Bobbie's Beat: Pet people respond

The mail is still coming in from readers regarding the recent column about losing a beloved pet. Grief is such a universal subject, and the amount of mail was (still is) not surprising. To many people, a pet is a member of the family. Readers are sending stories of their pets, and photos, as well.

That column included a story about a little girl whose dog died, and someone at the post office answered the letter reassuring little Meredith that her dog had arrived safely in heaven and wasn’t sick anymore. The postal person also sent her a children’s book by Mr. Rogers called, “When A Pet Dies.” I warned readers to have a tissue handy, but almost every email has these words, “Thanks a lot, Bobbie — I needed more than one tissue!”  

Yesterday, I received an interesting email from a reader in another state who recently retired from the postal service. This reader said the story about the little girl is not unusual. In her experience, postal employees read the children’s letters addressed to Santa Claus, North Pole, and if a child writes to God, the letter is sometimes answered. This certainly speaks well for the much maligned postal service, doesn’t it?

I do feel a need to end this with some laughter to make up for a column that made so many readers cry. The following day brightener was sent to me a long time ago by Linda Kilbride, of Newport. It has appeared here before and caused a flurry of happy mail. Here goes:

•     •     •

Can Cold Water Clean Dishes?

 This is for all the germ conscious folks that worry about using cold water to clean. John went to visit his 90-year-old grandfather in a very secluded, rural area of Saskatchewan. After spending a great evening chatting the night away, the next morning John's grandfather prepared q breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast. However, John noticed a film-like substance on his plate and questioned his grandfather asking, “Are these plates clean?”

His grandfather replied, “They're as clean as cold water can get ‘um. Just you go ahead and finish your meal, Sonny!”

For lunch, the old man made hamburgers. Again, John was concerned about the plates, as his appeared to have tiny specks around the edge that looked like dried egg and asked, “Are you sure these plates are clean?”
Without looking up, the old man said, “I told you before, Sonny, those dishes are as clean as cold water can get ‘um. Now don't you fret. I don't want to hear another word about it!” 

Later that afternoon, John was on his way to a nearby town, and as he was leaving, his grandfather's dog started to growl and wouldn't let him pass. John hollered, “Grandfather, your dog won't let me get to my car.” 

Without diverting his attention from the football game on TV, the old man shouted “Coldwater, go lay down now, yah hear me?!” 

•     •     •      

That’s it for today, folks. Now I’m headed to the kitchen to run that load of dishes in the dishwasher — in HOT water. 


Bobbie Lippman is a professional writer who lives in Seal Rock with her cat, Purrfect. She is the author of “Good Grief: A Collection of Stories As One Woman Journeys From Heartbreak To Healing Through Honesty and Humor.” The book, with all proceeds going to Rotary International Foundation, is available on Amazon, at JC Market in Newport and directly from Bobbie, who can be contacted at [email protected]

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