Care Package for Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021

Hello, and welcome to the new and (hopefully) improved Care Package.

I’ve been putting together Care Packages on an almost daily basis since March 1, 2019, but over the past few weeks, I’ve lost steam for a variety of reasons. Today, I begin a new approach to the Care Package, and I hope it gets me back on track for daily sharing.

Rather than a simple listing of poetry, travel destinations, art, music, quotes, and recipes, I’ll be focusing on just one or two of these cultural highlights each day for the most part and writing a little bit about why they’re important to me. 

There’s a two-fold reason for doing this. First, it strengthens my writing muscles by forcing me to do more than just make a list of things. Second, maybe it will spark an exchange of ideas here, and you’ll let me know what you think of what I’m sharing and what sort of cultural products inspire you.

Here we go …

I’m sitting on the couch in our living room, typing away as Ziti lays pressed up against my left leg. She breaths contentedly, wrapped in a blanket and full from her morning bowl of kibble and the thin slice of American cheese she gets at the start of each day for being such a good girl. The cheese started as a delivery system for heart worm medication, and it just kept going once the medicine and the heart worms were gone. 

Ziti is mostly pit bull, with a bit of German pointer in her. Except when she sees a squirrel or a chipmunk. Then she’s all pointer.

Sally, Misty, and Ziti.

A year ago this morning, there was no Ziti. As I sat on the couch in our living room, typing away, there was no dog at all. No dog for the first time in nearly 16 years.

We said goodbye to Sally, our Pekingese, the previous night. The poor little thing had kidney failure, and with her human family gathered ‘round, she made her way to whatever and wherever is next.

I still see so many things that remind me of Sally. Pizza crust, which was her favorite snack. Desktops, because she liked to hang out on my desk when I was a newspaper editor. The Saco River in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, where she liked going on vacation. 

Misty was the blind Pekingese we adopted a few years after we got Sally. She was close to 20 when she crossed the Rainbow Bridge five years ago. Misty still pops up all over the place, too. Wooly bear caterpillars, frazzled and fuzzy like her. Pictures of brontosaurus, their appearance inspiring Misty’s nickname of “dinosaur.” Big smiles, because Misty had the biggest.

And Ziti, well, lots of stuff reminds me of her, too. Squirrels and chipmunks, obviously. Stretching, because she is an Olympic-level stretcher when she wakes up. Bodies of water, which she’s terrified of, just like me.

And so much more for all three of my beloved pooches.

Which brings me to today’s Care Package selection.

Everything Reminds Me of My Dog by Jane Siberry is from her 1989 album, Bound by the Beauty. Siberry is a Canadian musician deserving of far wider recognition than she has. If you’re unfamiliar with her, check out Love Is Everything: The Jane Siberry Anthology. If nothing else, once you listen to Everything Reminds Me of My Dog, check out her song Calling All Angels. It’s a powerhouse of a tune. 

Anyway, today’s selection is here for obvious reasons. Pretty much everything does remind me of at least one of my dogs. Especially this time of year.

It will likely come as no surprise that I’ve written about my dogs before. Two pieces about Sally, Misty, and Ziti can be found here and here. The special Care Package I put together in memory of Sally can be found here.

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