Farewell America Tour, Part 3

November 1, 2016

Staying with My Sister and her Menagerie

This vagabond is 71 days away from beginning my new life in Italy for at least one year. I am out of my home. My condominium is rented out and I had planned a great deal of traveling in the USA before leaving.  But my eyes had other plans.

Instead of galivanting around the Northeast, my cataracts called and decided it was time for them to take off. Since I must take two weeks off between surgeries I needed a place to lay my head and my sister and her spouse invited me to stay with them as long as I needed.

Times have changed. My sister, Patrice, is nearly 12 years younger than I am and she has stayed with me in the past.  Now, she and Diana, her partner, have a home with a room for me.

Patrice and Diana have six children, five have four legs and one flies. This is all new to me. Yes, my sister has had pets since she was in college. I have been to her home and seen the animals many times. But, as my friends know, I know zero, nothing, nada, niente, about animals. Now, they are my housemates. My friends think this is hilarious.

First there is Taco, the green cheeked Conure Parrot. This bird wants to eat every time you have a snack. She squawks repeatedly until you give her/him/it a cracker. How do you tell the sex of a bird? I don’t have a clue and don’t want to know.

This is the best shot I could get of Taco in the cage. I am not ready to take her out of that cage yet. Besides screeching for snacks, she mimics my sister’s laugh and makes kissing sounds. Sometimes she says “Rudy” too.

This is Rudy, a German Wired-haired Pointer Griffon. He will chase a ball until he drops. And he is very mild-mannered. He is also a drool monster when he drops his ball for me. I haven’t gotten used to that yet.

Zoey is a Schnoodle, half Schnauzer, half poodle. Just two day ago she got her hair cut and is now always cold. The moms put her in a sweater.

She also enjoys sitting on the back of the chair. I forget about this and continuously bump into her when I sit down. And the poor thing is losing her eyesight.

That leaves the largest and smallest dogs, Mason, a Silver Lab who thinks he is a lapdog and Callie, a Chihuahua who believes she is a lion.  When you look at Mason you think he will be fierce but it is Callie who is the boss of all four dogs. She and Mason are the best of friends and both want to sit on my lap at the same time, that is, when they are done wrestling.

I am overwhelmed by these creatures.

Please don’t lick me Mason. Please.

I almost forgot about Baby Maddie, the Black Cat. She and I do our best to stay away from each other. I sneeze when we are together.

She really is a beauty.

These are my housemates. Patrice and Diana work outside the home while I stay here with the kids. I let them out. I have given them treats. I play ball with the dogs. No dog sitting, no poop patrol, no grooming.  This is a big step for me. And a good lesson for a person moving to Italy where dogs are even welcome in many restaurants. And it is a humbling experience. Patrice and Diana have a great deal of love to give to these pets and the pets return it to them. It is a full-time job to care for so many animals. I have trouble keeping plants alive. It is quite a commitment.

Getting to know Diana and Patrice better is just the frosting on the cake in this menagerie. Seeing them together and seeing the love they share gives me great joy. I am so glad that they have each other. I understand them better through their kids.

Thanks for sharing your home with me my two sisters. It will be difficult saying goodbye to you two and to this environment when I leave.  You can visit me in Italy any time, but maybe, leave a few of the kids at home.

Ciao for now!

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