The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Michele Bender

November 7, 2009

MICHELE M. BENDER | My favorite redhead

In “Peanuts,” Charlie Brown yearned for “the little red-haired girl.” Desi loved Lucy.

My favorite redhead had four legs and a tail. This Irish setter was a year old when I brought her home long ago.

The shelter staff said her name was Kelly, but I changed that. The first red-haired person I ever met was a girl named Bridget in kindergarten. Kelly became Bridget.

Bridget was a human soul in a canine body. I called her my hairy little person. She watched what people did and did the same.

She slept in bed with her head on a pillow. On the sofa, she sat with her tail, fanny and hind legs on the cushion, and front legs on the floor, people-style.

The only thing she loved more than long walks was car rides. She’d jump in right behind the wheel.

“Are you going to drive or shall I?” I’d ask.

If she’d had her own car, she would never have been home.

Apparently, Bridget had a colorful past. She wasn’t talking, but actions speak louder.

The minute she’d hear a snap top, she was THERE. Her nose told her what cans contained. Soda bored her, but suds made that tail dance. I never gave her sips and I didn’t allow guests to, but my little boozehound clearly knew what she was missing.

In addition to being quirky, she was amazingly smart.

Walking in the woods off the leash one afternoon, she spotted a chipmunk on a tree limb.

She plucked him off the branch like he was an apple and turned to show me her trophy. His little arms and legs flailed.

“Bridget,” I scolded, “spit him out this instant!”

“Pffft,” she spat, and the frightened critter scampered back up the tree, probably to say a grateful chipmunk prayer.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Michele Bender
  • Michele Bender MICHELE M. BENDER | Scenic road to recovery

    I thought this busy summer wore me out.
    Father’s Day afternoon I flopped in my recliner and forced myself to do some bookkeeping. I licked an envelope and gasped. No spit, only blood ... as if Hannibal Lecter just served me lunch.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michele Bender Licorice lends a paw

    I bet you expected to find Michele Bender’s column here today.
    She just came home from the hospital. She’s doing fine but resting, so I thought I’d lend a paw.

    June 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michele Bender MICHELE M. BENDER | Time to can clutter

    I’m “downsizing.” Sixteen years ago, this house was perfect for me. I gave parties. Friends came and stayed for weekends. Great insulation protected visitors from highway noise.
    Yep, I had the time of my life.
    But I’m 16 years older, and my friends are, too.  They no longer travel like they did. Parties wear us out by 10 p.m.

    June 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bender_Michele Those oldies, but goodies

    Twice yearly Hollywood marches out a platoon of war movies.

    May 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michele Bender Living life out loud

    “If I make it to Medicare,” I declared, “I’m going to throw a party people will not forget! It’ll be something no one’s ever done!”
    Well, I made it to 65.

    May 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Watch the stars come out

    Every spring, I catch drive-in movie fever. We are blessed to have three outdoor theaters in a 30-mile radius. Movies under the stars … heavenly!

    May 3, 2014

  • Michele Bender Bye, bye, Easter birdies

    Animals fascinated my mom. Riding the train between Johnstown and Philly, she saw horses, pigs, sheep, cows … a Mattel See ’n Say of farm critters.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bender_Michele.JPG MICHELE M. BENDER | Whisper sweet nothings in my ear

    “Your call is very important to us,” growled the crabby lady at the utility company. “Please wait for the next available representative.”

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bender_Michele MICHELE M. BENDER | Sock it to me

       

    March 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bender_Michele.JPG MICHELE M. BENDER | What happened to Christmas?

    Headaches rarely bother me. I always felt sorry for folks trapped in the Advil/Dristan web.
    I woke up at 4 a.m. Dec 17 with a headache that probably registered on a Richter scale. (People in New Zealand experienced aftershocks.)

    March 8, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads