Date: January 20th
Subject: Mr. Beaker
I don't want to impose, but before I left you said to have Mike call you if there ever were a problem with Mr. Beaker. He called me. Mr. Beaker is apparently more than he can handle and would like me to find someone else to take him. I am really sorry that I have to ask you this, I know you don't owe me any favors, but would it be possible for you to take him, at least short term until I can figure something out?
Peace be with you, my red-haired darling. Good-bye.
Those were the last words he’d said to her. All he could say once she told him that she was moving back to Venice and she wasn’t planning to return. That she was leaving him in order to try and make sense of the chaos her life had become. To reclaim the things so suddenly lost to her.
I love you.
That was what she wanted to tell him even if he might not believe it.
She hugged the Doberman tightly, squeezed him until the pup whumped and whined at the way she was pushing the air from his lungs. Pippa kissed his head, his snout, rubbed his back once more and forced herself to stand. It broke her heart to leave Mr. Beaker behind but she honestly believed it the kinder thing to do for him.
Be a good puppy for Mike, Mr. Beaker. No making messes, don’t eat anything that isn’t doggy food and no loud barking in the house.
He tilted his head and gave Pippa a confused woof and an excited wag of his tail.
More hugs, more tears. Promises extracted and made. She’d call. He’d follow her lists of instructions about the dog. She’d take care of herself and he’d not work too hard. She’d find the time to drink good Italian wines for him and he’d call Rory Stone if Mr. Beaker became too much to handle. She’d stop crying and he wouldn’t ask how the Irishman could let her go.
Everything necessary had been packed in two suitcases and a carry-on. Things that were important to her had been packed away and sent to storage. Furniture had been draped in white cloths and everything else had been sold or given away. Pippa flipped the switch to shut off the custom light fixture in the bedroom. She ran a hand around the basin in the master bath. The little bits of herself she was leaving behind—the real estate agent was thrilled with that. Real selling points, the woman had assured her.
Pippa left her keys in the lockbox hanging on the door.
She flew out of Newark’s international airport, not JFK. It was more modern, less crowded and seemed less New York to her than the famed major hub. Somehow this was fitting in Pippa’s mind. She’d said farewell to the city as she’d taken the ferry from Staten, the subway through Manhattan and then finally hailed a cab to the airport. She kept the window closed during the plane’s ascent, her last memories of ‘home’ would not be an impersonal aerial view.
Phillipa! Mia Bella! Come here and let me see you.
She made it from the airport to the bus and then to the gondola all on her own. But once she’d arrived at the address belonging to Signore Evangelisti, Pippa was welcomed. She hadn’t seen him in three years and she’d been surprised at what a difference a short time-span could have on an old man. His eyes were still bright and his embrace still strong though and that’s all that mattered. She cried. He held her. They both laughed.
Later, they would talk of many things but for now Pippa was content to just be back.
Mr. Beaker is his full and proper name. He's a very proper puppy, after all. He is just a pup still so we're working on things like manners and the concept of "fetch" but he is such a good little boy. He's my self-appointed guard dog. When Ro (my boyfriend) isn't here, Mr. Beaker settles himself at the front door and rarely moves. When we go to the park, Mr. Beaker won't let anyone he doesn't know get near us. Personality quirks, territorial issues--I don't really know but I do know that I love my puppy.
I never intended to have a pet here let alone one that will be a large as Mr. Beaker but the past spring someone was simply giving him away. Handing him off to whomever would take him. I saw those big brown eyes and heard that cute little yappy back and I just had to have him. So Mr. Beaker came home with me and I've been doing my best to take care of him ever since. I know some people think I spoil him, but I like doing things like baking doggie biscuits for Mr. Beaker and making his dog food too. Would you want to eat that smelly, slimy stuff out of a can? I wouldn't and I won't make my puppy eat it either.
I honestly don't know what I'd do without Mr. Beaker these days. He's my best friend, someone to always cuddle with, my protector and his silly antics always make me smile if not laugh.
The worst part of the whole thing is why I actually sat through the movie in the first place. One of the actors sort of resembled Ro, I think it was the smile mostly. Same shape of the face, physical build...I thought it was funny at first. Then he started killing women and it wasn't like most vampire movies, it wasn't just biting someone on the neck. There were razor blades involved and screaming, begging and oh...I had to close my eyes during the sex scenes. Just horrible.
I didn't even watch the end of the movie after that. I couldn't. I took Mr. Beaker and went to bed instead. I probably shouldn't have done that, at least not without calling Ro to say good night.
I woke up around three a.m. because Mr. Beaker was barking...I think I probably woke him up because I'd kicked all the blankets off the bed and my pillows were all on the floor.
Now I have goosebumps all over again. I'm definitely not watching any more scary movies.
Work tonight should be...
Mr. Beaker is going to be a backwards puppy because of my work schedule. We didn't crawl out of bed until noon. But he is so adorable. Even if he does insist on sleeping on my favorite pillow. He's currently running around on the kitchen floor, I can hear his little claws clicking on the tile. It makes me happy.
Now I need to go get my sleepy, nappy body into the shower, wash my hair and figure out what I'm wearing today. Not that clothing is ever optional but I can't decide pants or skirt, sweater or blouse. Hair up or down? These are the things I struggle with daily. Impressive, I'm sure.
Actually, I think I should feed Mr. Beaker first. He's trying to eat my toes.
I'm weak. And a big, total softy. While I was out today this guy was trying to find a home for this little guy. I picked him up and just couldn't hand him back. He's mine. He's so sweet. And no, I will not be clipping his ears and tail. I like them floppy and wagging.
I named him Mr. Beaker. Say hi. I love him.