Home to Beautiful Borzois in the Watchung Mountains in Mountainside, New Jersey

The Chewed Shoes

I remember one day I was changing over the closet in my bedroom from the fall-winter clothes to spring-summer clothes. This is, believe me, a tedious chore, considering the number of clothes I have. At one point, overwhelmed by the enormity of the task, I had just strewn the shoes all over an area of the floor. There were lots of cheap sandals, flip-flops, and things like that, and I did not pay them any mind. However, neatly packed in its original box, on a chair, were a pair of Ferragamo leather pumps, real favorites of mine, waiting to be taken to a closet in another room. I was multi-tasking at the time and I left them there by mistake.

Some time elapsed. Suddenly, I looked up from what I was doing and saw Opal with one of those Ferragamo shoes in her mouth. She looked very pleased with herself. I got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. The box with the other shoe was not where I had left it, and further exploration uncovered my worst fear. The other shoe was found, severely chewed, on the living room sofa. Who said Borzoi were Aristocrats? They were right! No flip-flops for Opal. She wanted the Ferragamos.

Why should I be surprised? It was a real litmus test of how much I loved that puppy if I could forgive her for chewing my favorite pair of Ferragamo shoes without so much as a harsh word. I know too well she will never be mine long enough.

Coda: My words were sadly prescient. In less than one year, Opal would be dead. I would never have forgiven myself if I had ever reproached her for anything. But why would I have? Opal was perfect.

Lorene Connolly
March 2005