Hurrah for Hollywood

A beautiful movie star lived with me for 16 years. He shone like a star on a Christmas
tree. Although no one ever asked him for his autograph, most people “oohed” and
“ahhed” a lot when they saw him and wanted to know all about him.
When I first brought him home, he fit into the palm of my hand. It was a blustery,
snowy, winter day and being snatched from his mommy’s teet and out into the cold was
very traumatic for him, as he was shaking like a tiny California earthquake.

His lines were rather limited as he could only bark and snore but in no time he had
memorized his role and could ask to go outside ‘to perform his business’.
It was in the first year of his life that he knew when we passed famous places in the
car, too. His favorites were McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken. He could smell
the burgers sizzling on the grill and the mouth-watering chicken frying as we passed by
them in the car. He’d feel entitled to a bit of that Big Mac or some of that ‘finger-lickin’
food and, with a whimper, would rush to the window as if he was going to place a drive-
through order.

There were times when he would take on the attitude of a spoiled super star, especially
if he had bravely snatched an old chicken bone dropped by a passing squirrel or some
other tidbit of bad food he had found on the ground. Then a total metamorphosis would
come into being like a Jekyll grotesquely turning into Hyde. He would froth at the
mouth if you tried to take his forbidden fruit away. It would have been quite laughable
seeing this little, white, seemingly eyeless, dust mop holding onto his morsel while
attacking the broom that I would have to use to try to take it away from him, if not for
the fact that I would be worried he was going to choke over the slapstick episode.

His mom was a poodle and his dad was a Pekinese so he got the spiffy, spunky breed
known as a Peek-a-Poo. He looked just like a little Hollywood star. Even full grown he
never weighed more than 11 pounds. Children were his favorite playmates. Just as he
barely came up to a shinbone on an adult, with little people he was eye to eye and felt no
sense of insecurity. They would meet him for a minute or two and an immediate bond
would form between them.

As he got older, he had to retire from his playful days with the kids, but he always
allowed his young friends an audience as he rested in the house napping. They would
ring the bell and ask “Can we come in to say hi to Hollywood?”. They would hold him,
kiss him, and he would be in his glory once more from all the attention showered on him.
I will never forget the day I finally had him put to sleep. After coming to terms with

the fact that euthanasia would be a painless process, the vet came to the house and
quickly injected Hollywood with the dose of poison that ended his life. I was waiting for
the vet to ask me if I wanted to hold him but he did it so fast, there was no time.
Hollywood let out a bloodcurdling scream and then he was gone. I sobbed like a baby
so loud the children who loved Hollywood too came running to my door. I was
haunted for months that the vet had hurt this little rugrat as he took his last breath. He,
who had given nothing but love all his life to me and his entourage of little people. My
only solace was in the children’s solution.

We buried him in the yard with the kids overseeing the funeral. He was given a Native
American burial. They outlined his tiny, red velvet shroud wrapped body with burning
sage. Next they carefully lowered him into the tobacco sprinkled hole they had dug as
his final resting place. Cards and flowers poured in as the news of Hollywood’s passing
became known in the neighborhood. I’ve since moved but his own named star still marks
the little grave in that yard today, and he will always live in my heart until the day I die.

Barbara from NY

One Response

  1. Deborah Johnson Says:

    Hello Mark: This email is in response to the woman from the Brainerd, Minnesota area who knows of some tropical birds being improperly cared for in a greenhouse.

    Here is one suggestion: Midwest Avian Adoption & Rescue Services, Inc., out of Stillwater, MN which is just outside of the TCs. The website is http://www.maars.org. If she goes to this website, then to “our services” and then to “captive bird rescue services” she will find all kinds of information as to what steps she could take. Minnesota has a statute on animal cruelty, Chapter 343 and also a statute specific to bird treatment, Chapt. 346.40. She could certainly look at the bird statute and report to the police that she has witnessed that the owners are not complying with the law. You would hope that would at least prompt a visit from an officer. MAARS may also be able to help her more directly with what steps to take.

    I have already written in twice about my dogs, Kaela, Posey and Nicky. My second posting was for two pics of my dogs which I thought you and the other readers might enjoy seeing.

    Thank you again for all that you are doing for our country and our pets.


    Deborah Johnson
    Rosemount, MN