We have a new puppy, half black lab/half Bernese Mountain dog, and his name is Clifford “Kip” Beauregard Nicholls. He is a big, sweet, awkward beast. A true Bercaw, who even eats laying down. One of my father’s favorite sayings was: why stand if you can sit, why sit if you can lie down.

Upon giving Kip a treat, I recalled a hilarious moment with Beau about 15 years ago. We were all gathered in New Hampshire for my sister Kathy’s graduation from nursing school. Beau, Nora, Allan and I were enjoying a beautiful May day outside by a pool as we waited for the cookout to get underway. There was a small jar of biscuits on the patio table. Beau opened them up and helped himself to the contents.

“Beau!” Nora said. “Those are for the dog!”

“Well, I like them too,” he laughed, and proceeded to eat them by the handfuls.

I laughed like crazy. Classic Beau. But Allan, who was just getting to know my family, was slightly horrified. He giggled nervously.

Today marks five months since my father’s death from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Some might say that eating dog biscuits might have been a sign of things to come, but it’s hard to say. My father was so wonderfully unusual that it’s hard to tell the difference between being Bercaw and having AD.

We have a plan for puppy Kip, who also love milk-bones. When he’s more mature, we’re going to take him to Memory Care units to visit with dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. This dog loves people as much Beau loved dog biscuits.




One Comment Add yours

  1. Allan says:

    I recall on that very same day your dad, Beau, remarked on my bare feet with freshly clipped toe nails, by asking me; “do you do your own work?”…this from a 6’6” neurologist who was eating dog biscuits around the pool? I responded “yes” but to this day never understood why that would stand out as important fact to know about his future son in law…he never asked me about my career, my current employment, my likes and dislikes…just my toe nails. What a guy!

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