This is the Always Random and Usually Shallow Christmas letter for this year. Indy saw that I was too absorbed in the blog to worry about a letter so he took it upon himself to write one for us. At the end, he did shamelessly plug the blog for me, though, which I very much appreciate.
I have also included, in case you didn’t get one for yourself, the family Christmas photo…the real one this time and not the one of our butts at thebeach.
Some of you may recall the post I wrote about Indy a few weeks ago, but in case you missed it, you can go here for more insight into this delight who lives with us.
If you have any comments or complaints regarding this letter, please submit them to Attention: Indy.
This letter is from the Always Random and Usually Shallow Family dog: Indy...their faithful and handsome "man's best friend".
And no they did not give me that name…I came with it when I duped them into bringing me home from the Shelter three years ago. With my name I also brought my winsome doggie smile and my cheerful and compliant spirit. You may not know about me...Mrs. Always Random and Usually Shallow has been a little lax in her Christmas letter writing as of late. And she’s not even including me in the family photo!
If you’ve met me at all, you know I may not be telling the whole truth about my description. I am neither winsome nor charming or compliant; I am not handsome or loyal either.
But never fear – I do have truthful things to share. But before I begin please be advised: From here on out, I will refer to Mrs. Always Random and Usually Shallow as “Mom” and Mr. Always Random and Usually Shallow as “Dad”, although I am fully-aware they are not my real parents. They are not nearly as hairy and their teeth are straighter than mine. And their eyes are the same color…as in both eyes in each pair of eyes are the same color. (See…you don’t need a picture of me; I am giving you a perfect description right now.)
I’ll give you a play-by-play of the year, as best I can remember it. There are some highs and some lows, but mostly it involves a lot of barking and sleeping on furniture I wasn’t supposed to be on. But you’d probably be more interested in what the Always Random and Usually Shallow Family did instead.
In January, I have no idea what went on. Mom wasn’t using her Google calendar yet so it is completely blank. I’m sure there was some soccer practice for both of my brothers (and yes, I know they’re not my real brothers…but they’re all I’ve got. Sometimes family is who you love. But please don’t tell them I love them…I have a reputation to uphold. When strangers come over, I act so attention-starved that they sometimes think the Always Random and Usually Shallow Family pays me no heed. It’s a fun game for sure.). But other than that, I can’t remember anything monumental in their lives.
February…still not much. Soccer practice and school. At that point, they were half-way through their second year of homeschooling. And Mom works at a preschool, which is apparently a place with a bunch of little people running around. I would love to go with them sometime but they still always make me stay in my room while they’re off having fun. Maybe someday right? A dog can dream can’t he? Imagine all those little hand petting me? Sounds fantastic. I hope my endearing underbite doesn’t scare, or scar, them.
In March, my older brother, the 11yo, broke his little piggy toe while running through the house. He was in a walking boot for 5 weeks, but off of soccer for a total of 6. It might not have been as bad if Mom hadn’t sent him to soccer practice right after that, because she didn’t know it was broken. Sure he was crying hysterically, but like any good mother, she gave him ibuprofen and sent him to practice. The swelling and the three shades of green the next day indicated something more than a stubbed toe was at play. This break meant no soccer tournament in St. Louis for any of us, which ended up being a good thing. The whole soccer club traveled to St. Louis for a tournament which was canceled first thing Saturday morning. We will still at home snug in our pajamas at that point. Well, I wasn’t in pajamas, but you understand; the only clothing I ever wear is a Halloween costume.
Also in March, my younger brother, the 9yo, turned, well, 9. He also played soccer and was even a goal keeper, in spite of his smallish stature. Fearless, he is, just like me. I’m certain I could play keeper too if I just had opposable thumbs.
April was more of the same…school, soccer, preschool. The 11yo did get to return to soccer at the end of April and was able to finish out the season with no difficulties. I was sad to see him get back to it…I got lots of time sitting on his lap and being loved on when he had that broken toe and couldn’t play outside very often.
May brought about the end of the school year and with it more time for the PBA to be at home with me, which is what they wanted all along. Time with me. But they also had a couple soccer tournaments, which to me only meant they were gone all day when they would usually be at home, enjoying my company. I was sad for them that they missed me so much while they were away.
In June, the 11yo turned (yes you guessed it) 11, but due to some unforeseen circumstances, the party didn’t happen until July. My family left for a two-week vacation…I still cannot fathom why they wouldn’t take me…but the next day, Poppy (that’s Dad’s dad) died unexpectedly. So my family came home that same day. They were very tired from 26 hours in a car during a 36 hour period, but I was glad to see them and I’m sure all my snuggling and tail-wagging made them feel better. That, and the fact that before they got home, some of their friends and neighbors brought over a bunch of food so they wouldn’t have to worry about that too. The fridge was pretty bare, as you could expect, since they thought they were going to be gone two weeks. Oh, and the friends and neighbors played with me when they came over too, which was an unexpected surprise for them. I’m certain they were using the food as an excuse to see me.
In July, we had the 11yo’s birthday party, plus he had volunteered our house as the meeting place for the Middle School Bible Study for the month. Both of those events were especially exciting, because it meant more people were given the opportunity to meet me. I know, as usual, the party and the Bible Study were just ruses for people to spend time with me. Call it what you will…I know the truth.
Also in July, the 9yo and Mom went to church camp together for a week. This meant Dad and the 11yo got me all to themselves for a few days. Mom was hoping she and the 9yo would actually spend time together, but what really happened is that the 9yo hung out with a bunch of boys and Mom tried to manage a group of sweet, but silly, girls. Mom came home and told Dad that she had fun but confirmed that God knew what he was doing by giving her boys.
Also in July, the 9yo had football camp and the 11yo had soccer team camp. Yes, the 9yo gave up soccer for his first love: football…much to Mom’s chagrin. It may be the first, last, and only time he plays organized football. Mom despised every minute of it. I have to agree with her…it’s not the safest sport out there, but what do I know? I bark to go outside and once you put me outside, I bark to come in. I’m not the best judge of what might be a good or bad thing.
August brought about changes again…changes which meant my family wasn’t home to my liking. My brothers started school (still homeschool, so at least they are home on Mondays and Fridays to pet me when they want…or when I want, which may be truer than anything. I love to take flying leaps onto their laps when they are on the couch reading together…I am not a distraction in the slightest.) The 11yo is now in 6th grade and the 9yo is in 4th. Wow…time goes so fast. These 21 years I’ve been with them have simply flown by (see, that’s funny because I’m a dog and supposedly a dog ages 7 years for each actual 1 year).
Is this microphone on? Is anyone getting this, because trust me I kill in my neighborhood. Mostly crickets and flies. Anything bigger scares me.
Oh, and the PBA (that’s the Parker Brothers Academy, in case you didn’t know…my brothers don’t necessarily care for the name but Mom thinks it’s funny so she continues to use it) are in a homeschool co-op this year, so that does take time away from me on Monday afternoons. That and their music lessons (the 9yo takes guitar, and the 11yo takes drums). The 11yo is taking a Middle School Composition Class (I could have taught him but again…it’s an opposable thumbs issue), and the 9yo is taking Spanish and Weather Science (those are two different classes, BTW…but “Spanish and Weather Science” would be interesting. Maybe next year.)
August was also the start of soccer games and football games. Which meant my family was away from me for a few week-ends. I know they were sad. I jumped on them and gave as much affection as I could, as soon as they released me from my room. I even act that way when they would simply step outside to get the mail from the mailbox and come right back in. I wanted them to know that I noticed they’d been gone. I have no concept of time, so if you’re gone for 2 minutes, it’s the same to me as 2 hours. And vice versa. You can see why they wanted to bring me home.
In September we had more soccer, more football, more school work. The 11yo’s soccer team did well, and the 9yo’s football team made it all the way to the Super Bowl (which was actually in October…sorry, I’m getting a little ahead of myself. I am a dog, for crying out loud. The only reason I know there is such a thing as a “calendar” is because I hear Mom always say, “I don’t know…I have to check the calendar.”)
But they lost in the Super Bowl. Mom wasn’t sad about it. She’d been telling her friends to pray that he didn’t like football because he wasn’t going to play it again after this year. But the more they prayed, the more the team won. They only lost one game before the Super Bowl. How in the world was he going to not like playing football when he was on a winning team? Dad still won’t admit it but I think he wants the 9yo to keep playing football. Next year I will try to remember to tell you who wins, but I’m betting on Mom.
In October, they actually did leave me at home for a week and stayed away the whole time. They went to Hilton Head and that’s where they took their family photo. Which is why I’m not in it. I tried to convince them to Photoshop me in but they wouldn’t go for it. Plus if you know them, you would also know that there is no way they would take their oh-so-beloved pooch on vacation. They seemed to enjoy their time away but I did not. Though my sitter took great care of me, I wasn’t too keen on her putting me back in my room, and I snapped and growled at her. So not like me. On the very day my family was coming home, she had to leave me out of my room for a while, so I could cool off a bit. Not only did I cool off, but I left a nice big present by the back door for my family when they got home later that day. You should have heard their screams of excitement when they saw it, “INDY!!!” I’ve never been more proud of something I’ve made.
We are still in the throes of November. Soccer and football are finished for now. The 9yo is playing basketball and the 11yo is just starting an acting class. Whatever that is. Thanksgiving is upon us shortly. No decorations or tree are up at the time of this printing. But probably will be by the time you receive my letter.
I must confess that I’m not a fan of the tree. The first year I was with my family, they gave me a fancy new collar while they were putting this tree up in the middle of the living room. When I approached to see what this thing was, I instantly felt a little jolt right where that new collar was…it was the darndest thing. That collar and the tree clearly did not get along. I gave the tree a wide berth the entire time it was there. I’m not taking any chances this year either…who knows what kind of relationship my current collar has with the tree.
That wraps things up for us. I did the best I could remembering their highlights. I may have gotten something confused. Like I said, I am a dog. And not the brightest bulb in the box either. That’s what mom says. I don’t know what it means.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
P.S. If you are interested in keeping track of us throughout the year, instead of hoping that Mom gets around to writing a letter at Christmas time, you can follow us on her blog at