Last weekend was Parents’ Weekend at my girl’s college. We had a very memorable activity planned for this visit. Both of us had a really difficult time saying goodbye to our home in Chapel Hill, and she suggested we get matching tattoos to remember 81 Wild Azalea Lane. She came up with an 81 cent postage stamp of a wild azalea. I loved the idea and the concept, and it was our first agenda item of the weekend. As we were catching up in the tattoo lounge chairs, I told her that I was reinstating Halloween costumes this year for me and dad. Our last couple costumes were before COVID, and we went dressed as Laurie Strode and Michael Myers from the Halloween movie series. We were reminiscing about other costumes when she started talking about when the husband went as Zombie Dad, and how this costume freaked out our dog Smooch. How had I forgotten this memory? So here is the Zombie Dad story as it relates to Smooch. Consider this a peek into a bonus chapter of the newly edited Smooch book scheduled to be published in June of 2024
Also Smooch related, I am back to wearing her necklace with some of her ashes. Last January, I purchased a necklace with the initial letters k&r for our 20th wedding anniversary. That necklace broke 2 months into wearing it (I hope that was not a sign about the future of our marriage). Next, I purchased a necklace with my initial k. It broke during one of the many massive junk removal sessions of our recent move. I pulled out my heart necklace with some of Smooch’s ashes that had been sitting in my drawer since the start of the pandemic when I gave up on wearing jewelry. I am taking the 2 initial necklaces breaking as a sign that I needed some of Smooch with me as I edit and republish her story.
The husband and I have always taken Halloween costumes very seriously. Some of my favorite couple costumes have been Eleven and Dustin from Stranger Things, Laurie Strode and Michael Myers from the Halloween movie series, and best of all, Evil Kittie and Zombie Dad. This particular Halloween, we were attending a Halloween party at a friend’s house in the neighborhood next to our house. The Zombie Dad costume was a zombie face mask and business attire (button down shirt, tie and coat). For some reason, the husband decided to make everyone guess who he was at the party. How, you might be wondering? He did not speak to anyone. It was actually hilarious. Everyone at the party was trying to figure out who was the person wearing the zombie mask.
That mask turned out to be a huge issue with Smooch, which surprised us all. Smooch could not be described as a guard dog in any sense of those words. She loved everyone, friends, strangers, or enemies. I have so many memories of her sleeping in her crate or on her deck cot legs sticking up in the air without a care in the world with total strangers doing work on our house. The doorbell never startled her. People coming and going in and out of the house was never an issue for Smooch. So imagine our surprise when the husband donned his zombie mask, and Smooch charged at him like he was the most evil of all enemies. He quickly pulled the mask off as Smooch ran closer to him, and that was all it took to call off the attack. That mask did not appear on the husband’s face ever again inside our house. Only a Halloween party favor from then on out. But it did make us realize that deep down inside of our lovable, never met a stranger dog Smooch, was a true guard dog when it was warranted.