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Bobbie's Beat: The Corgi boys

Posted: Thursday, Feb 16th, 2017

The Corgi boys, Benji and Bogart, owned by Patti Littlehales, are occasional visitors to the home of writer Bobbie Lippman. (Courtesy photo)

Blame one of the dogs. Two years ago I wrote a column called “The Thing,” about a special gadget I wear on my wrist that has a little recessed button you push in case of emergency.

Kath Schonau, of Aging Wisely with Heartfelt Hands, insisted I get one because it is a wise idea for folks who live alone. I tried to tell her I’m not a fall risk, but she said she knows healthy, active folks who slip in the shower, bonk their heads and no one knows you are sprawled naked in the shower for a week. Awful vision, horrible thought!

I gave in to her nagging and got the Life Line. There are several brands of these alert systems on the market, and in that column two years ago, I wrote (in a very positive way) about one of the competitors who promptly sent an angry email that I had no right to mention their product. My editor and I shook our heads in amazed confusion. You would think a company would be thrilled to have their product mentioned (in a very positive way). Nuts to them. Their gadget will therefore forever be referred to as “the thing.”

In that long ago column, I wrote about the two Judies. Judy #1 is/was a dear friend in California who lived alone while dealing with stage four lung cancer. After much nagging from me, she agreed to wear “the thing” around her neck. You can choose either the neck or the bracelet style. Both are waterproof.

One day, Judy #1 called to tell me, with great glee, about the seven hunky paramedics who stormed her kitchen in response to the call button she had accidentally pushed. When I asked how on earth she activated “the thing,” her answer was priceless. “Well, Bobbie, if you really must know, I was trying to open a bottle of vodka!”

Judy #2 lives alone with an assortment of animals. Judy Bull writes a column called “Bull by Bull” for The Nugget, a Sisters, Ore. newspaper. I have yet to meet Judy, but we follow one another’s writing and exchange emails. Judy wears “the thing” around her neck and wrote about having a ton of emergency responders show up at her place. Judy Bull accidentally set off her “thing” while clutching a bale of alfalfa to her chest. Both Judies enjoyed having all these hunky paramedics show up unexpectedly.

For the two years I’ve worn the Life Line on my wrist, it has only been activated by me on a regular monthly basis so the folks in charge of emergencies know I am alive and well and all systems are working — mine and theirs. Famous last words.

Recently, on one of our beautiful, sunny coastal almost spring days, Patti Littlehales brought over her two Corgi dogs to play in my large fenced yard. I miss having a dog, but am happy having doggy friends who come over for a “play date.” There is no such thing as a dog person who doesn’t love watching dogs run crazy free until their tongues are hanging out in exhausted happiness. Of course, I can’t stay out of the frolic, and the dogs all know Aunt Bobbie has special lamb jerky treats in a pocket.

The Corgi boys should know by now that they never get more than one treat, but they live in hope, and during one of their mad dashes last week, I was practically rolling in the grass with them.

Suddenly, the phone in my pocket rang. The anxious voice asked, “Bobbie, are you alright? Do you need help?” Huh? Patti was standing nearby keeping an eye on her dogs, and I know she heard my goofy, semi-incoherent explanation to the Life Line people that I was just fine, did not need help and was playing with dogs, one of which had a nose that somehow pushed the alert button.

So now I have my own story, which would be so much more interesting if a mob of hunky paramedics suddenly showed up to rescue the damsel in distress. I guess Patti and I will never know which doggy nose pushed that button.

Special Note: If you have a loved one living alone, please encourage them to consider wearing an alert system. It’s cheap insurance, and it gives everyone peace of mind.

Bobbie Lippman is a professional writer who lives in Seal Rock with her cat, Keeper, and her robot, Waldo. She is the author of “Good Grief: A Collection of Stories As One Woman Journeys From Heartbreak To Healing Through Honesty and Humor” (Dancing Moon Press). Bobbie can be contacted at bobbisbeat@aol.com

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