “A cocker spaniel.”


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In my dad's eyes, these guys are simply Whole Foods' cashiers trying to drum up business.

In my dad's eyes, these guys are simply Whole Foods cashiers trying to drum up some business.

I used to live in the heart of the DC Gay Pride parade path.  I don’t anymore and this year I missed the parade entirely.  I was bummed.  I love my old gayborhood and all my old gaybors.  I love parades and I love big gay parades.     Going to any gay pride parade is what I think it must be like for someone who’s been blind since birth gaining sight for the first time, “The colors!” 

Somehow my parents visited me two years in a row during Gay Pride weekend.  As they don’t follow the “parade circuit”  like I do they were unaware of the reason for the colorful hullabaloo… I did not explain.

Dad (walking past the parade with me to my apartment in 2005):  “Is this for the new Whole Foods?”

Me:  “Yes.”

Dad (coming back to my apartment after a quick  “scone run” to Whole Foods in 2006):  There’s  some sort of fashion show going on outside.

Me:  “It’s Mardi Gras.”