Buying Happiness

escreamer - November 19, 2015

  When I got Hazel, my French bulldog, my friend Jack told me that people who buy dogs are trying to buy happiness. He had made some unfortunate choices for himself over the years so now the pH of his temperament is permanently bitter. I absorbed his comment with that in mind. But I couldn’t let the statement stand. I took a deep breath and …

Continue reading

The Other Lulu-Belle

escreamer - October 25, 2015

I woke up seated in a room I didn’t recognize, slumped low in a gray hard plastic chair. The lights overhead were interrogation bright. For a few seconds, I couldn’t figure out where I was. Had I been arrested? This room had a precinct feel. The presence of Lulu-Belle, all tail wag and happiness at my feet, provided an instant clue. It all came back: …

Continue reading

I’m Your Dog But Not Your Pet

escreamer - October 16, 2015

I’m your dog but not your pet Aroo! —“I Know But I Don’t Know,” Blondie   I’m actually more of a cat person at heart. From my earliest memories what I wanted most—really all I wanted—was a cat. But for some reason my mother was against it, although earlier in their marriage my parents had had one—Felonious Monk—who had a goatee like his sort-of namesake …

Continue reading

The “E” Word

escreamer - October 12, 2015

Standing in the lobby of the Club Med Port St. Lucie by the yellow lake that Lulu-Belle had undeniably produced with such insouciant aplomb brought a Rick Springfield song to mind: “It’s Always Something.” The title telegraphs the theme: the confounding frequency with which snafus puncture victories that had—only moments before—seemed like certainties. Not that Lulu-Belle and I had been in any proximity to victory. …

Continue reading

Quiche La Poodle

escreamer - September 26, 2015

She’s a sweet, sweet, sweet PUPPY! –“Quick Lorraine,” The B-52’s My veterinarian friend Jon arranged for Lulu-Belle to be seen by the highly sought Dr. Danielle James in South Beach the morning after my triathlon. I couldn’t have gotten her to a veterinary dermatologist any sooner even had I stayed in Manhattan. They’re in crazy demand here, too, it turns out. So I would be …

Continue reading


escreamer - September 7, 2015

Lulu-Belle’s mouth was so destroyed; it really did look as though a large dog had taken a bite out of the side of her face. A mouthful of flesh was gone. At one point Dr. Fiorenza theorized that she had been electrocuted. When Lulu-Belle was first hospitalized she called to quiz me to determine if this might possibly be the case. Dr. Fiorenza thought that …

Continue reading

Zombie Dog

escreamer - August 28, 2015

Before I left for the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Hospital around 3:00 that Sunday afternoon I’d promised my 12-year-old son Kieran that I’d take him to the diner before we headed back to Manhattan. It hadn’t seemed like an extravagant promise at the time. The Trolley Car Diner, a local favorite and special favorite of ours, boasts a classic deco decor and an authentic trolley …

Continue reading

Another One Bites The Dust?

escreamer - August 16, 2015

I picked Lulu-Belle up in Westchester on Thursday, March 19th—an in between day with the bright blue, cloudless sky suggesting spring but the nip in the air saying winter. Lulu-Belle had spent the last month in Margaret’s home. Margaret is a Second Chance Rescue volunteer—a fosterer extraordinaire. She has three rescue cats of her own—one blind in one eye—and two rescue dogs. In addition to …

Continue reading

Second Chance with Second Chance

escreamer - August 9, 2015

I wasn’t going to take Second Chance Rescue’s form rejection lying down. But I received it just past 11:00 on a Tuesday night; there wasn’t much to be accomplished at that hour. That said, sitting in my parked car in the dark in front of my Philly house I couldn’t help “reaching out” to the handful of Second Chance Rescuers who’d been steering me through …

Continue reading