Leila Case: Adventurous pets have their ins and outs

Published 4:28 pm Monday, July 18, 2016

It is breakfast with Brindon most Wednesdays. That includes brisk early morning walks around the block, too.
No, I’m not walking Brindon. He’s walking me. That’s a dog for you. And in the dog days of July of all things and back problems.
This is why we don’t have pets anymore. Too much in and out and around and about and who’s to care for them when you’re away? Like I’m going somewhere? Highly unlikely unless it is to Montezuma to Mr. Brown’s Farm Market or perhaps the Barretts’ in Leslie or the Casey Shivers’ in the other direction – somewhere in Marion County.
Brindon is a rescue dog belonging to my granddaughter Caroline, a student in the School of Nursing at Georgia Southwestern State University working toward a bachelor’s of science in nursing. On Wednesdays, she is away from home most of the day because she has clinical assignments, a course requirement of study that she thoroughly enjoys. So how do you take care of your pet when you’re gone all day?
Solution: Brindon visits Lei-Lei and Bruce.
Wednesdays with Brindon remind me of our pets in the past, beginning with my childhood dog, Smudge, a black and white Fox Terrier. One vivid memory of Smudge is when I was five and my mother arrived home from Emory University Hospital with my baby brother, Beau. Smudge licked him squarely on the face. All the adults gasped in horror. My mother brushed the incident off and it certainly didn’t hurt Beau. He’s still going strong.
It was many years later before I would have another pet. We acquired Taffy, a beautiful and gentle Cocker Spaniel, when my three children were age five and under. And I lived to tell the story. Taffy was a big help, too, as she was very protective of them. Sometimes she was too much so.
Some years later, Edith, a cross between a Manchester and Chihuahua, joined the ranks but the fun didn’t actually begin until a Siamese cat “adopted” our family. Because she wondrously appeared at our doorstep, we named her Eliza Doolittle for the character played by Julie Andrews in the movie “Mary Poppins.” However, the name didn’t stick because she magically birthed so many kittens over the course of the next few years we simply called her Mama. She was extremely adventurous but apparently had one too many escapades. She disappeared as mysteriously as appeared and we never saw her again. And thankfully, we were out of the kitten business.
After moving to Americus, daughter Margaret brings home Charlie Dog, a full-bred Chihuahua. Oh, the adventures he had are countless. Once he even went off to college but, unfortunately he flunked out in less than a week and we had to drive to Carrollton to bring him home.
Each of our pets was treated like royalty for we considered them members of our family. They led lives of leisure and ruled the roost. However, when Charlie went to dog heaven I said “no more.”  So for now we’ll just enjoy Wednesdays with Brindon.
Out and about: Smile and say “happy birthday” if you see Billy Carter, Faith Pinnell, Casey Shivers, Jeanna Kate Shivers, Tracy Law and Heather Stanley. Get well wishes to Martha Ann Studstill, Jimmy Norton and Betty Pope. Huge congratulations to Kim Christmas, chairman of the first annual history camp offered by Sumter Historic Trust and the throng of other volunteers including Brian Parkinson, Ph.D., history professor at GSW. The camp held this past week for fifth- and sixth-graders was a  huge success.
Phillip and Zona Buchen are home from Vienna and Budapest, a trip they say was a dream come true. The highlight and main purpose was seeing the new musical, “Rocktopia,” produced by Phil’s son, Rob Evan, and performed in the Hungarian Opera House, Budapest. Rob is an actor and singer known for his lead performances in numerous Broadway shows who has visited here many times. The show is a new symphonic concert experience featuring the orchestra of the Hungarian State Opera and the State Opera Chorus, a rock band, a classical violinist, and it was filmed by the Public Broadcasting System to be aired in December. Additionally, it has a one-of-a-kind musical arrangement delivered by world-class singers and musicians and fuses the worlds of classical music, rock, and opera. Rob is a very talented guy, having had leading roles on Broadway that include “Jekyll and Hyde” and in “Les Miserables” he played Jean Valjean. He was lead singer for the Trans Siberian Orchestra and his voice is highlighted in the albums, “Lost Christmas Eve,” and “Night Castle.”

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.