"Is that a Kennedy dog?" someone shouted across the park the other day.
"Naw," I shouted back, to the delight of a number of neighborhood children circling me and my Portuguese Water Dog Breezy on their bikes. "She's an Obama dog!"
It's spring in Shoreline --very much so, and the park is filled with elderly people sitting and feeling the breeze, children playing, families having a pizza picnic dinner and canoodlers canoodling. Breezy and I were taking a healthful evening stroll over to the liquor store for supplies that might get yours truly through the rest of the school year, and at least one of us was keeping a sharp eye out for abandoned pizza crusts. Since I can barely bring myself to get in my car in the morning, writing about the academy and it's various problems is not in the cards this evening. I can, however, meditate just briefly on my life since Bo came home to the White House, an event memorialized by perhaps the cutest New Yorker cover ever.
Here's the deal: Breezy, whose hair is extremely long right now and who is as a result doubly fetching because of the black and white ringlets that cascade off her body, cannot walk down the street without her public noticing her. People who, last month, would have said, "Do you know what kind of mix that is?" now say hesitatingly -- "Is that a dog like -- Bo?!?"
"Yes," I say graciously. "Would you like to pat her?" And they do. Relentlessly. Walks take twice as long as they used to do. I would have to say, since at least three of Breezy's best friends are Labradoodles, and we recently attended a Labradoodle birthday party with cupcakes and everything where Breezy kind of stole the show from the birthday girl (who didn't care, as she was eating paper cupcake wrappers that had dropped to the ground) that the Labradoodle people are trying to be generous. But they are mildly bent out of shape at this turn of events, since they came within a curl of laying claim to the title of National Dog too.
Fame does have it's price, however: I am beginning to feel like Brangelina.
Breezy has always been popular at Zenith, but now she is an institutional asset, something I mean to inform (Not So) New President of at the earliest opportunity, since there may be some way that Breezy can help us with our diminished endowment. But she is, on her own initiative, already playing a critical role in recruiting new students. Now is the season when those who have been admitted visit, large clumps of them moving about the campus along with tours of so-called college-bound juniors and their parents. Breezy has always seen it as one of her jobs to catapult herself into these groups at every opportunity. When she sees one coming, she looks at me, and I say, "Do you want to go see the TOUR?" and she hurtles off in an uncollected gallop, to thrust herself upon strangers. It used to be they just patted her and laughed. Now I hear parents murmuring to each other approvingly, "You see that Vicki? Zenith's got a water dog?"
If we have a particularly high yield from our admitted students this year, you now know why.
TRAILER: The Normal Heart
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