The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Sunday, January 18, 2004  

For the Love of a Panda Cub

Most readers are familiar with, to say nothing of having grown fond of, my English bulldog Mildred (officially, Chadwin VII’s Mildred Pierce).

Mildred is “fixed.”

Daddy likes it that way.

Mildred is also a virgin.

Daddy likes it that way.

And so does Mildred. Although she is the most gentle and loving dog I ever have known, when the boys get too curious “back there,” watch out! She’s having none of that.

Daddy likes it that way.

I like this because it’s saving me some $50,000 a year that I might otherwise be paying to a protective and sheltering convent school in Switzerland or Croatia or something.

Virtuous as she is, sometimes even Mildred will tip her hand, her affections most recently aimed at Mei Sheng, the new panda cub at the San Diego Zoo.

Mei Sheng

Mildred, who in the past I have described as “part dog, part cat, part rabbit, part monkey, part pig, part seal, part hippo, part bear (especially polar bear), part tick, and part human,” is quite smitten with Mei Sheng. (Yes, “smitten.” Mildred has a tendency to slip into 19th-century vernacular.)

And Mildred likes the little guys. There is, or at least there was, a Jack Russell terrier (Ugh. Totally unacceptable to Daddy.) at a framing shop on 17th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., that she was once hell-bent on . . . I don’t know what and I don’t want to know what.

Why her affections are, at this moment anyway, directed toward a panda rather than a more suitable suitor I do not know.

But then, why she keeps hopping on my PC looking for pictures of Mei Sheng, this despite her lack of opposable thumbs (and a credit card, if you catch my drift), making a simple keyboard a major challenge, also remains a mystery.

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