Tuesday, January 29, 2013

No Place Like Home

If I haven't blogged in a couple weeks, it's because I've been busy riding camels. Oh yeah, and floating in the Dead Sea, hiking Masada, sleeping in a Kibbutz and discovering that hummus isn't just a food, but a lifestyle.

Yup, I'm back from an incredible, life-changing two weeks in Israel, and I'll write more about that once my jet lag subsides. Right now, I'm still not thinking straight. As if the 20-hour trip home wasn't grueling enough, Delta Airlines initially cancelled our midnight flight from Tel Aviv without warning, leaving 400 angry, tired and confused passengers to frantically scramble about Ben Gurion Airport searching for replacement flights. My travel companion and I went about 48 hours with little food or sleep before I finally crawled home at 2am Saturday morning. 

No wonder my brain feels like it's been through a swimsuit spinner.

But barring incompetent airlines, Israel was an amazing experience. It is, by far, the most diverse, beautiful, and fascinating country I've ever had the pleasure to visit. Still, it's good to be home. After two non-stop weeks I missed my peeps.  My morning latte. My bed. The Big Bang Theory. And yes, Olivia.

Because no matter how scenic the sights, engaging the people and fabulous the food, there's nothing that compares with the pure and simple joy of holding my sweet pup.  Which might explain why I returned home knowing just two words in Hebrew:  Todah for "thank you."

And Kelev. For dog.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

My New Sleeping Companion

Recently, I had the pleasure of dog-sitting my neighbor's Chihuahua, Mandy for one week.

I say "pleasure" because Mandy is quite possibly the most polite dog I've ever met.  A tad needy, perhaps (now I know why they call them LAP dogs), but overall, she's adorable and a joy to be around. 

As for Olivia, she pretty much just tolerates Mandy, but I really do enjoy having the little lambchop as my guest.

And I'm happy to say that the feeling must be mutual, because, as this picture will attest, Mandy made herself quite at home.

Quite. At. Home.  

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Week One of the New Year

It would seem that the New Year is off to an ominous start, given this nasty chest bug I've been battling for ten days now. But I'm getting better and besides, it's almost been worth it to experience what happened with Olivia.

I was dozing on my bed when,  even through my NyQuil-induced coma, I felt like I was being watched. Sure enough, I cracked open a heavy lid and saw Olivia standing at the foot of my bed, just staring at me. All I could see were her eyes and --as my friend Sue calls them-- "big ass ears."  Olivia looked so darned cute I snapped a quick shot with my iPhone and then resumed my nap.

But minutes later my eyes flew open when my 70-pound girl took a flying leap and joined me on the bed. Now bear in mind, this was significant because Olivia doesn't sleep on my bed. Oh, I invite her all the time, but she's made it perfectly clear that she prefers her pillow. Her nice, cushy, stinky, stained-with-god-knows-what pillow. Okay, fine.

Today was different, though. Today, her canine intuition told her that I wasn't feeling well and it seemed she wanted to comfort me. And so, planting her Oatmeal shampoo-scented body alongside mine, Olivia snuggled up against my chest and tucked her knobby little head under my chin, indeed comforting me in a way that resonated deep within my hacking, cough-ridden soul.

Again, I used my trusty iPhone to capture the moment. And then, with my arm embracing my sweet girl, we both took a nice, long nap.

On second thought, maybe the New Year isn't off to such a bad start after all.
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