What a Face!  Che Faccia!

Friday,  February 22, 2002
Big Bear Lake, California 

Finally, we are back in our beloved mountains.  

The first glimpse of the lake in the distance -- a deep blue gem sparkling in the bright mountain sun, nestled in the V of the mountains on each side of Big Bear Valley -- enraptured me. I was tempted to stop on the roadside, but I was in such a need to be there.

What a sight for my sore eyes.  A few minutes later, we crossed the dam, and here we are.  Ahh, it is oh, so peaceful here. Big Bear Lake is my paradise.  

It's an unseasonably warm -- almost summer's -- day up here, as it is down the hill.  DH is happily in shorts, his most preferred article of clothing.  Never mind that he's layered on top with a polo shirt and sweatshirt. 

Starved, we settled the dogs into the cabin after their quick potty visit to the little woods in back, then scurried over to Abe-san's and Kay-san's for sushi.  Tomo prepared our orders; I had sake (salmon), mirugai (giant clam) and salmon skin temaki (hand roll) sushi.  And DH had the same with the addition of an order of tako (octopus) sushi.  

I just read my previous sushi entry.  What creatures of habit we are. It's the identical sushi selection as my last entry.   As always, I was impressed how five delectable morsels can so delight my palate.  Some habits just make good sense.

Earlier, we'd quickly noted that our mountain neighbors, Jeff and Claudia, were up, as their garage door was open, and DH and I knowingly smiled at each other.  Driving back from the sushi bar, we drove through the village and in the window of the corner T-shirt shop, my eyes chanced upon a night T-shirt with a picture of a cat with these words alongside it:  

If you want a friend, get a dog.   

Apt words.  We were on our way home to meet a new friend.

With gladdened tummies, we ostensibly took O and Freddy B for their neighborhood walk, knowing full well that we were making a beeline to the red cabin across the way for a treat.  

And here's our treat:

What a Face! Che Faccia!

Earlier in the month, Jeff and Claudia emailed us about their newest family member with photos, and we were so looking forward to meeting her in person.  In dog. Lucy is all we expected and more.

What a face!  As the Italians would say:  Che Faccia!  Lucy is adorably sweet-faced.  Lovable and full of snuggles, she won our hearts. 


Yup. That is her name. Lucy for short. She reminds of us so much of our little O, sweet-faced -- with a streak of the devil behind that cherubic look.  And like O, she is a confident dog.  No skittishness whatsoever.

Between their Lucy and our Fred, we'll just have to rename O to Ethel and Oscar to Ricky.  You know, Lucy & Ricky Ricardo and their best friends, Fred & Ethel Mertz.

Oscar, as in Oscar Meyer weiner

To think, just two months ago, we -- Jeff, Claudia, Oscar, DH and I -- had shed tears over the passing of their lovable black mutt, Buster, who was once upon a distant time in dog years, a pound puppy. Gentle Buster of the sweet temper, who loved to play fetch with you with his rubber chicken toy, had passed gently while they traveled as a family to the Pacific Northwest, visiting human family over the holidays.  

Among us, we have a significant dog history. Jeff and Claudia vicariously experienced the heartbreaks of our Happy and Laki losses, six months apart, three years ago.  Speaking from that jolting experience, we urged them to look for another dog to help fill the huge void, if not for them, for Oscar who was left without his best buddy.

They needed no urging, as you can see:

Jeff, Oscar, Lucy & Claudia

They plan to bury Buster's ashes in the little woods in their back yard, where he had spent many happy hours romping with Oscar, chasing squirrels, rolling in the dirt, and just being a dog.  It'll be good for all.  Happy and Laki are buried in the flower garden alongside the yard alcove across from our porch swing, where I immensely enjoy their company.  

I also think Buster is delighted with the newest addition to the family. Loving his family and being the dog he was, he would want them to move on and give another little pup a chance for his humans' unadulterated love, just as he had been so generously gifted in his life.  

Claudia and Jeff think that Buster didn't waste any time returning to Planet Earth.  One day at their down-the-hill home in San Clemente, Jeff hollered to Claudia to come over and look out the window with him.  In the neighbor's yard was a brand-new pound puppy rescue.  She looks exactly like Buster.  So much so, that when Jeff dug out a puppy picture of Buster at about the same age, their neighbor was incredulous as well.  Same coloring. Same face.  Same one ear up, one ear down. To top it off, this pound puppy was rescued from the same animal rescue/shelter as Buster.

If there remains any doubt, the neighbor had named the little puppy, Angel.  Of course, we, who know Buster, know that her real name is Angel Buster.


>> Click on the search page and type in Jeff (or Claudia) and previous entries on them will come up.  They and their dogs are very much a part of our lives.


"Life is a Gift."

Wishing you silver linings, 
Author Unknown

P.S.  If you would like to share a portion of yourself with words, in response to this journal entry, you may do it here.  

 "The only gift is a portion of thyself..."
Ralph Waldo Emerson


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This web journal was created on a September Morn, 
September 29, 2001
September Morn 2002