Monday, March 18, 2013

Uncle Johnny: The glue that holds the family together

This weekend we had another visit from Uncle Johnny. Not sure why he chooses to subject himself to this so frequently, but he has been coming down quite often lately. I'm pretty sure its not because he likes the dogs.

I think he most enjoys the company of my niece, for which reason he willingly, at the age of 86, accompanies all of us even on ill-conceived trips to the beach on a day of 43-degree freezing rain.

On which Ursula is shivering, Fozzie is beside himself with rage at Genghis, Kirsten is redirecting pent-up frustration with the dogs toward Florian, and Johnny himself is having what my mom used to call a conniption fit about my sister's failure to bring mittens for her daughter. Fun times for the whole family.

Gnarly weather notwithstanding, we did manage to have fun in our own way and Florian was cheered by having Fozzie sit on his lap the whole way back. We are realizing more and more what an anxious fellow Fozzie is. I thought that with his own back seat and window to look out of, he would be calmer in the car than he used to be in my old van. But with windows closed, all he does is sit in the back seat and look worried, hang his head into the front looking for someone to kiss, and try to climb up to sit on someone's lap.  

Florian is quick to indulge, but it does make us wonder: what happened to him? Was it his period of being a stray, uncertain of where his next meal was coming from and dodging cars and dog catchers, that made him so anxious? Was it the long period of uncertainty of his future in my house, in which he picked up signals from me that fueled his insecurity? Poor Fozzie. 

I guess the good thing is that Fozzie's particular brand of insecurity makes him seek out affection and contact, which my Swiss counterpart and I are more than happy to provide. But it would be wonderful if he could learn to feel more secure, while maintaining his extremely affectionate nature.
Once home, we went over to my sister's house to make sure she'd survived the trip home and the rest of the afternoon with Johnny.

Star demonstrated her other setting besides manically-in-your-face-and-zooming-around-while-chewing-on-everything-in-sight-and-making-the-most-trouble-you-have-ever-imagined, which is


  1. Hi Kirsten, welcome to "family life". For better or worse, eh?

  2. What a great weekend. Sometimes those outings in the rain make for some memorable times. I like the comatose dog. :)

  3. Oh my dog! I too would be totally comatose if I had a fluffy bean bag like that. It looks so comfy!

  4. Your description of everyone at the beach is HILARIOUS and pretty much true of most of our family get-together...and I don't mean that in a bad way. It's just the way of families and beautiful in it's own way. I LOVE the fuzzy bean bag! That has greyhound written all over it.

  5. Mi gosh, families are the same everywhere! I often wonder at some behavior of my rescue/adoptable dogs, too. Ava went to a Petco adoption event yesterday; she is shy, hugs the floor, but all someone needs to do is pet her. She doesn't get up but if they stop, she crawls toward them for more. At home, she is a toy hoarding fiend and quite entertaining. Good for Fozzie to have some comforting Florian time ;).

  6. Fozzie's behavior sounds like our Bill. He too was a stray, likely for a few months and with a broken leg. Bill is very anxious, thrives on routine, easily panics and seems to worry about almost everything. He's one of the best snugglers though.

    I love that furry looking chair that Star is flopped out in - I want one!!

  7. What a cute bunch of family and furry ones
    Benny & Lily

  8. That fuzzy chair looks like a great dog bed! In fact I think the cats of my house would like it too but they might be hard to see haha.

  9. Your Uncle Johnny is one of my favorite humans that make a cameo in any blog! He has personality that shines through in your pictures.
    I love Star on that (bed? bean bag? lovesac chair? What is it?) My pups need one! So fluffy!

  10. Haha! Like Emily, I enjoy reading about your Uncle Johnny, the human magnet for dogs. Freezing rain and forgotten mittens aside, sounds like a good family day. Hope no one caught pneumonia.


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