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‘Yapping tennis ball’ makes Christmas debut

It was Christmas eight years ago that a cat became a part of theJacobs household. Ol’ Santa dropped the little bundle under thetree that Christmas morning so many years ago.

Fluffy, as some readers may recall, became the subject ofnumerous columns over the years as her antics became fodder forsocial comment.

I don’t know if it is her old age or my growing years, butthings have been quiet on the Fluffy front for a while. She stoppedclimbing trees, hairballs have been less frequent and I have gottenwise to her being hidden in the car to take family trips. I havetaught her to roll over on command, but that is another story.

The quietness ended Saturday morning. Santa did it again!

This time ol’ Saint Nick dropped in and left the only thingworse than a cat – a toy poodle! I knew I should have built a firein the fireplace late Christmas Eve.

Bear with me poodle lovers … for a fellow who has only ownedlarge dogs all his life – and I mean large dogs – the thought of ananimal the size of tennis ball that yaps all the time is a bit hardto swallow. I guess you could call it a man thing. Big dogs aremacho. Poodles are, let’s say, not so macho.

I mean, I pick up a stick and sling it into the lake, and myLabs come back with an animal – a duck or a fish! Pick up a stick,and the poodle hides for cover.

Put the Labs in the back of the truck, and people notice as youdrive down the road. Put a poodle in the back of a truck, and thewind blows it out the back.

The appearance of my barking Labs when a visitor comes to thedoor brings a certain amount of respect from strangers. Those samestrangers snicker when a poodle appears.

The idea of a poodle becoming part of the Jacobs householdstarted several months ago. Suddenly, funny little notes startedappearing in the strangest places. The words “Meredith needs apoodle for Christmas,” neatly typed on small pieces of paper andtaped to my toothbrush, car keys, bathroom mirror and other places,started taking over the house.

Despite the batting of eyes, sweet hugs and comments of “Don’tyou want your daughter to be happy?” I held my ground. No moreindoor dogs! And no poodles!

As the drumbeat increased over the past few months, I warnedFluffy and the Labs that I was the only friend they had as othersin the house were plotting against us. Fluffy just purred androlled over. The Labs just panted and licked. I have not beensuccessful in teaching them to roll over.

Christmas morning, Fluffy was not purring. In fact, shedisappeared as soon as the yapping tennis ball appeared under theChristmas tree. I found her hiding under my pillow Christmas night.The Labs, well they, too, are looking at me in disbelief!

I have named our new family member, a name I felt described thisfurry tennis ball perfectly – D.D. Its meaning? That is up to onesown intrepretation!

Write to Bill Jacobs at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven MS 39602,or send e-mail to bjacobs@dailyleader.com.