Min-Pin, Anyone?

I took Lola the amazing Chihuahua-mix to Animal Rescue of New Orleans over the weekend for a medical check. It turns out she's a miniature Pinscher and that she's about three years old.

She received a clean bill of health--she doesn't even have heartworms, which the ARNO staff said meant she must have belonged to someone recently. She now has all of her shots and is up-to-date on her flea and heartworm meds. I do believe that she may be in better health than my golden retriever. And little dogs live a looooong time, don't they?

K and I discussed it Friday night and agreed that we do NOT want another dog. So, I went into ARNO on Saturday, full of firm resolve to tell them that I simply cannot keep another dog. Especially one that eats porch furniture cushions and Little Mermaid dolls, digs holes, isn't housebroken and barks a lot. But then Lola started trembling the minute we walked into the clinic, and my resolve crumbled a little bit. And then when we got home, E was so excited to see her that she carried her around the backyard for about an hour, saying "I love you, Lola. It's okay that you ate Ariel."

So, it appears that I am now the somewhat-reluctant owner--or at least foster mother--of a non-housebroken, pillow-chewing, hole-digging, barks-a-lot dog. Sigh.

Min-pin, anyone? Did I mention that she's very good with children?


What's in a Name?

It seems like I'm surrounded by pregnant women lately (although I'm most definitely not one of them). One of my co-workers is Swiss, and I've learned a lot from her about different customs during her two pregnancies. In Switzerland, for example, it's considered impolite to inquire of someone who's pregnant as to what the sex of the baby is, what baby names are being considered, etc. She told me that in the Swiss culture, pregnancies are not discussed among anyone but the closest of friends and relatives until the baby is born--acquaintances, co-workers, and of course, strangers, pretty much pretend that the pregnancy doesn't exist. And they certainly don't go around annoyingly treating pregnant women as if they're some sort of community property. Having my stomach patted or rubbed by a complete stranger while I was pregnant was one of the most disturbing things I've ever had happen to me and was avoided whenever possible.

I'm guessing that not having to discuss your pregnancy with strangers and co-workers (and possibly in-laws) must be pretty pleasant in a lot of ways. I'll never forget when my mother-in-law asked me what K and I were planning to name the baby. When I told her the name we'd picked out, her response was, "Are you serious?"

My daughter's name is Emmeline. Apparently, it's a very popular name in Belgium, according to my boss. Needless to say, everyone is very confused as to how to spell our daughter's name. The most common variation is "Emmaline," as that's how it sounds like it should be spelled. Even my father misspells it on a regular basis. When he last asked and I spelled it out for him on the phone, he spelled it like above. When I told him that there was no a--just three e's--he spelled it "Emmaleine." At least he got that a in there somewhere.

I suppose E will end up hating me when she's older, after having to spell both her first and last name for everyone she meets (our last name is a common one, but for some reason, people can't spell it). Plus, she will have the additional trauma of never, ever being able to find one of those pre-printed, personalized keychains at Disney World or a license plate for her bike with her name on it.

The best part about Emmeline's name is when my husband tells people that she was named after a ferry. I'm sure that sounds strange enough as it is. But when he talks to people and they automatically assume he said fairy, you can see the looks of total confusion on their faces as visions of Tinkerbelle start dancing through their minds and they're wondering if they need to back away from the crazy guy.

The real story is this--I grew up on an island off the Georgia coast, St. Simons Island. Back in the early part of the 20th century, it became quite the tourist hot spot. Before cars became all the rage, people got to St. Simons by ferry. One of the boats was named the Emmeline and one was named the Hessie. During my childhood, there was a restaurant on St. Simons called, of course, the Emmeline and Hessie, so I've just grown up with those names in my consciousness. I've always loved the name Emmeline--and when, for some shocking reason, my husband agreed to it instantly when I threw it out as a possible baby name, we both settled on it immediately. I'm still surprised that he liked the name as much as I did.

This year, my dad found a picture of the original Emmeline and gave it to E for her birthday. She doesn't appreciate it much now as a three-year-old, but I think it's pretty damn neat having a picture of her namesake around. Although I suppose at this age, she'd prefer to be named after a fairy. And no, if we have another daughter, we won't name her Hessie.

Conversations with a Three-Year-Old, Volume 2

E: Mommy, am I a people?

Me: Yes, sweetie--you're a person.

E: Is Tchoups a people?

Me: No, Tchoups is a dog. But you, me and Daddy are all people.

E: No, you're not a people--you're a mommy.

Keeping the Brand Out There

I was pleased to see that New Orleans was in the news last night, having made the "Oddball" section of Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Gotta keep the brand out there, you know.

Apparently, a cross-dresser robbed the Burger King on Carrollton Avenue last week after climbing through the drive-thru window with a gun. No word on whether his shoes and purse matched, but the police did say that his nails were nicely painted.

Luckily for us, this story was reported in places like Houston, Charleston, and San Antonio, as well as in more far-flung places, like Australia. And of course, on Countdown. Hopefully, C. Ray can hold a press conference soon to tell us how transvestite robbers are a good thing for the New Orleans tourism business.


Smother's Day

My daughter really cracks me up sometimes, and Sunday was one of those days. I didn't get greeted with flowers or cards or breakfast in bed, as K was at the restaurant taking care of other people's wives and mothers, as usual. But E was there to pick up the slack and greeted me with a joyful "Happy Smother's Day!" (No, I don't know why she thinks it's called "Smother's Day, either.)

She informed me that because it was "Smother's Day," she was going to be a very good girl all day. I guess they discussed the topic at daycare or something. But, she was true to her word and was good as gold all day, which, as you may know, is hit or miss with a three-year-old. She serenaded me with her favorite songs, including the alphabet song and "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." She didn't have a raging case of the "I want thats" when we went to the grocery store. And she made me laugh especially hard when she coaxed Lola the stray chihuahua-mix into her kiddie pool and down the slide. All in all, it was a very nice Smother's Day--and a nice way to spend the day with my little girl.


Dear Hillary...

Please go away now. It's over--I know that you want to claim a 2% lead in Indiana as an amazing win, but it's not. Especially when you said that the Wright controversy proved that Obama was unelectable and that North Carlina would be a "game changer." Last time I checked, a 14% lead in Obama's favor doesn't count as a game changer for you.

Believe it or not, I was a staunch defender of both you and Bill up until the past few months. Even as recently as February, I was defending you to my winger friends who claimed that they'd leave the country if you were elected president. I supported you and Bill throughout Travelgate, White Water, Vince Foster. Even Monica-Gate. I firmly believed (although I didn't necessarily agree with Bill getting lip-service in the Oval Office from Monica) that that whole sordid affair was none of our business and had nothing to do with whether or not Bill was a good president. I even defended the "what the meaning of is is," which was pretty hard to do.

But come on--you've begun veering into crazy territory. The gas tax holiday and discounting the "elite opinion" of economists? Threatening Iran with nuclear obliteration? Duck hunting and boiler makers in Pennsylvania? Suing OPEC for running a monopoly? Terry McAuliffe bragging about your winning a shot contest with John McCain? It's called pandering, Hillary, and it's exactly what turns off those of us who are ready for something other than politics as usual. And the non-stop push to count the votes of Florida and Michigan. Those votes weren't that important when you thought you would have it all wrapped up on Super Tuesday, were they?

If you win the Democratic nomination, you will have my vote. But it will be a vote cast while holding my nose. I used to really admire you and Bill--now you both make me wonder if I was wrong for defending you throughout the 90s, especially in light of your win-at-all-costs attidute, which includes frequent criticism of Obama--you know, the other Democratic nominee?

I am not a Kool-Aid drinking Obama-bot. Initially, I didn't care which of you got the nomination. But you've lost me and a lot of others. Your campaign has been inept from the beginning, and it's time to pack it in.

Please go away.

Sincerely, A


Chihuahua, Anyone?

A very sweet little Chihuahua showed up at my house late last Thursday night, filthy and with all of her ribs showing. I fed her because I felt so sorry for her.

On the way home from school on Friday, I cautioned E that there would be a little dog in our yard and that she was NOT, under any circumstances, to try to pet it, as I wasn't sure how the dog would react. (E has a thing for chasing our cats around frantically--needless to say, they're not amused--especially when she actually catches one, which is rare.) So, we pull up to our house, E gets out of the car, and the dog just comes barrelling up to E and immediately begins jumping up and down, licking her face, etc. It would appear that this dog really loves kids.

She's a very sweet little dog, and E is getting quite attached to her, but we really don't want the responsibility of another pet. (We already have one dog, two cats and three fish. I'm sure as E gets older, there will be some rodents involved in there somewhere, as well.) While saying that I do NOT want another dog, I am also an animal sucker. I brought the dog inside and gave her a bath, have been feeding her regularly, and we even let her sleep in the house last night, where she promptly displayed for us that she isn't potty-trained.* We've been calling her Lola.

So, does anyone want a Chihuahua that's not housebroken but is very sweet and good with kids? I've been scanning the lost and found ads on nola.com and craigslist, but so far no one seems to be missing her. I'm wondering if perhaps she was dumped in our neighborhood. If I can't find a home for her, I guess we'll end up keeping her. (See animal sucker, above.) But did I mention that I really don't want another dog?

Anyone interested? Anyone?

*I realized after writing this that I put "potty-trained" instead of "housebroken." Can anyone tell what's on my mind as far as my daughter is concerned?