by Sasha Denyer, as told to Barry & Pat Denyer
It seems like only yesterday but it was, in truth, over a month ago that I sent me two Ambassadors over to Pennsylvania. They were instructed to pay homage to the great and wonderful Clondike Kintsfather (a.k.a. The Brussels Sprout Kid). I would have liked to have flown over myself, however, these darned quarantine laws mean that I would have had to stay in kennels for 6 months when I got back.
Anyway, my Ambassadors (Pat and Barry) have reported back to me and it would seem that they had a jolly fine time. Barry even seems to have put on a little weight despite the fact that he doesn't normally eat cajun food. The first week of their stay with David and Nancy Kintsfather was taken up with visits to the Willow Creek Animal Hospital where they visited Ms. Clondike, who was a rather poorly Pyr. Fortunately, I hear, she is doing much better now--keep up the good work!
In between trips to the Animal Hospital, Barry and Pat paid some house calls. The first was to Jane Gill where they met Conrad, Ms. P. B. Marple and Weezie. Ms. Marple was having a bit of an 'off day' but Conrad and Weezie more than made up for it by giving them a good Penn Dutch Pyr welcome. Jane was very kind to my Ambassadors and cooked them some lovely 'Cajun' sausages. Methinks that they were not supposed to be quite so crisp and brown (Cajun appears to mean 'burned to a crisp.'). However, Conrad, Weezie and Marple helped finish off the bits that the humans couldn't get their teeth through.
The next day David Kintsfather took my pets (sorry, Ambassadors) to see Whit and Nancy Coombs at their Maranatha kennels. Barry was rather taken with one of their Pyrs, Grady, and would have happily brought him back to the U.K. Pat had the good fortune to become attached to a 'fuzzy cue ball' (a.k.a. a Pyr shep) called Pirouette. This delightful young lady became so attached to Pat that she even followed her to the bathroom and sat outside waiting for her!
Over a delightful lunch of salad and burgers (the size of a small country) the humans discussed all manner of things and Barry was particularly pleased when he found out that Whit Coombs was also a soccer referee. Barry is far too old and fat to participate in such strenuous activities nowadays, but I understand that many years ago he also did a bit of soccer refereeing.
From the Coombs' palatial manor my Ambassadors were taken to see Dave and Maureen Simon at their Whitehope kennels. Warrick and Collette Wilson were also in attendance, making it a really international gathering. There were lots of Pyrs and even more puppies: seven youngsters belonging to the Simons and an enormous litter of NINE three week-old pups from the Perry's kennel in VA.
I had instructed Pat and Barry to learn as much as possible about the American way of life but even they were surprised when 'Cajun' food was on the menu again. Apparently, Maureen Simon was so busy chattering away that she forgot that she had a pan of potatoes boiling away. When it finally dawned on her to go and check them, the bottom of the pan had burnt through and the potatoes were somewhat overcooked. I am sure that this is not typical of Maureen's cooking style but I have it on good authority that talking long into the night is perfectly normal behaviour for Maureen.
The next day was The Big Event. It was the Penn Dutch Fun Day, now renamed The International Penn Dutch Fun Day. Barry and Pat report that there were lots of lovely Pyrs in attendance and even some really nice humans. They brought back hundreds of photographs and I am rather jealous that they were able to be there and I wasn't. I dare say that other members of the Penn Dutch GPC will report on the events of that day but Barry has specifically asked a few questions. How did Fred Unger get into that T-shirt during the cunning canine games? How come every photograph of Dianne Migas also features a lit cigarette?
My Ambassadors really did have a wonderful time and, finances permitting, may be allowed to return next year. Before I permit them to cross the Atlantic again they will have to do some research. There are a number of questions that need answering...
Why does every road surface have more skid marks than the main runway at JFK? How come everyone that they met has either been to England or has a relative living there? Why do pharmacies sell two types of nicotine--patches and cigarettes? How can a house have three and a half baths, doesn't the water run out? Why do Americans refer to toilets as 'the bathroom' or 'the restroom' when they are used for purposes other than bathing or resting? Why is American money all the same size and colour? Doesn't that make it really difficult for blind people? Why are distances measured in time (e.g. How far to New York? About 2 hours. How long 'til lunch? About 16 feet)? In baseball, if a hitter has 4 balls how can he walk and is this physically possible? How come The World Series is only open to North American teams? How come the nearest most 'off road' vehicles get to being 'off road' is when they park on the sidewalk? Why are Jeep Cherokees used as run-arounds? Why are burgers always the size of Belgium? Why do all waitresses ask what sort of dressing you want on your salad ("We've got French, Thousand Island, Spicy Bacon, Honey Corn,"......)? Why does every household have a table that is groaning under the weight of remote controls? Why does a smart dress code actually mean clean jeans? Why do newspapers relegate major world events to page 13 of supplement B?
There are probably more questions but I am running out of space and my paws are beginning to ache. Before I go, Pat and Barry have said that if any of you from the Penn-Dutch Club are coming to England in the next year or so, give them a call and they will show you some of the real English countryside and, maybe, a few English Pyrs.
Hugs to all,
Sasha 'Squishy' Denyer