Why a Dog is Sometimes Better to Have Around Than a Husband

Whatever you do...

...don't turn around!
...don't turn around!

The roadrunner...

A perfect example of flight vs fight
A perfect example of flight vs fight

Did you bring mah cherries?

 

You know that feeling you get on the back of your neck when you just know that somebody is standing right behind you...waiting for you to turn around? The tiny hairs rise and that flush of adrenaline pumps into your system, the genetic gift of our ancestry that makes it possible to go from zero to roadrunner (Meep, meep!) in seconds flat. You feel trapped, like the heroine in a bad B-rated horror film. The audience is screaming, "Don't turn around, don't turn around...for the love of G...geesh, I told her not to turn around! Of course the monster ate her...she TURNED AROUND!"

For a few precious seconds, standing at the side of the large bird cage, I chose to heed the words of the audience. Cooing to the parrots, I reached my fingers into the disposable plastic cup that I held in my left hand, probing about until I had extracted another maraschino cherry heavily soaked in the remnants of my pina colada. "Here you go, sweetie," I said softly, luring the parrot closer as I stuck my fingers between the bars. My sister would be so proud of me, I thought. I'm deathly afraid of large birds...well, not really the entire bird...just their beaks. I wasn't as frightened of the two macaws in this cage however since we'd become good friends over the course of my honeymoon in Aruba. Every day, I saved the garnishes from my drinks at the bar...pineapples and cherries mostly and offered them to the parrots. Cautiously, the red and turquoise macaw made his way toward me, finally wrapping his sturdy claws around the bar next to my unprotected fingers. Very gently, almost as if the bird was aware of my cautious bravery, the beak opened and with the precision of a surgeon, extracted the fruit from my fingertips.

With that done, and a promise to the parrot that I would see him again tomorrow, I knew that I was left with no other choice but to turn around and finally confront the source of my unease. I had a suspicion about who it was...and I was pretty sure it wasn't a good looking guy dressed in leiderhosen.

I should explain that last remark, shouldn't I?

Sorry Jan...it's always about Marcia.

When I graduated from high school, my older sister sent me a ticket to come and spend the summer with her in Florida. Growing up, the two of us had been very close but being five years my senior, she had been on her own for a while and the distance had opened a rift between us. We were both looking forward to the opportunity to bridge that gap with some serious sister time.

Growing up, I had been her shadow...sort of like the Jan to her Marcia Brady. Unlike Jan though, I had never minded. Michele always drew men to her like bees to honey...and she knew it. With a casual flip of her long blonde hair, she would whisper to me as we walked down the seaside boardwalk, "How many now, Laurie?" referring to the number of men that had nearly suffered a fatal case of whiplash. I would give a smug grin and respond with a number that I knew she would deem satisfactory. So I stretched the truth a bit at times...this was my big sister...my idol.

Five years of separation had taken their toll however. For one thing, I was four inches taller than my older sibling and it was difficult to physically hide in her shadow. And...well I just didn't feel like coddling her ego anymore. When I was young, her narcissism was rather endearing...and now, it was just annoying.

We went to Busch Gardens one day and as usual, we hadn't been there for more than a few minutes when men began tripping over themselves, trying to find a way to get her attention. Despite my best attempt to rush her through the crowds, we still found ourselves trapped on a tram ride with two besotted boys, each one trying to outshine the other for my sister's affection. I felt pretty damn invisible...and my mood steadily declined. How could men be so stupid? Perhaps I was a bit jealous...no, let's be honest...I was choking on my own envy and throwing myself a veritable pity party in one corner of the car. I consoled myself with the thought that any male foolish enough to fall for a woman simply because of how she looked, was not good enough for me.

Michele tried to help. When it came to her wardrobe, she was always very generous in allowing me to borrow her things. It wasn't her fault that everything looked great on her...or that she knew how to capitalize on it. I'm not sure what I was thinking when I did take advantage of her offer to wear whatever I wanted of hers. Did I think somehow there was magic in those garments and that by putting them on it would transform me? Perhaps. But if that was the case...I was always bitterly disappointed. My reflection was always a travesty of my sister's image. Instead of making me feel more confident in myself, as my sister had hoped it would, I felt even more self conscious, almost to the point of self-loathing.

I waited out the ride leaning in the corner with my arms folded defensively over my chest...despising those two fools, but still able to admire my sister.

These are not the best choice for dancing shoes...

Liederhosen

Vastly underrated for its sex appeal, don't you think?
Vastly underrated for its sex appeal, don't you think?

After shaking off the groupies, Michele suggested having lunch at the Hofbrau House before continuing our adventures in the amusement park. She held me at arm's length suddenly and examined me with a critical eye. As usual, I was wearing my Michele costume, having raided her closet before our outing. The Hawaiian print wrap around shorts which had looked so adorable on her, were trying to creep up into the crack of my ass and I had to keep plucking them out. The pale yellow flirty tank top with the lace trim seemed to miss her as well and hung in a rather despondent fashion on my body. To top off this stunning ensemble, I'd worn an attractive pair of cheap flip flops. I gave Michele a look of despair.

"Nope...she said. It won't work. I'm going to have to go and get the beer...they'll never believe you are old enough even though you are tall."

I let out my breath in relief. Oh...was that all that had been about? Feeling a bit better, I walked into the cool, dark interior of the restaurant with my sister. We found a table alongside the stage just as the next show was about to begin. Before taking a seat though, I paused to admire the dancers as they came out on stage...eight men and women in Bavarian costume. One in particular caught my eye and I exploited my usual anonymity with the opposite sex to take full advantage of the opportunity. To my embarrassment, our eyes met, once my gaze had traveled upward far enough. His eyes sparkled with unconcealed merriment while I flushed a deep red at having been caught out. I turned around hastily and sat down with my back to the stage. We'll have no more of that, I thought.

Michele excused herself to go and get pizza and beer. It seemed to take a rather long time...long enough for a good portion of the show to have been performed. As I sat there, studiously ignoring the stage, my eyes straining to catch some glimpse of my sister returning with our tray, the emcee of the program made an announcement. "And now ladies and gentlemen...our dancers will go out into the audience and choose a partner for the final polka!"

"Michele...where the hell are you?" I muttered under my breath. In a flash of intuition, I realized I was in great peril of being drafted sitting here alone as I was. At least if my sister were here, I could fade safely into the background...a place I was suddenly longing to be.

And then it happened...the back of my neck prickled uncomfortably and I felt a queasy feeling in my stomach. I waited...but I didn't feel a tap on my shoulder and I didn't hear anyone talking to me. The feeling persisted though. Well, okay...I just wouldn't turn around. If I turned around...I'd only feel really silly discovering how wrong I had been anyway. So....I'll just pretend that I'm not feeling like he's standing right behind me.

And then the audience began to giggle...softly at first...a snicker here and there and then louder as if some immense joke was being played. I wasn't sure what was so damn funny...but I had a sneaking suspicion it involved me somehow.

Red-faced, I turned around in my seat and slowly raised my eyes. That same expression of amusement was on his face as he stood there with his hands planted firmly on his hips waiting patiently...leiderhosen and all. He smiled and crooked his finger at me saying, "I choose you."

"But I don't dance very well," I whispered frantically as he grasped my hand and led me to the stage while the audience applauded. "That's okay," he said cheerfully, "we'll just blame it on your flip-flops." I looked down at my feet and grimaced. Oh yeah...doing a polka in flip flops was going to be a lot of fun.

I'm sure it was a ludicrous sight to behold. Well, I can only guess that from the expression on Michele's face. After arriving at our table, she looked around in confusion, double-checking to make sure that she had returned to the right location. From the stage, I yelled "Michele!" and waved. She turned around and froze with the tray still in her hands, her mouth hanging open in shock.

I relived the moment for her during lunch...my wild adventure. "Incredible," Michele said thoughtfully chewing on a slice of pizza, "and you say you just KNEW he was going to pick you?" I nodded, "Strange, huh?" We both agreed that it was...and that was that.

I wouldn't trust this smile...would you?

Well, there was no sense in putting off the inevitable I thought as I took a deep breath and turned away from the parrot cage. It was time to confront my stalker...

Sure enough it was Yourin, the slimy toad of a bartender from the beach bar. He said hello to me in his heavy Colombian accent and gave a smile that would have put the toothy menace of a Great White shark to shame. I nodded nervously in response and tried to step around him. To my chagrin, Yourin drew up alongside me, his intention to accompany me on my stroll quite clear. I had no choice then. Reluctantly I turned in the direction of the beach bar to rejoin my husband. He might be in a fine alcoholic stupor...but I still had faith he would protect me from unwanted attention.

For the duration of the walk, Yourin kept up a non-stop dialog in his native tongue. Occasionally his voice would lower to a suggestive octave and he would gift me with one of his skin-crawling smiles. I had a few years of high school Spanish under my belt, comprehending it with a lot more ease than I could speak it. Still, Yourin spoke so rapidly that I found myself catching only one out of every three words. It didn't make sense to me...surely I was misunderstanding what this man was saying. Did he just say something about meeting me back here this evening?

I was relieved when the two of us finally arrived back at the bar. Seeing my husband sitting there, cigarette in his hand, swaying slightly on his bar stool, I could look back on the past half hour and laugh at my silly imagination. I was on my honeymoon! It wasn't like it was a big secret...especially with Gary constantly fidgeting with his shiny new gold wedding band. Women don't get propositioned by their bartender on their honeymoon!!! And especially...not women like me.

Just to prove to myself how ridiculous it was, I decided to share my absurd thoughts with my husband. We could both have a good laugh, even it was at my expense. "I'm sure it was nothing and that I simply misheard," I said flippantly to Gary, "for all I know...he could have been recommending that we try the Fiesta Chicken for dinner. Pretty silly, huh?"

A good husband would have just agreed and left it at that. A great husband would have put his arm around my waist, kissed me on the cheek and said, "Well, darling, I really couldn't blame him if he tried to seduce you. It's what I would do." Instead my husband managed to find the one thing that would piss me off. "That's GREAT!" Gary replied in exuberance, "That means he'll be really generous with my drinks. You keep flirting with him honey..."

Great...my husband was willing to pimp me for alcohol. But then again, why was I really surprised? It wasn't as if we were on a honeymoon together...oh no. Gary was with the true love of his life right here at the bar. Perhaps that was why the bartender had hit on me. Maybe I was sending off some mysterious signals indicative of my sexual neediness. How sad is that? On my honeymoon...and already a desperate housewife.

With that running through my mind, I watched in horror as Yourin delivered another drink to my husband without it being requested. Gary smiled widely, reaching for the drink and enjoying his new status as wife pimp. Yourin threw me a nauseating wink as if we were conspirators, both eager for the unsuspecting husband to fall into a convenient state of unconsciousness. That was it! I finally snapped and grabbed Gary by the arm.

"Leave that there...or take it with you...I don't care, but we're going to get something to eat before you pass out," I said, trying to drag him away from the bar. Gary stood up, staggering and reached into his back pocket for his wallet. He began to extract a twenty dollar bill and lay it on the bar.

"What do you think you are doing?" I asked in horror. "Don't you dare leave twenty dollars...it would be like you are encouraging him or something. Ten will be fine." I snatched the twenty from his hand, left a more appropriate tip and hustled my husband from the beach bar.

Kittens look cute faceplanted in food...

Husbands do not.
Husbands do not.

It didn't take long before Gary face-planted into his plate of linguini. Somehow, it's more amusing in a movie or a sitcom. I didn't find it funny in the least. With apologies to the waitstaff, I half-carried my husband to our room and dropped him on the bed before plucking the remaining strands of pasta from his hair and face. Another night in paradise, I thought with a disappointed sigh. I picked up my book and took it out onto the porch...as far as I could get away from Gary's obnoxious snoring.

Not for the first time, I sat looking over the water as the sun slowly began to sink toward the horizon, wondering what the hell was wrong with me. Here I was...on my honeymoon...with the man I loved and not one lustful thought cast in my direction. No wonder I was inventing the amorous intentions of a total stranger. Or maybe even worse...maybe he really had been hitting on me. How pathetic. Our bartender thinks I'm an easy target...even though I'm on my honeymoon. Had I given him some signal...led him on in some fashion? I tried to think back over the events of the day, to pinpoint the first time he had begun to make me feel uneasy with the way he looked at me. I remembered sitting at the bar, responding in halting Spanish to his queries about what I would like to drink and whether or not I was enjoying my stay in Aruba. Wait...our hands had touched. Yourin had tried to clear away my little pile of fruit and without thinking I had placed my own on top of his, asking him to please not take them because they were for the birds...

Was it as simple as that? Well...perhaps, but it wasn't like it mattered in the end because there was no way I was going to meet him anywhere...even if that was what he had been suggesting...which was a really silly thing to assume. And with that...I put it out of my mind, picked up my book and lost myself in another person's imagination for a change.

At 7:30 p.m. I was jarred from my novel by the shrill sound of the room phone ringing. Worried that it would wake Gary up, I hurried into the room and picked up the receiver. "Hello?" I asked tentatively, wondering who on earth would be calling our room.

I could barely make out the voice on the other end...the accent was too heavy and it sounded as if he was whispering. I thought I caught the words "waiting for you" and "where are you" but since I wasn't sure, I simply said, "I'm sorry...you must have the wrong room." The voice apologized profusely and I hung up.

Now I can be pretty dense when I want to be...but after hanging up that phone, looking at Gary still blissfully unconscious...the thought did cross my mind briefly...was that the bartender? I shook my head, laughed at myself...me and my imagination...geesh. And then, as early as it was, I called it a night and crawled into bed beside my husband.

This dog bears a striking resemblance to Kahuna...

Kahuna, King of the Beach and My Hero
Kahuna, King of the Beach and My Hero

I'm an early riser...even more so on vacation and then double it again if I happen to be near a beach. No sooner had the sun begun to rise and the turquoise colors of the Caribbean begin to become apparent, then I was itching to be outside. Besides, the resort put on a fantastic breakfast spread with everything you could possibly imagine and the sound of fresh fruit, toast and coffee sounded exquisite.

Gary on the other hand would probably sleep until well past noon.

I tiptoed out of the room, nearly tripping over Kahuna, as he lay protectively in the doorway. Gary hated the stray dog that had adopted me on the first day of our trip to Aruba. The feeling was somewhat mutual. I nudged the sandy-colored mutt with my toe and gave him a piece of my mind. "Where were you yesterday when I needed you?" He gave me a doggy smile, his tongue hanging out of his mouth, stretched and walked alongside me as we descended the stairs to the terrace dining room.

The staff of the resort had pretty much given up on trying to evict Kahuna from the outdoor dining area. Instead, we were given our "usual" table at the furthest end, closest to the sea. It was, in my opinion the best seat in the house. Kahuna never begged, but I fed him anyway, along with the birds that hopped onto my table and the lizards that occasionally scampered across my feet. Whoever thought I was dining alone, didn't realize just how much company I actually had for my meal.

My beautiful morning hit a sour note however as I spied Yourin on pool duty, not more than twenty feet away from me, carefully running the vacuum along the bottom in preparation for the day's use. He smiled his toothy white smile and waved. Not wanting to be completely rude, I gave a half-hearted wave back noting with satisfaction the soft growl that emanated from beneath the table. So, I thought, Kahuna didn't like him either. I might question my own judgement, but I wouldn't dream of doubting this dog's opinion.

Taking my wave as a "come hither" request, Yourin put the vacuum down and casually strolled over to my table. In broken English he tried to explain the apparent mix up of the previous night...how he tried to call me when I didn't show up...and how he had gotten the wrong room. To my credit, I recovered quickly from my shock at being right...and not delusional. As firmly as I could I replied, "No...you didn't get the wrong room. I just didn't realize it was you. Don't call me again...or I'll sick the dog on you."

Kahuna had perfect timing...I really had to hand it to that dog. To punctuate my demand, he stared up into Yourin's eyes with deadly promise and bared his teeth. It had the appropriate effect. Yourin quickly backed up and returned to his pool duties without another word or glance in my direction.

"You are a great dog," I said patting Kahuna on the head, rewarding him with the remainder of my bacon. "I don't suppose you could teach my husband that trick, could you?" Kahuna cocked his head...but I'm pretty sure I didn't imagine the intelligent spark of humor in his eyes. My imagination might have a tendency to test the boundaries of plausibility...but when it came to Kahuna, I never doubted his unique abilities. He was after all...the king of the beach dogs.

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Comments 43 comments

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

Quote"You know that saying, "Animals are just people in furry coats?"...that's pretty much how I treat them. Perhaps to them I'm just an animal without a furry coat?"unquote!

Now your talking my language.

Hey Gwendymom "Wer'e cool! I didn't think you meant all men"


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

Agvulpes, I hope you didn't take that as all men, I know that you guys aren't all the same. I love men, trust me!

Spryte, I wanna see, I wanna see.

Sorry I haven't been around lately, daughter was home from college for a visit and she was making me read a book. Well, she didn't force me or anything she just wanted me to read it so we could have more to talk about when she calls everyday. LOL, I love that kid.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Gwendy - I just got phone pictures of all her new purchases. LOL! Three pair of shoes and a nose piercing. I guess she couldn't find a new dress to go with the shoes... :)

Misty - Gwendy is right...what a JERK!

Ag - You are right. Not all men are like that. And it's not the exclusive domain of men anyway. I've met a lot of female jerks too.

christine - Hi! Thanks for dropping in and leaving a comment...and such a nice one at that. :) You know that saying, "Animals are just people in furry coats?"...that's pretty much how I treat them. Perhaps to them I'm just an animal without a furry coat?


christinekv profile image

christinekv 8 years ago from Washington

Great hub Spryte! You are truly an aritistic writer, doing such a good job of painting the canvas with words. Glad you traded that husband in for a better one, and that you also have such a wonderful relationship with your sister! Animals can be such awesome judges of character and seems to me, in addition to many people, many critters do and have recognized you to be a true blessing.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

Hey people I would not even try to defend the actions of some guys. I would just like to say that we are not ,thankfully , all like that.!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

With you in her corner how can she fail to get better Spryte :)

Thanks gwendymom, I know my sister still lacks closure for why this guy dumped her without even having the decency to tell her to her face. He just vanished. To this day she would love to track him down just to ask him why, and to tell him how it made her feel.


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

I can and would love to go with her. I think a optimistic attitude helps! It sure can't hurt anyway.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Gwendy - She hasn't pulled through yet, but I refuse to be less than optimistic. I think Michele feels the same way...after receiving the bad news she went shopping. :) I think you can relate to that if anyone can! ;)


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

Misty, I am laso glad to hear that your sister has pulled through and just pissed that a man would leave her in her time of need, obviously she was better off without the jerk.

Spryte I am also glad that your sister has pulled through her ordeal. I hope you both the best and your sisters too. You both seem like great people to me.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Ag - I'm all for group hugs! Well...with a decent group :) Or indecent one? Damn...now I'm not sure.

Amanda - *waves* I'm glad you dropped in! Sibling rivalry ack! What a joy that is and was...not. By the way, you get extra points for use of the words titian haired. You brought back lots of memories of that description being used over and over again in Nancy Drew novels...and it always baffled me when I was a kid, but I thought it sounded so cool. Thank you for the supportive words too...I'm not sure she's willing to endure chemo again, but we're waiting for the recommendations of a specialist.

Misty - I'm always glad to see you on one of my hubs. :) It always amazes me how something catastrophic can send us reeling off into a completely different direction and weed out the true friends from the false ones. Your sister's stroke cost her dearly, it seems...but I'm glad to hear she made it through. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Michele and although she thinks she is pretty tough...I'm rallying the sisters into her corner. How can she not be okay. We're a pretty adamant bunch. :)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

Fabulous Hub Spryte, witty, funny and touching all rolled into one. A rivetting read that I easily read from start to finish. So sorry to hear of your Sister's illness and truly hope she recovers. My own Sister (now 43), had a stroke when she was 27, and was in rehab for months learning to walk again etc. She did recover for the most part, but the timing of the stroke cost her a career in modelling that she had just been signed up for, as well as her relationship, as the guy quickly vanished from the scene after one visit to the hospital, clearly unwilling to commit to looking after her post stroke. It broke her heart, and yet she fought on, and even today she is still affected by problems stemming from the stroke, e.g. memory loss, a hand that won't work properly, a limp when she gets tired and frequent migraines. The worry for her at the time was immense, but at least she pulled through in the end. I hope your Sister pulls through her health problems too. :)


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

Spryte I thin you were channeling Agvulpes.

aww, thankks for the hugs Agvilpes.:)


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

Hi Spryte

That was a very moving hub, and one I can identify with. In my case I have a beautiful leggy titian haired younger sister who was always the centre of attraction. These days we're the best of friends, but it wasn't always so, and I do regret that.

I'm sorry to hear about your sister's illness. Our siblings are really precious people because they know all about us, and they share so many of the same memories. It's hard to contemplate being without them, and I hope your sister works the miracle and makes a good recovery.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

Mate, was that you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had tears welling up, and I thought, an old fox like me can't cry, must be outside forces at work. How about a group Hug for the Hub come on everyone:-) Spryte, Gwendymom (ladies first right Chris),Christoph , Shades,and anyone else who wants a HubHug and Moi.. (BIG BIG HUG)


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

heheh...sorry about this (really I am):

If he did then the yolks on him!!!

(I seriously think I'm channeling agvulpes!)


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

Thanks for your vote of confidence, I might try. I am wondering if that a new pedicure treatment too, if so I hope he didn't pay money for it.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Christoph - That has to hurt! Or is it some new pedicure treatment? :)

Gwendy - Well I'm certainly not a pro (or my husband would be sitting on the couch drinking beer all day while I made money writing!)...but you should try. Do it off to the side, play with it...you may never publish it and that's okay too. But I think you might surprise yourself.


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

I am not sure that I could write that, I am not a "writer" just a person trying to have a little fun. I better leave the real writing to the pros like you.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

I've got eggshells between my toes. That's a sweet and sad story, gwendymom. If she didn't know then, she does now.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Gwendy - Wow...only 31. That's just not right. You should write a hub about it...seriously...about her and what happened. As for only hoping that she knew...oh she knew alright. Women don't just give anybody their special occasion dresses. You were obviously also very special to her as well.

Shade - How cool! As a woman, I know who is really the power person in a marriage so I'm extraordinarily pleased to have your wife as a fan. Tell her that I said thank you personally.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

You did, Spryte, and for what it's worth, my wife is also a huge fan of your hubs, but she's not really a big comments maker person (ok, she never does), but she LOVES your stuff and you always get thumbs up from her.


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

losing her was a pretty hard pill to swallow. She was only 31. I wore her hand me down prom dresses with pride, I didn't care that were used, I just cared that she thought enough about me give them to me. I also wore the dress she got married in as my wedding dress and still hold on to it. I think I will probably keep it forever. I can only hope that she did know how I felt about her.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

:( Gwendy - Last night after writing what I did, I tried to imagine a life without my sister...and I wouldn't wish that sadness on anyone. i think the perfume is a wonderful tribute to a woman that you loved and admired so much. Thank you for sharing that...and reminding me how important it is every day to make sure that the people that are special should be told how much we love them. I wouldn't doubt for an instant that she didn't know how much you cared about her though...feelings like that have a habit of leaking out. :)

Shade - Thank you. It took me a while...but I think I found a nice little niche to call my own. :)


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

Spryte, I had a cousin who I looked up to so much. I thought she was the most beautiful woman on earth. She died a few years back at the hands of her boyfriend. It was sad to say the least. I remember the perfume she used to wear and I buy it and wear it on special occasions. What was really sad is that she really had no idea that she was so stunning an how much I really loved and looked up to her. I miss her so very much.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

You have a gift for extracting the right moments out of life.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

:) Not to mention you look a hell of a lot better without a foot in your mouth! Oh...btw...I'm not a sprite. I'm a Lap Imp (long story behind that one) of the genus species Impus Inyerlapus. I'll explain it some day. Maybe...


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

"POP" now that feels much better without my foot stuck in my mouth!, and you made me nearly choke you little sprite, "you, balls, wussie" all in the same sentence. Well done!!!!! LOL


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Sally - Thank you for the thumbs up :) Sounds like you have a very smart dog that understands how important her job is. It's a good thing my husband takes care of all the barking around here (heheh) because my current dog is a total chicken. I think it's because one time she barked while under the bed, whapped her head against the bottom supports and figured it wasn't worth it. :)

Jeff - I'm glad you found it worth your while to read the entire thing :) I hadn't truly realized how long it was until I read it myself...and I hope that doesn't discourage people. Ah well.

I agree with you wholeheartedly on the cats as I have five and they are all very good company. They're better at spending money than making it, but they've assured me they are worth every penny. Who am I to argue with them?


Chef Jeff profile image

Chef Jeff 8 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

WOW! Long read, but gratifyingly excellent writing!

I have my cats, who often are better company than a spouse, except when I need money, and then I guess I'll take my beautiful wife over the cats! LOL!!!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

A delightful read, Spryte.

I haven't upgraded to another husband, even though I did return the first one. However, I do have my dog. And she barks and growls for all the necessary reasons. I am content.

Thumbs up!


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Ag - *hugs you back tightly*  No, I'm glad you wrote what you wrote...it was NOT inappropriate at all and in fact, Michele and I often did that to eachother.  :)  Until I read what you wrote though...I didn't realize JUST how scared I was about losing her and how we'd been kind of laughing in the face of it all, because we're so tough you know.  So really I owe you a very BIG thank you for what you said and I am NOT saying that just to make you feel better.  I should have made that clear that you are in no way responsible for the intensity of my reaction.  It was just as a surprise to me as it was to you.  Don't worry hon...and don't beat yourself up, okay? Knowing that you've been through something similar also....I'm so sorry, it must have been true hell for you.

Christoph - Thank you for saying that...geesh is everyone going to walk on eggshells around me now?  :)  My sister would probably smack me upside the head for writing what I did and say "oh grow a set of balls would you...wussie!"

Misha:  :))  Well now...I definitely feel special and honored for being able to accomplish THAT!


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

Yeah, I managed, with ease and pleasure - and this is what amazed me about your hub! :)


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

Is my face RED ?  I hope you understand that I wish no malice,sometimes in and endevour to be funny we can be insensensitive. and this was one of those times. I apologise unreservedly. Your sisters wellfare and yours also is in all our prayers. I am moved to tears as this raises memories for me. I lost a sister (18 months older and very close)  to a Brain Tumor a couple of years back. A very traumatic experience for everyone!  So big HUGS and a few tears. I have no problem if you find this inappropriate to approve.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

I'm so sorry to hear that Spryte. It comes across that you love each other in the story. Your comment is not maudlin (meaning overly) but poignant. You express yourself so well, there is something beautiful in what you wrote (as odd as that sounds). I'd better shut up now.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Ag: This one took me several days to write - unlike a lot of my hubs where I just write free-flow. The most difficult part was being completely honest in describing how I felt, what I thought...admitting that my opinion of myself at the time was based on the comparison I was constantly making between myself and my older sister. In my eyes...she was everything I wished I was.

Yeah...my sister was a complete narcissist, but she loved me...and she loves me still. Her beauty was her strength, and she simply knew that for a fact. You can't fault a flower for being a flower...or a diamond for being a diamond...she just was what she was. I'm sure she never even suspected how I truly felt. Michele really was my champion growing up...

I'm sorry to get all maudlin like that...I didn't mean to. It's just that she is on my mind tonight. My sister endured a grueling year of chemotherapy and only recently began to get her strength and her hair back. Today she went back to her doctor to get the results of the most recent tests and found out it was all for nothing...she's back to pre-chemo condition.

You know what's more unbearable than walking in the shadow of something so beautiful? Watching that something beautiful fight to survive and being powerless to help.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

I'm so glad to hear you have traded up. The further I got into the story (just like a good book, couldn't put it down) the more I was starting to doubt the sanity of the Spryte we have all grown to love! Surely you are now able to give your sister the bird! In the nicest possible way of course!


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Christoph: Thank you for your generous praise! *blush* I hope I didn't yank too hard and that you are okay. :) Seriously though...it means a lot to me coming from you, a person whose writing I admire immensely and whose sense of humor is unparalleled that I'm able to make you laugh AND feel guilty with the same hub.

Personally...I think more resorts, hotels and the like would be more friendly if with every room they offered you a pet. I don't mind travelling...but occasionally the hotel bed just seems..empty somehow...without the usual pile of fur trying to take it over.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

Spryte: Another totally captivating read. You are so good and "telling" stories. I learn from you every time I read your work. I laughed really hard when your husband said what he did, but then immediately felt guilty. You have a way of yanking every emotion out of your readers. I commend you.

I was similarly adopted by a dog in the bahamas. The staff told me not to feed him, but did I listen? Not to them. I listened to the dog. He ate well for a week.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

LOL! Ag...you dog! I've learned a lot since my first marriage and upgraded to a more protective husband. He's not afraid to growl or bite if he senses another dog infringing on his territory.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

So Signorina tonight I ring at 8 HOKAY! (cheesy grin )


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Misha:  Did you manage to get through it all? And if so...I hope it was worth it!

Sweetie:  I'm not really sure what Kahuna was...breedwise.  Back in 1996, Aruba had a horrible problem with the stray dog population.  This particular "pack" took over the beaches at night, running people off and in general behaving rather aggressively about "their beach."  Late one afternoon, after just arriving, I happened to plunk my butt into a chaise lounge on the beach...enjoying the new view.  I heard a growl...and saw this beautiful golden male stray, his hackles raised standing about ten feet from me.  I refused to make eye contact with him...and decided to just talk to him in a normal, conversational tone and see where that led.  I complimented him on his beach...told him a little bit about where I came from.  After a while, he came in closer, more curious and I was able to look at him...and then he allowed me to admire him and pet him.  I called him Kahuna...and it amazed me that I could go off for the day adventuring and every morning I always found him sleeping outside my door. 

On my last visit to Aruba...I noticed the stray dog population was no longer an issue.  I often wondered about what happened to Kahuna...because he really was a great dog. 


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

This dog looks like my childhood German sheperd/coyote mix dog King.  My parents adopted a dog that was half coyote because some very mean people thought it would be fun to breed a coyote with a German sheperd and sell the dogs for profit.  When no one want to buy the dogs, what a surprise, my dad adopted one because these people were not taking care of them.  Panda grew up to be a very loving dog, but her being part coyote always made her a little bit shy unlike the average dog.  Her male pup King was very affection and looks like the dog in the picture above.  I loved King and we used to ride him around like a horse until my mom said that would hurt him.  Of course my sister and I were only 5 and 3 respectively, so we did not know better at the time.


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

Wow! And I thought I already lost an ability to read anything more than a couple of paragraphs! :)

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