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A Christmas Thought…

Merry Christmas!

 

With very few exceptions, Christmas has been a season when people put aside differences both petty … and not so petty.

We’ve welcomed each other in thought and in presence … we’ve done so without reservations. No identity relationship has mattered, no visible difference, no qualification as to where we live, no reservation based on ideology.

It’s been a time when we all can look at our fellow humans with understanding, kindness, charity, and dare I say it … love?

Isn’t it sad?

There is pressure to put an end to this season of goodwill.

It comes from all around us and inundates us like a tsunami destroying that feeling of happiness and peace that accompanies the magic I associate with a simple phrase … “Merry Christmas.”

What I see on TV, what I read, what I hear … and worse, how I see us treat each other during this season of what I see as a period of truce, convinces me that some wish to steal from us the most valuable thing we have.

Our collective humanity.

Listening to pontificating TV commentators and politicians this morning occasioned a thought.

I refuse to allow others to rob my sense of humanity. I will NOT reject people who differ from me, in any way, based on narrowness of vision and selfish views of life.

Humanity’s laws do not require that we think the same.

Because someone does not agree with my political outlook, social values, or other personal beliefs, does not give me the right to value them any less as a human.

Certainly, the reverse is true.

My personal set of values does not devalue me.

With this thought in mind, I’ve decided not to allow the rhetoric of division and derision to destroy my enjoyment of fellow human beings this Christmas. I hope I have the wisdom to maintain this state of mind far past this season of goodwill.

I will not assign a negative value to a person with whom I disagree most vehemently. I will proudly retain my thoughts, understanding that people will differ. Disagreement with another simply means I have to be tolerant of them. I’ll strive to remember those who see only one point of view … those who resort to labels and vitriol in response to opposing ideas, lack the intelligence to reason and refute. I’ll react to them with the pity and understanding those with such narrow intellectuality require.

I will put the atmosphere of recrimination aside, hope they will, and if not, ignore the “slings and arrows.”

Can I persuade some of you who read this to adopt this thought? Let’s make this a “Merry Christmas!”

 

“On the avenue, Christmas Avenue…

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Haunted Dog House!

“OOOOHHHH” A haunted dog house

Chant to the rhythm of the ‘Volga Boatman.’

The haunted dog house!

The haunted dog house!

Yes…there is a haunted dog house.

Eyes shine within it!

Eyes shine within it! 

Cats go in and never leave it.

The dog was vicious!

The dog was vicious!

It ate postman’s legs on golden dishes.

Dog catchers tremble!

Dog catchers tremble!

The ghost chased their truck into ditches.

It buries victims!

It buries victims!

It digs more graves than MacBeth’s witches.

What finally killed it?

What finally killed it?

No one knows, but it exploded.

It looked so terrible!

It looked so horrible!

Click this link if you want to see it!

 

 

When a disaster hits…Please think of us!

 

This is just a reminder note to all you pet owners. Please, please, please see to all dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, and all your other non-human friends safety, when disaster knocks on the door. Aren’t we your buddies? Just because many of us have four legs, not two, doesn’t make us any less loyal. Most of us provide you with unconditional love. Should you do less for your friends? Locking us in a room with a few bowls of food doesn’t get it. Would you do that to Aunt Pamela? Or your neighbor Fred? Take us with you and provide for us. Do you really thing we can survive something like you see below?

Rarely can a pet survive this!

Do you want your friend to end up like the ones below?

A welcome helping hand.

 

Stranded! Be better than __________!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please take care of us when disaster strikes!

Alone, together…a Christmas Story

Hi, this is my traditional present for my blog readers. Read it and share with others!

 

 

Leonardo’s decorated for Christmas

“People welcome! Dogs welcome! Covid-19, not so much!”

That’s what the sign said. The invitation hung under the poster requiring masks and imploring everyone to stay six feet apart. Still, the café invited my human and I inside with its huge holly wreath decorated with miniature Santas and shiny colored ornaments. Blinking strings of lights around the windows swore to the sincerity of the words. My human, Mark, wasn’t reading anything. Christmas Eve brought memories of a one-year anniversary. Not a pleasant one. His fiancée had returned his engagement ring, when she had the opportunity to trade in an engineer, for a recording star. Mark plodded along the street like an extra in a zombie movie. The season reminded him of his loss and his sentiment toward Christmas made old Ebenezer look like a joyous celebrator.

Like all Golden Retrievers, I’m friendly, enjoying the companionship of both dogs and people. I’m not about to endure my human’s self-imposed isolation, so I stopped at the door, and pawed it, telling Mark, “I want to go in!”

“No, Ralph!” Mark tugged at my leash, but I braced myself for the pull I knew would follow. I barked a couple times and pawed at the door again, reemphasizing my desire. He acquiesced. “Okay, boy. We’ll see what’s inside.”

At the first cracking of the door, I could see Leonardo’s was my kind of place. Lot’s of laughter, smiles, and conversation between humans. Also……Lot’s of lovely lady canines lounging with their people.

“Welcome, to Leonardo’s, are you by yourself?” A smiling waitress greeted us at the door.

“Yep, just me and Ralph here,” Mark’s eyes dropped to me, a signal I should say, “Hi.” I barked twice. Marked added, “Ralph’s pleased to meet you.”

“What a beautiful dog! A Golden Retriever, right?”

Leashes are kind of pointless, though it helps to lead my human

“Yep,”

The girl’s face turned to an apologetic mask, “I’m sorry, the covid rules mean we have to observe social distancing. That means three seats between customers at the bar, so it’s filled. I can put you in a booth or at a table.”

“Wherever I can be by myself.” Mark looked miserable and I felt guilty. But…only so guilty. There were a bevy of beauties at the end of leashes eyeing me with more than passing interest!

“I have the perfect spot for you,” the waitress said. “Follow me please.” We entered the restaurant’s main dining room which was set up like a checkerboard. Every other table was out of service, the chairs turned upside down on their tops. Human patrons in the bar had to be actors and actresses. Half were bandana desperadoes from 1940 westerns; half were masked extras from the 1960 TV series, Dr. Kildare. Covid creates a kind of universal robot countenance for people.

The waitress looked over her shoulder as she walked us to our place. “Another person made the same request you did. I’ll seat you at the next available table. You two can be together in being alone.” She smiled as she reached the table. “Enjoy your privacy.”

Mark didn’t pay any attention to our neighbors, however I did. Of course, my primary interest was the creature at the end of the leash. A red and green sweater covered her closely cut fur, with the exception of the puffs left untouched by her groomer. “French,” I mumbled to myself. She saw my stare and haughtily turned her head away, lifting her nose toward the ceiling. Poodles…they’re all arrogant…smart, yes, but very arrogant.

“My hairstylist has a drinking problem

I tried to look as disdainful as I could and traced my vision up the leash to the human on the other end. The female sitting in the chair and on the casing of the leash, positioned her back so it quartered toward Mark and I as we were seated. The creature, a table away, had long raven black hair that cascaded down over her shoulders. Enough of her face was visible to show she had attractive upper features. She wore a wind breaker so any surmise about her top half became pure conjecture. However, the part of her that contacted the chair…remarkable, very remarkable.

Of the many common interests Mark and I share, one is our fondness for the same anatomical parts of the fairer sex. We are both hip and leg men. The gentle sway has our attention far before the blubbery bounce gets a notice.

Whether to achieve more complete privacy or initiate a marketing campaign, I’ll never know or try to guess. The woman in question, rose, repositioned the chair, and sat back down so all that could be viewed became the flat of her back. However, the standing presented items of interest. Her movement attracted, Marks gaze, and that gaze was rewarded with a view of long perfectly proportioned legs and a Mitzi Gaynor posterior.

Mark’s well-used DVD of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific produces the same comment about Mitzi’s rear every time Mark plays it. “Now that’s one million dollars-worth of ass!” he says as his imagination removes a pair of white shorts. The exclamation mark stays. I’d say the mystery woman’s, would cash-out at a million-and-a-half. Mark stirred from his death-sleep for the first time in a year. Yep, the lady had Mark’s full attention.

Mitzi G — One of the most beautiful and talented actresses to grace a film.

Mark’s happiness is my major concern, unless it significantly effects mine. For the first time in a year, my buddy exhibited renewed interest in a love life. I felt it incumbent on me to do some kindling. Creating a scene to get attention by barking or other bad behavior wouldn’t work. We’d end up being thrown out; I’d end up on dry dogfood for a week. I’ve heard the way to a mother’s heart is through her child. I reasoned a woman’s pet had to be a close second.

I moved to the poodle as much as my leash would allow, tried to be as suave as I could, and asked, “Excuse me, Miss, could you direct me to the restroom? My human has a weak bladder.”

“Monsieur, you are speaking to me?” Accent…heavy, sexy…and without the overtone of animosity I expected.

“Oui,” I answered.

“But of course. The toilette is to the right of the bar, through the arch, and the homme’s room is on the left.” She batted her eyelids and stood displaying her rear and hind quarters. Like master, like dog. I drooled a bit.

“Nice day we’re having,” I grimaced. A master of pick-up lines, I’m not.

“Snow, slush, wind, and cold? Oh, I can understand with that beautiful, thick gold coat it does not bother you. Me, Monsieur, see I need a sweater to stay warm.” She wiggled her tail. I took that as a positive sign. Straining against my leash, I hoped two kill two birds: To get he, and me, closer to possible objects of our affection.

Mark expressed his willingness to comply by saying, “Okay Ralph, I see you want to get to know Fifi better.”

“My name is Bridgette, not Fifi.” She looked at Mark with a jaundiced eye.

I spotted an opening, “Poor Mark. He is like many human males, so chauvinistic. I, of course, am not. In his defense, his intent is good, he’s just wounded by an unfortunate affair of the heart.” If Bridgette watched old movies, I’d be cooked. My theft was verbatim from a Maurice Chevalier flick.

“You are warm-hearted,” Bridgette pulled and stretched her leash from the rewind case. It left us five feet apart. She added in a sultry whine, “I adore warm-hearted men.” We were so near yet so far.

Mark stood, and approached the mystery woman, and said, “Sorry to disturb you, but it seems our two dogs want to become better acquainted. Would you mind if I let them satisfy their curiosity?”

She turned toward Mark. What he and I could see above the gaiter…flashing deep blue eyes, a widow’s peak, creamy olive skin…all were attractive. What the black mask concealed remained a mystery. The woman answered suspiciously, “Is your dog friendly? Bridgette is very unassertive and I don’t want her frightened.”

“Ralph is a cream puff. The only way he’d hurt a fly is to lick it to death.” I could visualize Mark’s smile under his blue paper face cover.

The woman looked dubious.

Mark guessed her concern. “Look, this isn’t a ploy to get an introduction. When I came in, I wanted to be seated in a location by myself. The waitress put me here because she said you wanted privacy too. Promise…I’ll stand as far away as possible while our dogs exchange doggie greetings.”

She nodded, “Okay.” The woman released the leash lock, another six feet of cord pulled out, and the poodle and I exchanged customary sniffs. Whether we were eyeball to eyeball or eyeball to otherwise, Bridgette and I found each other intriguing. Each of us sent visual signals that chemistry might be right and that we had no desire to be separated. When Mark pulled gently on my collar, I remained steady; when he jerked, I made a low growl.

“What’s wrong with your dog?” the woman said, concern creeping into her tone.

“Nothing, I pulled his leash, so I can go back to my table. He isn’t ready.”

“That’s silly and I’m being foolish. Come sit at my table. We’ll be within the social distancing rules.” She pointed to a chair diagonally across from her. “We can stay six feet apart.”

Romantic positions in a Covid world.

“Thank you.” Mark walked to the chair being careful to maintain his “social distance” and not tangle leashes. Within a few minutes they introduced themselves, Mark and Jeanette, they exchanged the most rudimentary personal facts, and they reinforced the Greta Garbo thing, “They wanted to be alone.” If you don’t know who Garbo is, look her up on the Net.

It was clear to me that they desperately wanted to break the ice dam they’d constructed, but human stupidity or pride, take your choice, prevented them. Canine common sense to the rescue! Under my breath I whispered to Bridgette, “Just stay still. I’m going to walk around you a few times.”

“Monsieur, it will tie our lines in knots. Our humans will have to unwrap us.”

“That’s the idea.” I leaned close and whispered using my best Harrison Ford imitation, “Trust me.” I quickly bounded around the poodle three times, pulled the line tight, and whined. Mark reacted exactly as I knew he would.

“I’m sorry! Let me get them untangled.” He dashed around the table, kneeled at Jeanette’s feet, and tried to unwrap the leashes. I moved or circled to prolong and make the process as difficult as I could.

Comments began to flow. “Ralph stop moving,” of course, I increased my activity. “It’s not your fault, let me help,” Jeanette joined Mark on the floor trying to separate Bridgette and me. My poodle buddy saw my purpose and moved and dodged to up the difficulty level a few notches. Mark held my collar with one hand, unhooked my leash and was removing the last few twists when the waitress appeared above us.

“I’m so sorry, but the manager has asked me to tell you, you’ll have to leave. You’re breaking the Covid rules and other patrons are asking why they can’t.”

Mark issued an embarrassed, “I’m very sorry. Soon as I get my dog hooked back up, I’ll go.”

“You don’t have to leave, I will,” Jeanette volunteered.

The waitress looked distressed. “Sorry, the boss said, you both have to go.”

“On the avenue, Christmas Avenue…

Mark and Jeanette left together with Bridgette and me in the lead. After we left Leonardo’s they spoke. “Well, it was nice talking to you. That was a great Christmas Eve present,” Mark volunteered.

“I enjoyed our conversation, too.” Jeanette shook her head. “It was nice to have a discussion with a man without him hitting on me.” Oh no, I thought. Mark’s honesty would screw the whole thing up. He opened his mouth to speak and I barked, “Shut the hell up!” but it didn’t work.

“A…I assure you I wasn’t hitting on you…however…I think you are attractive. I wanted to say something to you but wouldn’t if Ralph hadn’t been so insistent on wanting to meet your poodle.”

Jeanette laughed, “Great minds. I wanted you to notice me. I’m not sure why, chemistry maybe. Anyway, that’s why I stood up and turned around. Don’t say anything…That’s why we girls spend lots of money on clothes that, shall we say, put our best foot forward. Anyway, I liked the way you moved when you walked to your table, or something.”

“Too bad we got thrown out, I had a good time while it lasted.” Mark looked at his parked car without claiming it. “You know it is Christmas Eve. I’m alone. You’re alone. If you’d like to go somewhere else, we could enjoy the evening. Alone. Together.”

“Where? Every place I normally hang out in is closed or have the Covid Police standing by with pitch forks to keep everyone in line. That’s not much fun. Besides, I’m curious. I’d like to see what you look like under mask.”

Mark took three steps back, removed the blue paper from nose to chin, and said, “Be sure to shield your camera. My face destroys them.”

Jeanette pulled down the gaiter, “You have a good sense of humor! I like that.” The masks returned to their Covid parking places over the two humans faces. Both would be considered good looking by human standards, though to canine standards, furless faces seem sickly and without verve.

“It is too cold to stand here,” Jeanette remarked. “As you said, being alone together on a holiday seems a good idea. We can go back to my apartment and see if Santa arrives. It’s only five blocks away. I warn you, I’m a bourbon drinker. There’s no scotch in the place.”

“Ahhhhh! We have our first thing in common. What brand?” Mark asked.

“I like Knob Creek, Wild Turkey, Woodford Reserve, I’m not much on Four Roses. If you impress me with your ability to drink and savor the good stuff, I’ll share some of my favorite, Noah’s Mill. I bet you never heard of that before.” Jeanette…definitely confident…Mark and I like that in a lady.

“It’s from a small brewery near Louisville. It’s like sipping a little bit of heaven.”

Jeanette quoted Bogie, “Mark, this might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

Bridgette and I led the two chattering birds to Jeanette’s apartment. I winked at my new poodle friend and she returned it. I muttered to her, “Isn’t it satisfying to be able to help less capable and intelligent species like humans?”

Bridgette said, “Oui, Ralph. Aren’t they lucky to be owned by us, mon ami d’or?

Aren’t French women wonderful?

~~~~~~~

 

May your turkey be juicy…your potatoes mashed…and your football team victorious

What comes to mind on Thanksgiving? This is one thing!

 

Happy Thanksgiving! As I pound the keyboard, the turkey lies thawing in the sink, Mrs. G is fussing over her last second grocery list, and the Geezer is formulating a precise plan to maximize the number of football games he can watch on Turkey Day. The year 2020 has been hard to find much for which to be thankful. Maybe the item we can agree on to be thankful for most, is this damned year is almost over.

Over is the key word. Despite all the political bull-crap, we’re close to having a vaccine to control and get us over the Covid-19 virus the Chinese donated to the world. Hopefully, the violence in many American cities is over. The stupid-season is past, and the filth burning and looting didn’t help their cause. Most importantly, the election is over! It’s over! It’s over. IT”S OVER!! No more lies from politicians. Well, at least, less lies. No polls that have no basis in reality. No more mind pollution from the saturation of  TV with garbage election adds. Please, will you worthless idiots in the media keep you mouths shut for a while and give us some peace. At least, let us have our holidays without your constant fermenting of unrest! The election farce is past!

Let’s look forward. Ahhhh. Next year. Let’s hope we can burn those cursed masks. Watch the NCAA basketball tournament…in person. Have dinner at our favorite restaurants. See The Masters with spectators. Visit our favorite state park. Enjoy a full football season. Swim at the beach. Visit the library. Go to the gym. Drink a margarita at our favorite watering hole. Watch a selective earthquake that swallows all past and present politicians and Washington bureaucrats. Well, somethings are too good to hope for. Happy Thanksgiving from Sandy and Brandi……..

Happy Turkey Day!!!

Ditto!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Get out and vote!

VOTE !

VOTE! If you’ve never done it before, do it now! This election will determine the future of the country…that’s NOT hyperbole, hype, or exaggeration. Many people see politics and are repulsed by them. In the past, a significant percentage of the US population has told themselves, “Why bother? Things just stay the same.” This time that won’t happen. The citizens of this country are faced with a formative decision. Shall we continue on the path we have followed for over 200 years, that of focus on individual freedom or shall we proceed down a path trod by others, that of the collective state. History tells us, when it’s allowed, the outcome of both forms. It’s a simple choice. Do what you WANT, or do what you’re TOLD. What makes this election different is that one course may make it nearly impossible to return to the other.

😒 Twitter had originally censored this post!!

Bell, Book, and Candle?…No Brandi isn’t a witch.

Brandi rings the bell. She’s not driving away witches. She’s ringing her potty bell.

Ring the Bell, close the Book, light the Candle (I hope that’s right) That was a formula for driving away witches in early America. One of the Geezer’s favorite movies is a Jimmy Stewart classic, Bell, Book, and Candle. It’s a great tale, told in a humorous style, about a mortal whose life crosses the path of a family of witches. He falls in love with one. Any mortal man wouldn’t have a problem falling in love with Kim Novak. Believe me, no spell is required. For a few bucks, it’s a great movie to add to your film library. The story holds up well, even in today’s world. It’s only ten times better than most of the manure produced in LA and NYC today. I digress. This is not a movie review.

Brandi is the Geezer’s Golden Retriever puppy, and she’s my little sister. She’s lovable, full of energy, and mule-stubborn. My protegee, is quickly adapting to life in Geezer’s household. She’s intelligent, at times almost too smart. A fast learner, some of Brandi’s new life fits the movie title. I’ll tell you about Brandi’s version of Bell, Book, and Candle.

The Bell…

I have always had a mystic communication link with my humans. They read my needs telepathically. A strong bladder helps. Poor Brandi had issues. How to let Mrs. G and the Geezer know it’s time for a trip downstairs took some brainstorming. Then the Geezer remembered a friend’s method of knowing when his dog’s peeing lamp lighted. Geezer bought a bell, tied it to the door knob, and Walla!…Within a week…Brandi now signals she wants to water flowers by ringing it. 

The Book…

Brandi believes in the theory of universal edibility. We have lots and lots of books around the house. Geezer reads them, he writes them, he collects them. My sister isn’t happy unless she is chewing something and unfortunately, books are readily available. Were available. Most are out of puppy reach. Those that aren’t taste like pepper spray. The books are now returning to the coffee table, etc. Took her three days to lay off books du jour.

The Candle…

When night arrives and the candle goes out, Brandi spends her nights in her crate. She is a puppy and has a way to go in the trust category. Left unattended, unsupervised or unseen…she has a tendency to get in trouble. She hides shoes, chews underwear (particularly Mrs. G’s), stalks the cat, drinks from the forbidden fountain otherwise known as the porcelain bus…things like that. So, she knows two things when the candle goes out. She’s supposed to go nighty-night in her crate. That’s one. Brandi heads to the crate door but remains outside until two happens. A piece of cheese appears inside. She’s training her humans, too.

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Can’t anybody leave ‘good enough’ alone?

What’s this shit!

 

Why can’t the people running WordPress’ development department leave good enough alone? The system works fine – or did until they ‘improved’ it. I hate pawing at the computer for days, trying to figure out how to be able to return do making a post the way I have in years past AND the way I want to continue doing it! Maybe we users can all get together and bribe the WordPress big boss to send these creatures of unnecessary change to the Sepik River. There may be a few head hunters and cannibals still lurking there. I’ll send BBQ sauce, mustard, and a meat thermometer to go along.

I share this gentleman’s reaction to “updates,” those harbingers of file corruption that are never explained.

 

It must be in the DNA of software types. WordPress isn’t even number one as the blood pressure boiling offender. For me it’s Microsoft. I have this calendar I keep my social dates on. Canine Chowder and Marching Society Meetings. Dates the snowbird neighbors return and the number of treats increases. The date the elections will be over for two years (Hurrah!). Important things like that. I don’t ask much. Just leave it alone! Not Microsoft! They have these periodic updates. And……….every so often they wipe my calendar out. After the fourth time I learned Einstein was correct. Doing the same thing over and expecting a different result isn’t smart. Naw! It’s just plain stupid! I’ve gone to keeping my calendar Manually. The geniuses at Microsoft haven’t found a way to screw that up. My human fusses and fumes with all the ‘improvements’ they make with each introduction of software’s version of controlled obsolescence. System 5, becomes 7, which becomes 10, which becomes 365, which will become 986783465024K12. It’s interesting how they can convert something that is operating successfully into a trash can. The Geezer says the proper way to spell Microsoft is Manurespot.

Software make you feel like this?

How about like this?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The two folks above may have the same three companies the Geezer and I deal with as we spend a large part of our waking hours pounding keys on a computer. The third offender in our triumvirate is the clown princess of Internet provision, AOL. Maybe they should change the letters to TAL or Try Again Later. Or maybe WCAYEN would be more accurate. That stands for We Can’t Access Your Email Now. The Geezer has found the proper words to stand for the letters AOL…America Off Line, or an alternate, the Awfully Offensive Latrine provider of internet services. If they spent time actually working on the provider part of their company and less on feckless news reporting it might improve. But when one aspires to be Joseph Goebbels……….. 

 

 

Humans, humans, go away…come back after election day.

Sometimes humans make me sick!

 

Does anyone know where I can hide until after the month of November?

 

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Hi! I’m Brandi…

HI! I’m Brandi. I’m Sandy’s understudy. I hope to carry on with her tradition – – – a dog’s eye view of humans.

There comes a time in a dog’s life where she wants to kick back a little, smell the roast beef, and enjoy the next part of life. That time has come for me. Sooooooooooo, let me introduce you to someone who will be writing some of my information pieces on you humans. I give you Brandi! She’s a Golden Retriever just like me! In living color!

I believe a lot of life is the angle you view it from!

Hello! I’m young…I’m energetic…I love life…and I love all you crazy, mixed-up, humans. I’ll be sharing the keyboard with Sandy and the Geezer. Some at first, then more, and more, and more. About me! I’m still getting to learn about myself. I have a different view of things, I do some things well…Run around like crazy, wag my tail so hard my whole rear shakes, eat non-stop, and play hide and seek with Missy…She’s something called a cat. I’m still learning lots. My grammar is spotty, my bark is shrill and high pitched, and I don’t do potty well. I do LOVE to chew!

Above all else I love to chew!

One thing the Geezer and Sandy agree on is that I love people and people love me. Oh…another is I’m a cutie. Standby. I’m ready to start my writing career.

I know I’ll love all of you! I hope all of you will love me!

 

Sandy here! Isn’t she lovable…

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