Sunday, December 31, 2006

Scotch and soda...

Scotch and soda, mud in your eye.
Baby, do I feel high, oh, me, oh, my.
Do I feel high.

Dry martini, jigger of gin.
Oh, what a spell you've got me in, oh, my.
Do I feel high.

Dave Guard ...Kingston Trio.

Actually this post has nothing to do with scotch and soda or being high, but it does have to do with spirits. Besides, I liked that old Kingston Trio song.

Our little five pound poodle, Missy, was willed to us by my husband's aunt, "B," three and a half years ago. B was one of my deceased father in law's sisters and she lived in Denver, Colorado. She had been housebound for five years as a result of emphysema caused by a life long smoking habit. B's husband had died from lung cancer several years earlier. They had no children and Missy was B's only companion since her husband's death.

Missy was the last in a long line of toy poodles that B had, but she often said that Missy was her favorite. About four and a half years ago, we were in the Denver area and went to visit B who was on oxygen at the time. As we sat in her living room, Missy immediately jumped into my lap and I held her. During the course of our conversation, B said that she was very worried about what would happen to Missy when she died. Without thinking, I blurted out, "Don't worry B, we'll take Missy." My husband agreed. B was so happy that as soon as we left, she called her two surviving sisters and my mother in law to ensure that they all were aware that Missy was to be given to us when B died.

One year to the day after we made our promise to B, she died. Her youngest sister drove from Atlanta to Denver to dispose of B's belongings and to pick up Missy. Among the things she found was a letter from B with all of Missy's veterinary records, her papers, and instructions to have Missy groomed before she was to be given to me. B had written that letter only two weeks before she died.

Despite the fact that she was nearly eight years old at the time, Missy made the trip and transition from Colorado to our home in Florida without missing a beat. She is a very adaptable little dog. She loves everyone and is not at all shy around strangers. We also came to find out that Missy is a five pound control freak.

This summer, my husband's sister, her eight year old daughter, and my mother in law came to visit us for a couple of days. Our family loves our liquor, but I only drink beer and wine, and my husband usually stays with beer or wine too. So when they came to visit, my mother in law and sister in law brought their own "snakebite" medicine. Bourbon for my mother in law and vodka and tonic for my sister in law. Vodka and tonic is what both B and my father in law would drink.

As we sat down with our drinks, Missy went crazy jumping in my sister in law's lap and trying to get to her vodka and tonic. She did not do that to any one else. The next night, the same thing happened when we sat down to have a drink. Finally we decided that Missy KNEW the smell of vodka and tonic and probably also knew the taste of it too. I am willing to bet that B shared hers with Missy every evening when she had her vodka and tonic. And so the B's spirit lives in the spirits.

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