katrina and mac

16 07 2006

All American parents are familiar with the author Norman Bridwell’s work – he’s the creator of Clifford, The Big Red Dog. PBS plays the animated cartoon daily, and my kids can’t get enough Clifford.

MacA few years ago, the department store Kohl’s was selling four different stuffed toys of Clifford characters. We bought one of each, and Emma was fond of them all. About a year later, Emma decided to take the blue greyhound character Mac with us on a family trip. She bonded with Mac on that trip, and Emma and Mac were inseparable. Mac went most places with Emma, and certainly was held in tight embrace as Emma drifted off to sleep each night.

Then the unthinkable happened, and another unthinkable almost happened. Hurricane Katrina slammed the Gulf Coast, shattering thousands of lives immeasurably. Our family wanted to help in some way to comfort and help the affected families of Katrina’s wrath, so we gathered clothing, toys, diapers – anything that a shattered and displaced family might need to get through their tough time. Items were gathered and stacked on the bed, and finally loaded into plastic bags, soon to be delivered to the (local high school) relief collection center.

Then the words came that sent chills down to our bones; “Mom, Dad – where’s Mac? I can’t find Mac!”. It didn’t take long for us to realize that Mac’s last sighting was on the bed, next to the piles of goods to be sent to Katrina survivors. The mad dash began – Kathy tore through bags, looking for Mac, and I did what any guy would do under the circumstances – I went to eBay to see if there were any Macs available, in case Kathy was unable to locate Mac. There were two Macs up for auction that day, both of them just a few bucks, so I bid on one immediately, and after a few minutes of thought, bid on the second one too, just in case I missed out on the first one. I won both auctions, and in just a few days, two Macs arrived at our door. Of course, Kathy successfully found the original Mac in a bag that had not yet been dropped off for donation. So now we have 3 Macs.

Emma was in her glory, and had named the other two Macs Hac & Pac. We made name tags for each dog’s collar. Then the sport of eBay Mac-hunting really took off in our house. I would scan eBay daily, just waiting for Mac to show up, and if it was silly-cheap, I bid, and won it. 4 – 5 – 6.. finally 8 blue greyhounds! (Tac, Sac, etc.) Emma loves her huge greyhound family, and sleeps with them all every night – but ONLY MAC – the original Mac is cuddled in her arms. He is, and remains special.

Emma and the greyhounds




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