My Grand Pup, The Model

We Are Family!

Aug 10, 2011 by

I often write about my wonderful daughter Erika.  She is a Hospice Social Worker in Bellingham, Washington, and has been happily married for 3 years to a man she met on She is beautiful, smart and funny and absolutely dotty about her two Chihuahuas, Ginger and Lulu.  They make her laugh and she admits she loves them to distraction and makes no excuses about it.

Ginger, my first grand pup, led the wedding processional in my garden 3 years ago. Dressed in fetching pink organza with a flower on her back, she pranced down the garden steps, her matching pink leash held high by one of Erika’s friends. She set the tone for the whole affair and everybody agreed it captured the lightness and love that permeated the whole event.  My daughter declared it the “Happiest day of my life.” Who could ask for a better statement than that?

Little did we know that Ginger would develop a career of sorts as a model for dog attire?  Despite the fact that Ginger actually hates being dressed up – when she spots Erika carrying the box containing her wardrobe, she looks imploringly at whoever is there in the hopes of reprieve. She rolls her eyes and looks miserable, suffering mightily as various outfits are put on her tiny body.

But a designer in Bellingham photographed Ginger in one of the coats Erika sewed for her and asked if she might model her line of designer doggy couture.

Erika wasn’t sure her dog would tolerate the experience, but it turns out the dog has some ‘ham’ in her, because when a camera is out, she knows how to comport herself to her best advantage. Ginger’s Facebook Photo!  I sent the designer’s link to some friends and realized that I felt just fine boasting about my grand pup’s modeling prowess.

The likelihood of my becoming a grandmother of a mere mortal is low. Erika, sensitive soul that she is, asked how I would feel if I don’t become a grandmother. I thought about it for a while and thanked her for asking and for her awareness that it could be a topic with some discomfort inherent in it. Here’s what I told her and what I discovered I feel about the whole “Make me a Grandmother” story that many people of my generation have.

First, as long as Erika is accepting of whatever choice she makes, I totally support her. If she is happy not being a mother, I can live without being a grandmother.

Secondly, there is a kind of simplistic thinking that people do when they consider becoming grandparents.  They often assume that they can just enjoy their grandkids and not worry about them, leaving all the nasty aspects related to raising children to their offspring.

I believe parenthood is the great irrevocable relationship. No matter what you do or don’t do, whatever happens or doesn’t with your children, you are always affected by them. There wouldn’t be a giant industry devoted to dealing with the life time effect of family life if that wasn’t the case. A favorite joke sums it up:

Question: “Why do our families always push our buttons?”

Answer: “Because they installed them.”

Becoming a grandparent is a subset of that whole thing. I know many people who have struggled with their children’s partners or their children’s divorces which affect their access to their grandkids.  Or others whose grandchildren’s sickness or disability has changed how they relate to their children and to their own friends and family.

I am not denying that my peers love being grandparents or feel they have a special relationship with them that they didn’t have with their own children. Yet even they admit to losing sleep when their grandchildren’s welfare is at all involved, from worrying about their schooling to hearing about their questionable friends and or athletic failures.

So for now, I can totally enjoy sharing charming pictures of a photogenic Chihuahua with others with a sense of humor and enjoy my daughter’s delight in her pet. Besides, I do my share of worrying about how the tiny dog is doing: like the time she ate a whole pack of gum with Xylitol in it!  But that is another story…

About the Author

Rebecca Crichton Has Written 40 Articles For Us!

I try to stay aware of one main concept: We see things through different lenses. We get caught in our own belief systems and most of us are pretty attached to being right. I am one of those inveterate Life Long Learners. I like new ideas, new experiences, new people, new challenges.
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