Friday, April 30, 2010

Tony Baloney - The Love of my Life - Sorry, Jimmy (Part Four & FINAL)

                           Which one is Tony?  Which is his toy?
                 
It’s two and a half years since Sheri and Old Mike talked me into taking Tony into my life. Remember Sheri predicted she’d either be a hero or I’d hate her?



Well, plans are in the works to invite everyone I know to a special award ceremony where I will present her with a genuine imitation diamond studded Tony Baloney statue. Details to follow.


Sharing my life and my bed and my lap and my arms with this ridiculously sweet soul (Tony, not Sheri) has been the most healing and life affirming thing I’ve done since Jimmy died.


As I zip around my neighborhood I bring Tony along. Aside from restaurants and the Post Office (because it’s a Federal building) he’s allowed and welcomed everywhere.


At my age maintenance is a constant and so are visits to my hair and nail salon Maximus. Tony is the unofficial mascot and if I show up without him I’d better have a good reason.


His “aunts and uncles” there scoop him up, walk him from sink to color to the front desk.


Tony jumps onto my lap and hangs with me and other customers say “My dog would never sit like that.” I don’t tell Tony we’re going to Maximus. To him it’s called “Hi Tony” because that’s what he hears there continually.


This is all good. I just wish I could push a button and delete the memory of what happened when I first showed Tony to Fanny, my mother-in-law. She lives in a condo development where all front doors and small porches follow each other around in a circle. The coveted parking spots are in the center.


I  called to say I was coming by with Tony. I was sure she would be negative, “Oh, what do you want a dog for? It will only tie you down.” Instead, Fanny greeted me outside where practically all of her neighbors were sitting in front of their homes.

I parked and stood with Tony feeling like I was on stage in a theatre in the round. Fanny, well meaning Fanny (the word ‘mean’ is in well meaning) announced (loud because she’s 90 and basically deaf) to all...


“Oh, look – my daughter-in-law has a companion – someone to greet her – She won’t come home to an empty house anymore.” I wanted the ground to lift up and swallow me.


Maybe it's because of that that I still worry that I might seem too pathetic to be so joined at the hip with my dog. Wait, do dogs even have hips or maybe they have four hips –two for each set of legs?


Anyway, then I think about how many dog lovers there are out there and there’s no question that even if I weren’t a widow I would be just as smitten with Tony. 

If Tony was only filling a void he’d be sleeping a lot closer to me at night and in the morning I’d send him out to work.