• Jody Kussin

In Times Like These #25 4-8-2020

As dictated by Ginger Kussin-Shoptaw

My origin story as a golden retriever pup is sad, so feel free to skip to the gooder stuff.

I was living with a loving human who did not feed me. I was hungry all the time. At a very young age she had me get pregnant and deliver 12 pups who she then sold. I was not even a year old. I spent lots of my time looking for crumbs of food. I was so skinny I could fit under the bed and couch. One night I squirmed under a couch I had not yet explored. I found an old rusty thing (which I later learned, was a ‘lamp.’) I pulled it out and rubbed around it hoping to find food. Instead, out popped Robin Williams (which I later learned.) He was a fast-talking genie and offered me three wishes.

For my first wish, I wished to either find my biological parents OR get adopted by a nice loving forever family. The next day, I was picked up by a husband and wife. Both of their names are “DEAR” so at first this was very confusing. They drove me in a car for two hours. They did not talk quite as fast as Mr. Williams, but they were for sure chatters, especially the mom ‘dear.’

For my second wish, I wished to never be hungry again. I hit the jackpot in this house. There is so much food it’s unbelievable. In a month I had put on lots of weight. In another month my black teeth and gums turned out white and pink, respectively. I was fed every morning AND every night. I also got treats for doing things I had never done before – pee outside (check!), poop outside (check!), sit (check check – I’m particularly good at that), give paw (weird one, but, gets me a treat so, check.) I started going on walks two times a day and then I learned that it’s NOT okay to jump up with enthusiasm to greet other walkers and their humans and it’s not okay to run into the street or follow squirrels up trees. For learning these things, I got more treats. So, I keep on doing them.

My genie told me the third wish was unlikely to come true, and he asked me to tone it down. However, I am nothing if not persistent, so I wished for my adoptive parents to never leave the house again. And, yup, beginning a few weeks ago, the wish was granted. It is now pure heaven on earth in my life. There is 24/7 coverage and focus on me. I play ‘steal the food off the counter’ and ‘tear the newspaper to smithereens’ and ‘bark like crazy for no reason.’ One of my favorite games is “Hometown Buffet’ smorgasbord. I can open a closet and choose which shoe to carry off, or nudge open a drawer and select between many of ‘dear’s’ tie-dye shirts. It’s most fun, though, to browse through my mom/dear’s stuff because it gets her very excited. My dad dear says she’s annoyed, but, what’s the diff? She chases me to collect her not from Target exercise socks, her sweater that she saves to wear because it needs dry cleaning, and any of her ‘good’ yoga pants. I love this cafeteria life. And I love that I proved my genie wrong!

The wish to have my parents home with me around the clock is the best thing ever. I climb on my dad’s lap constantly, especially when he is doing something called ‘workfromhomezoomcalling.’ I am never more than a foot away from either of them. I am living my best life. I go on tons of walks, eat often, snuggle constantly, and am the center of attention. Hopefully my parents never ‘return to normal’ whatever that means. From my seat, in someone’s lap at all times, I see love, friendship, loveie toys, many more mom’s socks and lots and lots of food. Thanks Genie.


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