Anyone know a bunny named Bob?

As a Jewish child, I missed out on so much. Santa never came, and forget about the Easter Bunny. That means no magical gifts on Christmas morning, or chocolate eggs on Easter Sunday. Not all Jewish kids feel they’ve missed out on something because we have our own special celebrations–who wouldn’t want to dress up like Queen Esther for Purim?–but they’re just not the same.

Since I am with J., I now get to experience these long longed-for holidays in our bicultural home. Some bunny has indeed visited our home every Easter Sunday, leaving behind a basket of treats for me and Easter eggs hidden through the house for J. The baskets the bunny brings me aren’t always filled with chocolate treats–sometimes they’re a rare find like expensive organic vegetables from the market–but their contents are a welcome surprise every year.

This year, we strayed from tradition, however. First of all, the bunny arrived Saturday evening, since he had a lot of houses to get to on Sunday and didn’t want to have to wake up too early. J. put on her game face and found all the eggs but the most cleverly hidden one, but it just wasn’t the same as an early Sunday hunt. And me? I got gout, which I think was kind of mean of the bunny, and nothing else. No basket, no organic vegetables, nothing. I was kind of disappointed.

Despite my dejection, J. and I went out to the grocery store that afternoon, where I tried not to feel guilty that employees were having to work on the holiday. We walked up and down the aisles, as we do sometimes, and J., feeling bad for locking the bunny out so we could sleep in, pointed to items she might buy me to assuage her guilt. I mostly pouted, but I accepted the offer of Jelly Bellies. However sad I am, I can always force down a Jelly Belly or two.

Not an hour later, we arrived back home to a lovely and unexpected container of mini Easter eggs at the door, along with a note: “Enjoy. Bob the Bunny.” Neither of us recognized the writing so we spent the day racking our brains for the culprit. When we asked some friends if they knew Bob the Bunny, they responded: “We only know Peter.” Everyone we suspected, when asked, seemed genuinely stumped. So either someone we know and love is a psychopathic liar, or we have not yet solved this magical mystery.

So I beg you, Bob, please identify yourself. I’ll never be able to live with myself if I can’t thank you personally for your generosity and kindness. Remember my Jewish guilt and my need for reciprocity in all my relationships. How can I leave out carrot tops for you if I don’t know which bunny you are? If you don’t want to reveal yourself, you could always provide an alias. I won’t tell.

daschund dressed in black and grey spotted bunny costume

You don’t suspect me, do you?

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My Westminster winner (or is that “wiener”?)

Basset hound with tennis ball in side of mouth, eyes partly closed.

She looks a little drunk here.

I try not to brag about the furry child. Rather, I’ve focussed primarily on her bad behaviours in this blog, affection for her phallic dog toy aside. She steals food from the counter, fetches socks from the laundry basket, shreds those tempting rolls of toilet paper, and races over household hill (couch) and dale (basement) when she’s cooped up. I realize that all these bad behaviours speak to her parenting. But if you ever meet her, you’ll have to admit that, behavioural challenges aside, she’s lovable.

Jelly is a Basset Hound and, as she gets older, she is growing into her Bassetness, as J. likes to say. She is getting that Bassety Elizabethan collar around her neck and dignified gray hairs around the muzzle. Although she is almost 5, she still has a certain puppyishness about her. I know we focus too much on physical appearance in our culture, but nonetheless I’ll assert that my dog is more adorable than your honour student. When we walk Jelly in the neighbourhood, other walkers and drivers often smile our way. Sometimes they even point and laugh, hopefully not at me.

So you won’t be surprised to learn that when I walked with my self-proclaimed needy friend, L., last month, Jelly received lots of attention from many passers by. People asked questions about her and stopped to pet her, and Jelly rewarded them with licks and tail wags. I felt bad that my furry love magnet selfishly took all the attention away from needy L.

As we finished our walk, an older fellow behind us called out: “She must be a show dog!” I took his comment in as any proud parent would, thanked him for it, and went on my way. Oh, but first I laughed.

Basset hound puppy holding stick in mouth, on leash, owners legs visible.

A developmental milestone: Jelly’s first stick.

Why did I laugh? Because dear Jelly may be funny and charming and beautiful, but she is anything but a show dog. To be Westminster material, she would need to meet the breed standard, which she is so far from doing that people often ask what kind of dog she is. Her head is a bit too big for her body, and she’s taller and thinner than a typical Basset, although she tries to remedy her thinness by relentlessly scrounging for food on our walks. (Rabbit poop is her favourite sidewalk snack since it looks like kibble.) Except for her Bassety large front paws that turn out slightly, her jowls, and her long counter-surfing body, Jelly is one of a kind. She looks like a cross between a bloodhound and a wiener dog, if you can imagine those two getting it on.

In fact, as we were walking in the neighbourhood one beautiful summer day, a fellow who had probably had a few too many shouted from his porch: “What a ginormous wiener!” I think his assessment was more accurate than that of Mr. Show Dog, but still his words were jarring. Thank goodness my external conscience (that’s J.) was with me, because it took everything I had not to ask him about the size of his wiener.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to take my ginormous wiener for a walk. I hope the Easter Bunny, or Elijah, finds your home this weekend, depending on your faith. Heck, just enjoy a few days with family and friends. Happy holidays to all.

Basset hound sitting at park, hospital in background.

A very rare moment of calm.

Is this post blogworthy?

Remember when Elaine on Seinfeld had to decide whether a man was sponge worthy? She had a finite stockpile of her favourite contraceptive, which was about to be taken off the market, and she wasn’t sure whether to use one or not.

In this vein, I often ask myself: is this post worthy of public consumption? You probably have no idea how much time I spend thinking of blogworthy topics for my posts, how much of my mental energy goes into this amateur writing project, and how many potential drafts I create only to dump them because they are boring or inconsequential or, frankly, meh. Too much.

Sometimes I’m pleased by the response to a post I was unsure about, and other times I’m puzzled that a topic I thought would touch people didn’t. But I had no doubts about sharing A and J’s Excellent Adventure, and specifically the passport fiasco. I have received so much animated feedback on that particular post that I know it was widely read and discussed. But I’ve been surprised by people’s reactions.

Rather than your chastising me for being an idiot, as I was sure you would, I have been praised for my ingenuity and resourcefulness. Aren’t any of you guys parents? Do you praise your kids for leaving things to the last minute or, even worse, missing deadlines altogether, even when there are potentially dire consequences? I didn’t take you for laissez faire types.

Rather, I was expecting a firm smack on the bottom–okay maybe not so firm, since I still bruise easily–from all of you. [Insert here an image of a grown woman being spanked. I tried to find one but you can only imagine the results of that search.] “Annie, how could you be so irresponsible, so careless, so stupid?” But no, all I’ve gotten are kudos. I feel dirty because I don’t deserve it. Maybe Chad and Loomi, the superheroes at the passport office, do, but I certainly don’t.

All I did in those 24 hours was the best I could do. In this case, that meant readying for the trip and for an early morning visit to the passport office, and, ultimately, leaving our fate in the hands of others. If we managed to get on the plane before it took off, that would be great; if not, there would be other flights to our destination, and we would get there as soon as we could. Except for my grumpiness with friends on the phone that day (still sorry about that, guys), I felt I managed that crisis fairly well.

Why all the praise? Is it because I have leukemia? I know I’m not the organizer and planner in our family; those duties were taken from me a long time ago. I can’t claim brain damage stemming from my prolonged hospital stay, since long before that, J. was better at those tasks than me. So don’t give me a bye because I have cancer; I don’t deserve it.

Turns out, everybody can believe that I got us into this fiasco, but no one can believe that J. did. Unlike me, she has been laughed at, tormented, and ridiculed by her peers, who consider her the organization queen. Poor, poor J. You can stop hassling her now. Imagine her having to manage a household that I’m a part of.

Truth is, all any of us can do is the best we can on that day. That’s what I was hoping you’d take from that story. That, and that sometimes the stars will align just the way you need them to.