Wealth | HumorOutcasts


September 21, 2017

The Pack

This week, I realized just how wealthy I’ve become.  To explain this newfound wealth, you need to know a little more about me.  You see, I am a dog lover, not just any dog lover, but a dog lover on steroids.  As a child I had a little Bichon Frise.  As a newlywed, my husband and I adopted a Schnoodle.  Over the years, the little dogs became big dogs.  We went from one dog to two dogs.  For decades we’ve maintained a two dog family along with assorted fish, and a cockatoo, who is the bane of my existence. I did say I was a dog lover, not a bird lover.


Last February, we had two hound dogs: a nine-year-old part Coonhound part Bloodhound mutt and a ten-year-old part Basset hound part Sheltie mutt, and yes, the Basset has short stumpy legs with a Sheltie face and is quite the funny looking sweetheart.  Even though we’ve had these two adorable dogs for nine and ten years, my husband has been begging me for a third.  He’s been trying to make his case for about eight of the past nine years.  What he doesn’t tell you, is that I’m the one who trains them, takes them to the vet, and cleans up all their hair.  Two, have been quite enough for me.  Nonetheless, every year around hubby’s birthday, in February, he asks me yet again for a third dog.  He wants a Golden Retriever puppy.


Last February, I finally broke down and let him get his pup.  She’s a beautiful dog, sweet tempered, smart, and she gets along with our other two; however, she IS a puppy.  She’s the first dog we haven’t adopted from a pound, and since we purchased her, my bank account has been drained on a regular basis.  Of course first, it was just the purchase itself.  Then came the vet bills.  Then came the incidence bills.


What are incidence bills?  They are the things I have to pay for each time Ginger, the puppy, has an incident.  There was the $250 plumber’s bill.  One day, our toilet was clogged.  After unsuccessfully snaking it on my own, I called the plumber in.  He ground his professional snake into that toilet for a solid twenty minutes before he pulled up the tennis ball Ginger decided to drop into the toilet bowl.

You found my ball!

Yesterday, I left a twenty-dollar-bill on the kitchen counter to remind myself to pay someone when I got home later in the day.  When I did get home, the twenty was not on the counter, it was in pieces all over the house!  Today, she found the TV remote.  Thank goodness for Amazon Prime.  It was still $12 to replace it.



If my bank account has been so depleted by our new Ginger, why am I so wealthy?  Well I have a very simple answer for that.  Not all wealth comes in dollar bills.  Some of it comes in happy greetings every time I come home.  Some of it comes in a warm cuddle at the end of a long day, and some of it comes in unconditional love times three.  I’m so very wealthy!

Wealth: the saga continues:

A few hours after this essay posted yesterday, I received a package.  Inside was a new toy I ordered for Ginger to keep her a bit more occupied.

New Toy

What could possibly go wrong?  Within minutes she had one of the bones completely off the rope.  Within an hour, it was wedged over her bottom teeth and jaw!  I kid you not.  There was no way that sucker was coming off.  By 8:15pm we were in the veterinary emergency room.  By 11:30 we were back home safe and sound after anesthesia, a saw, and $250 accomplished the removal of said bone.  Hubby and I were a wreck.  As for Ginger, I don’t think she noticed a problem.  She was in fact, so happy that the staff at the hospital fell in love with all eighty-two-and-a-half pounds of her.  Now they’re wealthier in both dollar bills and puppy love.  I think it was a win-win!


Leslie Handler

Leslie is an internationally syndicated columnist for Senior Wire and a 2015 Society of Newspaper Columnists award winner. She is a frequent contributor to WHYY's Newsworks, has written for The Philadelphia Inquirer, ZestNow, and Boomercafe, as well as blogs for The Huffington Post. She has a Bachelor of Journalism degree and currently lives smack dab between Philadelphia and New York City with husband Marty, dogs Maggie, Hazel, and Ginger, a collection of fish, said husband's cockatoo who she's been trying to roast for dinner for the last 31 years, and a few occasional uninvited guests. You may follow her blog and read published essays at: LeslieGoesBoom.com. Her first book, a collection of essays, publishes by HO/Shorehouse Press Spring, 2018.

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10 Responses to Wealth

  1. September 27, 2017 at 7:01 am

    I hear ya Mark. One is better than none!

  2. September 27, 2017 at 2:41 am

    I can barely handle our one dog … financially or energetically!

  3. September 24, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Give Ginger a pat on the head for me, and tell her she’s a good girl. 😀

    • September 26, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      Thanks Kathy. Will do. She’s doing just great now.

  4. September 23, 2017 at 6:50 am

    I imagine you’ll never need a writing prompt with Ginger around – you should hope she stays a puppy forever!

    • September 26, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      OMG, Karen, nOOOOOOO! I love her to death, but I’ll be happy when puppydom is over. At 57, this may be the last puppy I raise! Thanks for reading me!

  5. September 22, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Oh, how I love this! I did not grow up with pets and came late to the Divine Tabernacle of All Things Canine. My two dogs are adorable, but I love them so very, very much, I greedily think (at times) how fun it would be to have JUST ONE MORE. Thank you for the Ginger stories. Or maybe not. She is so damned adorable . . . .

    • September 26, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      Thanks, Kate. Even though you may have been late to the canine party, I’m glad you came. Our pups are truly the joy of my life…just don’t tell my kids. LOL.
      Thanks for reading!

  6. Pam Sievers
    September 22, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    This is so funny and so right on. I swear, Ginger is smiling in the picture with the tennis ball. Keep you humor.

    • September 26, 2017 at 12:11 pm

      Pam, I must tell you, this puppy ALWAYS smiles. I swear she was smiling when the bone was stuck on her jaw. I think that’s why they fell in love with her at the animal hospital….and why she was last to be treated after a three hour wait….she doesn’t know what distress is!
      I love reading your writing. Keep it up!

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