NOTE FROM DIANE: You might think that after years of delightful neighborhood walks, car trips, yummy treats—including a delicious new trout-and-potato variety purchased just this week at Rusty’s Discount Pet Center — visits to the parkie, twice daily poop pickups and graciously sharing my professional byline with Heidi (who is trained to sit, not write), the dog would choose to feature me in her first-ever Mother’s Day column.
But no, the ungrateful shepherd has selected her grandmother, Janice Feldstein of Scottsdale, Arizona, as her subject. I’m pretty sure she has no plans to take me out for brunch tomorrow or send me a card and flowers, either. Look, I’m sorry we didn’t throw you an 11th birthday party at Maxwell Dog this year, OK? but 11 is not a significant age. No 5’s, no 0’s. Eleven just sort of sits there like you-know-what, waiting for your faithful Mom to pick it up. But changing a dog’s mind is as impossible as—well, changing a dog’s mind. So here is Heidi’s Mother’s Day column. Enjoy it as I go out alone to buy some See's chocolates to surprise myself with tomorrow.
HEIDI WRITES: Hi, it’s me, Heidi, not Diane, to start off by saying that is a lot of words Diane just wasted before getting to me, her dog. I do a lot of things for her, like protecting her from squirrels and entertaining her with my squeaky hot-dog toy, so I don’t feel bad about writing about my Grandma Jan instead of her. Diane also pushed me off the bed this morning when I was still sleepy and wanted to stay.
I never met my Grandma Charlotte Haithman because she died just before Diane and Alan went to Houston, Texas in 2003 to get me adopted from my first parent, Sonya Fitzpatrick, Animal Planet’s former “pet psychic.” Charlotte would have loved me a lot. When I first saw Diane I walked over to Sonya and Sonya told Diane: “Heidi says: ‘That’s my new Mum.’ ” Sonya says “Mum” instead of “Mom” because she is from England. And she can tell what animals are saying whether you believe or not. She was right, that’s just what I said!
I was a Mum myself already, since I had puppies when I was less than a year old. That was enough puppies for me so now at the park when I see puppies I like for them to go play with someone else— go away, puppies! Anyway it wasn’t until later that I met my Grandma Jan. I can’t remember whether I met her at our house in Studio City or on a trip to her house in Arizona where they have lots and lots of little rabbits running around outside! The peoples don’t like them but I think rabbits are the best thing about Arizona.
Guess what, Grandma Jan already had five whole grandchildren before me but she still has time to be my grandmother even though she also plays mahjongg with her friends! She can do lot of things at one time. She grandmas my brother and sister Sasha and Darrow and then the Brad, the Liz and the Todd who used to live in Boston where I have never gotten to go yet. Now the grandchildren are grown up and live everywhere. Except me— I live here. Also I have a dog cousin Rusty who still lives in Boston and is curly because he’s a Snickerdoodle.
What I like about Grandma Jan besides sometimes snacks is that she has always supported my acting, and my writing career too. She puts comments on my column so I know she is reading and is very proud of me. She also doesn’t mind that I don’t look like anybody in the family. I think it’s funny that Rusty looks like my Auntie Barbara even though he is a dog because they both have curly red hair! Sometimes Alan jokes that I have his nose. That is wrong, this nose is mine. I came with it.
I am a good reporter so I got a comment about me from Grandma Jan over the phone. Here is what she said about having me in her life: “It’s been absolutely delightful. I love reading about her, she’s one in a million. She has brought me nothing but pleasure, and she is grandchild number 6! I love reading her column, and all my friends love it too.”
Grandma Jan makes sure that everybody in Scottsdale reads my column too. Maybe everybody in the whole world. You know they say nobody is reading newspapers anymore but I bet they would if they put my Grandma in charge of making them do it!
And here’s a secret, shhh, don't tell her: I am going to take Diane someplace for Mother’s Day. I'll have to make sure that it's someplace that I like a lot. And maybe I will ask her to drive.