|Izzie this morning (10:00 AM, 26 April, 2012). She woke up, sniffed at her favorite toy, which she hasn't played with in over a year, then went back to sleep with head on her little pillow (She "stole" the pillow from my daughter).|
Here are some highlights from Izzie's life as I remember it.
|Our First Day|
We had been together for about a month and I was preparing a Thanksgiving dinner for myself and three guests. We went off to walk a trail around Devil's Tower while the turkey was cooking, leaving Isabelle to guard the house. I wish I had a picture of Isabelle sitting at the end of the table waiting for her plate of turkey. I had put the turkey on the dining room table and she decided to put herself at the other end, seated on a chair, paws on the table and with a happy, expectant look on her face. I yelled "get down" and she did. She got her plate on the floor in the kitchen and never tried to jump on a dining room chair again.
Isabelle loved going to the Sunday afternoon teen's group. We had pizza and watched and discussed episodes of The Simpsons. One rule was that I was the only one to give Izzie pizza. (She became Izzie after one of my clergy colleagues decided that suited her much better than Isabelle). The teen group morphed into a Rite-13 group and they decided to put Izzie's picture and name on their banner and Izzie proudly marched into church with them on the Sunday they had their ceremony.
|Shoveled sidewalks are best.|
When we moved on to Sausalito and Christ Church, Izzie joined other dogs either in the parish hall or on the patio while the services went on. They would all be let loose for coffee hour. One winter day, Izzie was alone in the parish hall and walked across the street into the service, walking down the center aisle to be with me. The ushers chased her down, put her back in the hall, and in a few minutes she was back. It turned out that someone had left a downstairs doors open and Izzie went down the stairs, out the door, into the garden, up the garden stairs, across the street and into the church. The second time they put her on leash and tied it to the railing outside the church. She was quite indignant.
Izzie did love the Blessing of the Animals. In Wyoming the service was inside the church with at least 20 dogs and cats. They lined up at the altar rails with their human companions for a blessing and treat. Izzie walked next to me and barked at the one dog who dared put a paw up on the kneeler. Said dog removed paw quickly. "She who must by obeyed" ruled. Sausalito's service was outside in the garden, but with about the same numbers of creatures. One young man brought his rabbit in a cage. Guess who was VERY interested in the rabbit. Thank goodness for the cage.
Izzie made some good dog friends in Sausalito and we had great walks together. One of the highlights of our time there was the SPCA's Bark and Whine Ball. Three humans and four dogs (all of us dressed up for the occasion) went over to San Francisco for a great night out. There were walkers to take the dogs for pee breaks, lots of food, wine and music and dog treats. Our friend, Liz, danced with one of her Australian Shepherds while Izzie hid under the table.
|Izzie hiking in the mountains|
|OK, when do we leave?|
Izzie became part of the congregation of St. Andrew's, Millinocket. She sat with Sally, the head of the altar guild and came up to the altar rail at communion time where she got a blessing. I had no idea she liked communion wine until one day she cleaned up some that had been spilled on the floor after the service was over. Fortunately she was too short to reach the cupboard where it was kept. Had enough of people surreptitiously drinking communion wine in certain parishes (not Millinocket) and didn't want my Izzie needing to join AA. When we left for Rangeley, Izzie was given a formal letter of transfer. I'm still not sure how Good Shepherd really felt about that. The Vestry thought it funny, but Millinocket was serious. Izzie pulled her weight and was a great parishioner.
Izzie went to the early service in Rangeley and was quite welcome there. The early service people always greeted her and brought her treats. They enjoyed her snoring through my sermons and occasional barks at the right time, like when I talked about God creating creatures with four legs as well as two. Izzie was was both my Amen corner and a sharp critique of my work. However, she stayed in the parish hall for the later service. Occasionally someone would go down to use the restrooms and she would escape and just like in Sausalito, she would march up the aisle, only to be corralled by an usher or the Senior Warden.
Izzie's birthday was May 5. She would have been 14 next week. I had a party for her birthday in Rangeley and since it was Cinco de Mayo we ate chicken enchiladas, and drank grapefruit margaritas. Izzie enjoyed the enchiladas, but was not offered a margarita.