Jerry Zezima

Woman’s Best Friend Is Hazardous to Her Health

If I ever star in my own sequel to Father of the Bride, in which I had the title role in 2006 when my older daughter, Katie, got married, I might have to put paramedics on the guest list. That’s because my younger daughter, Lauren, literally has fallen into the bad habit of needing emergency medical care whenever she is invited to a wedding.
And it’s all because of my surrogate granddaughter, Maggie.
Lauren is a single mother and Maggie is her “baby,” a playful little pup of whippet and various other breeds who will be 3 in October. To say Maggie is in the terrible twos would be barking up the right tree.
This is why she might have to go to obedience school.
The trouble began about a week before Katie and Dave’s wedding. I was sitting in the office, trying to figure out how I was going to pay for everything without having to continue working even after I am dead, when the phone rang. It was Lauren.
“Dad,” she moaned, “I think I broke my face.”
“Are you all right?” I asked.
“No,” Lauren said, sobbing.
“What happened?”
“I was walking Maggie, and she pulled me, and I fell face first into the bricks on the outside of my apartment. I might have a concussion and a broken nose.”
It turned out that Lauren, who was the maid of honor, had neither, although she did have bumps and bruises that healed enough to be covered by makeup on the wedding day.
Fast forward to May, when my wife, Sue, and I, as well as Katie, Dave and Lauren, were invited to the wedding of Amy and Mel. Amy is the daughter of Jane and Tim, who in 2003 became the first couple in our circle of friends to marry off a child.
The night before, Sue and I got a call from Lauren.
“Dad,” she moaned, “I think I broke my ankle.”
“Are you all right?” I asked.
“No,” Lauren said, sobbing.
“What happened?”
“I was walking Maggie, and she pulled me, and I fell down the stairs outside my apartment.”
Lauren tore the tendons in her right foot and ankle and couldn’t drive to Cape Cod for the wedding. She ended up in a cast and had to use crutches to get around. Her ankle still bothers her.
Maggie is taking the rap for both incidents. She’s really very sweet, in a slobbering sort of way, but she’s also –I say this with great affection – insane.
Whenever she visits, as she did last weekend because Lauren went to Boston to see Katie and Dave, she runs around like a madwoman, terrorizes our four cats, chases squirrels and completely dominates our dog, Lizzie, who just became a teenager and is a bit long in the fang.
Maggie doesn’t have a job, but she ought to be on an excavation crew because she’s such a proficient digger that she could have tunneled her way to China for the Olympics.
She also is a miniature cyclone when being walked, which is why Lauren thinks she should enroll Maggie in obedience school.
I don’t know if Maggie will pass with flying colors or, more likely, flunk out, but I do know that when Lauren gets married, the dog’s not invited.

Zezima, a freelance writer, can stay and sit, but draws the line at rolling over. He can be reached at

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