Monday, June 25, 2012

From the Archives: A Letter to Edie's Foster-Masters While I'm Away

I just wanted to write a couple pointers to make this the most enjoyable experience it can possibly be for all of us:

As this will be the longest Edie has ever been apart from me, it is imperative that you not deviate too much from her routine (see attached itinerary). When retiring for the evening, please say your prayers out loud with Edie and make sure she bows her head. I know she can get distracted but this is very important as she is in a critical stage of her personal spiritual development. If possible, perhaps you could encourage her to say her personal prayers aloud so you know what's on her mind and if she's experiencing any keen anxiety with my absence.

When sleeping, Edie usually likes to try and assert her independence by starting at the foot of the bed but soon realizes it is much warmer under the covers. If I am sleeping on my back, she prefers to sleep with her chin propped on my right or left armpit with my arm wrapped around her. When sleeping on my side, she either nuzzles up against my lower back as long as there is a pillow on the other side of her or on my side with her tucked up against my stomach with my knees pulled in. Please refrain from sleeping on your stomach as this will only confuse her.

In the morning, I usually allow Edie to offer input as to what we should wear that day. To instill a sense of solidarity in our relationship, I usually try to have us match in some way- if not in color, at least in style or theme (i.e. “Boston tea party” or “Self-made business lady”). After giving her some private time outdoors (when she has to do her business, please look the other way so as not to shame her; she is already humiliated enough as it is--being a dog and all), I offer Edie her breakfast and fresh water. She is not always hungry in the morning, but it’s important to keep a watchful eye and make sure she does eventually eat all of her food. Edie is going through that phase where she compares herself to tall, lean dogs like greyhounds and she thinks she’s fat. I tell her she is beautiful and strong and the most perfect Chihuahua in the world, but her negative body image is very deeply entrenched and it is an ongoing battle trying to elevate her self-esteem.

When I have to work all day, I send Edie several texts to let her know I’m thinking of her. I usually try to reference some inside joke we have or a sweet private memory only she and I shared. Since you have only a brief history with Edie, feel free to reference some of mine until you have some of your own. She likes the one about the time she and I blew off work and got henna tattoos (temporary of course!) and saw a romantic comedy while sucking down huge frappacinos we snuck in (caramel is her favorite should you decide to treat her). We laughed so hard everyone was totally giving us dirty looks. Also, it always makes her smile when I tell the one about that one time when we both, in synch, rolled our eyes really dramatically at the old man who made not only a Taco Bell joke but a joke about how my name should be Winter, not Summer since it was cold that day.

Edie is signed up for swimming lessons but I worry it might still be a little too chilly for the first few sessions. I usually call ahead each week and make sure that Chihua-robics is still on as I hate making the trip only to find out they've replaced it with Tai-Bow-wow (too violent!). Also, sometimes it’s hard to get her excited about piano lessons but I tell her that when she’s older, she’ll be so glad she learned young. Also, please expose her to as much Spanish as you possibly can. But at all costs, refrain from using any derogatory greasy slang or impersonating her voice as if she was in some sort of thug gang. She is a lady- Not a gangbanger. If, for some reason, you do have to impersonate her voice, it is most appropriate if it is vaguely child-like and ever so slightly “lisped” for added cuteness.

If you choose to read to her, please do all the voices like I do. I don’t let her watch “24” as it gives her nightmares and an inappropriately dismal sense of her own mortality (24 hours is an entire week in dog years). Also, she isn’t allowed to watch The Biggest Loser anymore after I caught her exercising to the point of exhaustion in the middle of the night trying to burn every last calorie after she realized the "yogurt" I let her lick out of my bowl was actually sour cream. And don’t let her convince you I let her watch R-rated movies. This is not true.

I will leave a voice-recording of me saying re-affirming and comforting things but if she seems to really get down in spite of this, a pedicure (we pronounce it peh-dog-cure) almost always does the trick. And we can always increase the frequency of our video skype chats.
Most of all, have fun! (but please not so much fun that she would in any way prefer your company to mine.)

All the Best,



  1. I missed that the first time around: Hilarious! And? Did the foster masters live up to the job?

  2. LOVE it too. Summer is such a GREAT mom!!

  3. Roxie said...

    When I took care of her, I made her wear a wig...she liked looking like a "my little pony", but now I wonder, was that good or bad as a foster master?


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