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The Grandma Addicts

 

When Mom is out running errands or gardening or being busy during the afternoon, I’m usually napping. Butterfly stretches out next to me, and Cricket drapes herself on top of me so that I can barely breathe, and we all go to sleep in a puppy pile.

Butterfly adds her friends to the puppy pile.

Butterfly adds her friends to the puppy pile.

Cricket and Butterfly can be comfy and quiet for hours, but at the first sign of Grandma returning home, all hell breaks loose. Grandma’s here! We want things!

Ah, sweet sleepies.

Ah, sweet sleepies.

"What was that?!"

“What was that?!”

I think Cricket can hear the specific sound of Grandma parking the car in the lot outside my window, and she definitely knows the sound of Grandma opening the front door of our building. Butterfly is not an expert in these particular sounds, so she relies on Cricket to tell her what’s going on.

Cricket flies off the bed and barely touches the floor before she’s out in the hall and racing towards the door. Thank God for the rug in the hallway or else she would slide the whole way to Grandma.

Butterfly stands on the bed and barks at her fleeing sister, then she barks at all corners of the room, and crouches and barks, and circles and barks, and then she remembers that she has the doggy steps, and she runs down to the floor and out to the hall to catch up with Cricket, who is already crying and squealing at the top of her lungs.

"Grandma! Grandma! Grandma! Grandma!"

“Grandma! Grandma! Grandma! Grandma!”

Cricket stands straight up on her back feet and tries to jump up and kiss Grandma’s face. Butterfly tries to follow Cricket’s example and lifts her upper body off the ground with a heroic effort, and then flops back down, and tries again.

"More! More! More! More!"

“More! More! More! More!”

"I win the Grandma!"

“I win the Grandma!”

The crying and squealing and barking and hopping and flopping can go on for quite a while.

No matter how much I love my Mom, even at my best, I could never match the girls in the greeting department. Grandma brings new smells from outside, possible groceries, guilt scratchies for being gone so long, and the possibility of who knows what amazing things – she is Grandma after all!

Even my brother, who affected indifference when we were kids, would shuffle over to Mommy for a hug. He didn’t run down the stairs and almost topple her over, like I did, but he rested his head on her shoulder and let her hold him up. He still does this. Mommy hugs are a life long addiction.

I didn’t have this with my grandmothers. Neither of them was warm or huggable. I probably had to kiss them on the cheek or do the obligatory hug, but I’ve blocked it out.

My oldest nephew was a Grandma addict when he was little. When Grandma would get ready to leave at the end of a visit he would cry and beg for her to stay. He looked suspiciously like Cricket, hopping up and down, though without the furry jumpsuit.

He and his brothers and sister have taught themselves a more reserved greeting style when Grandma arrives at their house, except for the littlest one who can still be seen running down the block from the bus stop at the first sight of Grandma’s car in the distance.

We grow out of these greetings, either because we become blasé, or believe we should appear to be blasé, but dogs keep it up forever. Even in her old age, Cricket will be dragging her walker down the hall and croaking out a bark or two to greet Grandma at the door.

This is why we need dogs.

goodbye from dogs

About rachelmankowitz

I am a fiction writer, a writing coach, and an obsessive chronicler of my dogs' lives.

110 responses »

  1. The dogs do the same thing when I come home from work. It makes my husband jealous because they don’t do that for him. Of course, I’m the giver of treats so right there I’m more special than he is!

    Nancy

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  2. It’s amazing to me that they can tell as soon as the car turns the corner onto our street. And then Spud can hardly contain himself but squeaks and jumps and barks. It’s all quite the production. 😀

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  3. You humans just won’t listen to us. We hear so much better than you do. If your car has a problem in cylinder number 2, we can hear it. If your car has a manual transmission (like my Him who insists on one), we know how you shift. That’s why we know you’re coming. Put a blindfold on me-I can tell the difference between a 1958 Renault Dauphine and a 1957. There should be a position in every auto shop-Canine Dognosticator Good grief, they run commercials about the sounds the cars make and we know better than anyone. That’s why we know when grandmother is arriving two blocks away. Please don’t tell me grandma takes the IRT.

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  4. This made me so miss my dogs–I loved this! Cats are so indifferent. Parker is the only one who will come to greet me. Kitty stays asleep and Teemu gets and comes to me but it’s because he wants to eat. This was such a wonderful post. Cricket and Butterfly are a riot!

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  5. Love all the photos- Grandma looks like a great hug giver. Wonderful post! 🙂 ❤

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  6. You had me laughing with tears.. Sweet post!

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  7. Reblogged this on Words Like Honey and commented:
    I have only become acquainted with Rachel for a matter of months. She has an ability to make me laugh or get a bit emotional with the sweetness of her post. Please meet Rachel and furry friends..

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  8. Love the last shot. I do believe they can identify a car engine from down the block.

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  9. We call it “Dog Radar” and it’s pretty spectacular in its ability to identify loved ones from a distance. Just hope the pup is not on your stomach at the time of take off!

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  10. They remind us how to properly appreciate don’t they. I miss my mom so much sometimes! Thanks for another wonderful post 👏

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    • Thank you! I passed a puppy on the road today who was giving such an enthusiastic greeting he practically flew off the ground. Seeing that reminds me that I’ve felt the same way myself, and that I can feel that way again.

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  11. My fur babies know the sound of my car too. They’re always at the door waiting for me when I come home. It is wonderful to be so loved.

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  12. This IS why we need dogs. Unconditional love and not afraid to show it!

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  13. My girls go nuts when they see Grandma come to visit too. It’s so funny seeing their excitement and love for her.

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  14. Beautiful dogs. My dogs bring me lots of joy.

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  15. Well we certainly need dogs to show us the way. I feel guilty now for not hugging my mom, dad (deceased), and brother and sister. Oddly I am a big hugger with my wife and kids.

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  16. This is such a beautiful written and shared post, I am impressed so much. Blessing and Happiness to you All! I love dogs too, but I have a cat 🙂 maybe loving much more than dogs 🙂 But our cat is same as your dogs, and she knows when my love comes home!!! She really knows his car and she goes to the door before me 🙂 Yes, my love is her love too, me ? I am her mother or something like that… Thank you so much, have a nice day, love, nia

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  17. As a new dog mother I am constantly surprised at how Lady Bird greets me every time I come through the door. She wags her tail and body so much she usually falls over. My cat babies always come into the living room to greet me but never with such enthusiasm! (But their lack of obvious enthusiasm doesn’t make me love them any less.)

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  18. What a wonderful, positive post! I loved how much love was weaved into your post. It brightened up my morning. Thank you for that, Rachel!

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  19. Cute little puppies! I’m a dog lover myself.

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  20. I took my little woofer out for her morning constitutional just as my neighbor, Sandi, was getting home from her night shift. As she pulled in the drive, she opened the garage door., and I could heard sounds from inside the house. Your should have heard the woofing, tweeting, and meowing emanating from that house: MOM’S HOME! Your post adds to that reminder of how nice it is to have warm little bodies that miss us when we’re gone. And, as always, your photos are great!

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  21. Dogs always have that special greeting for you. They know what time to expect you home and from which direction you’ll come.
    Add to that if you’re carrying packages, the nose always goes t it in case there’s something in there for them ….. 9 times out of 10 they’re probably right!

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  22. oops, sorry that should read ‘in it, not t it!’ 😀

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  23. Hm…my dogs are Pretty Addicts and every time she walks in the door, they go berserk…very much like Cricket and Butterfly with Grandma. It’s ok – I’m a Pretty Addict, too.
    Aah and I lived with my maternal grandmother (and mother and daddy and two uncles) in a tiny house in rural Grimes County, Texas…my grandmother was the center of warmth for me until we moved when I was thirteen years old. She was LOVE to me. I’m sorry you missed that.
    My paternal grandmother lived down a small hill from us, and she taught me storytelling. My grandfather and I thought she was the funniest person we’d ever heard. I still do.

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  24. Lovely as always. Maggie can hear Dad before he turns the corner, and we live at the end of the street. Amazing. Hugs to all and tail wags, Maggie and Mom

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  25. MOL! They’re adorable! (But don’t tell anyone- I’m not supposed to like doggies)!😺

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  26. Marcel, Marceau and marble also hear me as soon as I drive up the driveway from work. They are waiting for me at the door, but since they have cat class and cat style, they make believe they are only there for dinner. I like to flatter myself that they are masking their excitement for seeing me again after a 10 hour absence but the truth is probably that they’re only waiting for dinner. Sigh

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  27. The girls are so adorable in the cheerleading routines. I never got any cheerleading from any oneo fmy dogs, not even Jack. My husband is the one who always got all of the hip hop hooray! And I do all of the work, talk about being taken for granted even by the dogs. lol 😀

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  28. That’s exactly why we need dogs! Beautiful writing!

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  29. Rachel, I am sure that I am not the first to do this, but I would like to show my appreciation for your work by nominating you for the One Lovely Blog Award. I hope you are able to accept. Please see my blog for the appropriate logo and the rules. https://amapofcalifornia.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/one-lovely-blog-award/

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  30. What cute pictures! There is nothing to compare to Grandma love and hugs for sure. And yes we do need dogs for sure! Hugs and nose kisses

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  31. We feed her, give her treats, look after her, see that she has enough biscuits and water and comfy bedding, but the second Chienne hears Andrew’s car in the driveway, all this is forgotten “Andrew is here!!” Andrew is here!!”

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  32. Lovely post! I’ve just tweeted it and two other recent ones. 🙂

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  33. Beautiful.
    Everything about it.
    Two of the sweetest faces I’ve seen in a long time, a loving Grandma, hugs and kisses.
    Beautiful to hear, to see, to think about it and smile straight through the day.

    Doggies.
    That’s what they do.

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  34. Hi Rachel,
    I saw you clicked “Like” on my “About” page, and I wanted to thank you for getting me traffic. You and I are both “dog people”. I had three until recently. Did you read my post about my little dog’s death? If not, here is the link: http://wp.me/p5jxvv-a
    How many dogs do you have? I’m guessing a lot more than three.
    Anyway, thanks again for checking in with me this evening.
    Janice
    PS Did you know that my daughter’s name is Rachel?

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  35. Isn’t this pure honesty of expression why we love dogs? Honey, upon first intimation that it is ‘walk time’ begins a continuous sequence of vertical leaps which do not cease until she is actually outside on her lead. Those leaps can begin in the bedroom upstairs – quite an experience if you are sitting quietly reading downstairs at the time. Twenty-eight kilos of leaping dog can turn a floor into a trampoline!

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  36. We love our Grandma too, she has the most wonderful food in her home, the sort of food we can only dream about most of the time, because Annabelle doesn’t eat meat. We get dog meat, of course, but it’s just not the same as the yummy meat you humans eat.
    Butterfly and Cricket are lucky being so small – we can’t jump up on Grandma because we’re so big we’d knock her down! Millie and Pearl xx

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  37. We need never to “outgrow these greetings”.
    As dogs do, we need to bring our puppy-ness with us into adulthood.
    We can learn great things from dogs.
    As toddlers do, we should never stop barking, squealing and wiggling oneself when loved ones arrive.

    Be at peace,

    Paz

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  38. Beautiful post. And I especially love the last line. This is why we need dogs. I find myself saying that dozens of times throughout any given day. Dogs are the best!

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  39. Dogs are the ultimate givers of unconditional love.

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  40. Hi, Rachel! I’ve just tweeted this and the previous two posts 🙂

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  41. Pingback: Posts I loved this week | Taylor Grace

  42. My dogs the same with my dad! Lol I am forgotten when he walks in the room.

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  43. So adorable. I enjoyed the photos a lot. We just lost our dog Sophie, who was very old and very very loved. Our other dog is grieving and I am too. Thanks for sharing your stories! – Rachel

    Reply

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