Those of you familiar with Tanner’s story will remember that, when he first left the shelter, he was one very skittish pup. A scuffed shoe or a dropped plate would send him flying. Thanks to Eugenie’s constant affection (she never took her hands off him) and my concerted efforts to reform my foul temper, he finally began to relax. First, we were able to coax him up onto the sofa for TV cuddles. Then, he learned to stretch out on our bed when invited. Of course, he stayed in the middle, close enough to let us touch him but far enough away to avoid us when he chose. Just recently, though, that’s begun to change. When we’re watching movies in bed (been enjoying Ric Burns epic documentary New York) he been allowing Eugenie to drape her legs across his body. And the other night, he curled up in my lap! I’d been busy working at probation and doing a hurry-up rewrite on my play so we think it was his way of saying that he missed me. Regardless, it was awesome to see him acting like the beloved family dog that he is.
|Dudley and Blanche|
Ever since his 4-year anniversary, Tanner and his humans have been busy with a host of projects, including finding a home for GIMME SHELTER. The journey continues and we hope to have an agent in place by Eugenie’s birthday (June 21). In addition to tweaking the book, crafting a proposal and starting a rewrite on my play, “All That He Could Be” (the true story of the only solider to successfully challenge the ban on gays in the U.S. Military – a black drag queen!), I’ve been I’ve been teaching at Probation and Eugenie has been carving like a mad woman. She’s submitting to several galleries and competitions and applying for grants as well. On top of that, we took a quick trip to Palm Springs to visit Eugenie’s mom, for Mother’s Day. It was 100+ and Melissa’s AC was out! Thankfully, our friends Toni, Ron and Alana let us stay at their place in Palm Desert. Tanner dislikes the heat and long drives but he bore up surprisingly well. On a sad note, Melissa’s beloved Pug, Dudley passed away recently, a few months shy of his 15th b-day. Dud was a funny, mischievous little imp who trained his owner to do his bidding. For most of his life, he spent the summers with us when things got too warm in the Desert, so we’ll miss him terribly, too.
In addition to work and travel, we’ve been fixing up the house in anticipation of our niece Margaret’s wedding two months from now, when all of the Spirito famiglia will descend on SoCal, many for their first visit since we moved here in 1991. We can’t have them thinking we live in a slum, albeit one with palm trees and an ocean view (if you stand on your toes in the upstairs loft). Like his grumpy ‘father (and our late cat, Blanche) Tanner HATES changes to his environment or routine. Sprucing up the master bath fits that label, and he’s been on edge the entire time. It doesn’t help that we’ve been AWOL at the dog park lately so Poor Tanner has had to make do with local play dates, extra treats and cuddles in bed.