Betting on black Ilene

We are convinced that our dogs are reincarnated versions of my late parents.

We have two rescue dogs, Peaches and Jax, and their behaviors and general attitudes remind us so much of my parents that it’s a bit eerie at times.

My mom Connie was barely five feet tall, always moving, talkative and hilarious. Donald, my dad was a quiet gentleman, sweet, funny, loving and fiercely protective of his family.

Peaches is a chihuahua/Jack Russell mix. She is a peanut, weighing eight pounds. Beautiful coloring. Tail always wagging. Jax is a chihuahua/daschund, weighing 12 pounds. He’s loving, loyal and laid back.

Peaches/Connie is nosy. If something happens in another room, she’s like a gazelle, sprinting to see and possibly take part in the action.

Connie would hear a car skid down the road and be out the door in a flash, to try and see if there was an accident.

If food falls on the floor, Peaches springs to snatch it up. My mom didn’t necessarily swoop in like a hawk, but she would quickly grab the food off the floor and yell, “Five second rule.”

If a leaf falls onto our lawn, Jax barks. And the delivery people and the letter carriers who come to our door are treated with non-stop barking. If a storm is coming, Jax senses it and starts to shake. Dad would see a couple leaves on his lawn and go out and pick them up.

Dad didn’t bark at delivery people or letter carriers (having been one himself for many years), but he always talked to them. Dad would look at the sky and sniff the air and say, “Storm’s coming.” And he’d always be right. The difference between dad and Jax during storms was that Jax hides in our closet and my dad would be outside watching the rain and lightning.

Peaches and Jax argue. They make noises at each other all the time. Usually Jax gives a warning growl and Peaches whines, but they are definitely communicating.

My parents didn’t argue so much as “have discussions.” My dad would groan, and my mom would mutter in Italian.

If Peaches doesn’t feel well, Jax lies next to her and licks her face or paws. If mom didn’t feel well, dad refrained from licking her paws and her face, but he would take care of her, making tea, bringing crackers, etc.

Jax is stubborn. If you call him and want him to sit next to you, forget about it. It has to be HIS choice. He will eventually make his way to our side, but on his time. Dad was the same way. Once dad got something in his head, he would never, and I mean never, change his mind.

Peaches goes with the flow. My mom was always ready for adventure. She’d pack up and go on a trip with little planning. Impetuous.

Jax is locked into his own timeline. Breakfast was served at 8 a.m. on his first day with us, therefore breakfast must be served at 8 a.m. every day. No excuses.

Dad had his routine also. He’d wake up, shower and dress, make his bed, and go outside to hang his flag. Then he’d eat his breakfast. Nothing deterred him from living that routine. Routine comforted dad, as it does with Jax.

Jax loves to be petted and talked to, but ONLY when he wants it. If he doesn’t, he turns his head away till we get the message.

In the last three and a half years of Dad’s life, he was the same way. If I was talking to him, about whatever, and he didn’t feel like hearing the story or perhaps was bored by it, he’d turn his head away from me. That was my cue to shut up.

There’s one big difference between Peaches and Jax and my parents, besides the obvious (my parents were not canines and they didn’t relieve themselves outdoors).

The dogs love to wrestle. They wrestle everywhere; on the furniture, on the floor, outside on the lawn. I don’t think my parents ever wrestled, and if they did, I’d rather not know about it. Nope, no thanks.

That’s a visual I can definitely live without.

Ilene Black has been a resident of Ewing for most of her life and lives across the street from her childhood home. She and her husband, George, have two sons, Georgie and Donnie.

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