Memorable Monday: Words for Sisters

“Sister is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.” — anthropologist Margaret Mead

In 2010, Kathy and I attended the Westminster Dog Show. This photo was taken outside Sardi's where we attended the luncheon of the Alliance of Purebred Dog Writers.

In 2010, Kathy and I attended the Westminster Dog Show. This photo was taken outside Sardi’s where we attended the luncheon of the Alliance of Purebred Dog Writers.

(Editor’s Note: Lady Louise is generously granting her Editorial Assistant, Mom Karen, the opportunity to share the meaning of the love of sisters during this special week when we focus on “love.”)

Fifty one years ago this week, a seven-pound baby came into this world. She was my sister. When I knew that my mother was going to have a baby, I announced that I wanted a sister. Although my mother tried to prepare me for the possibility of having a brother, I knew that I would have a sister.

My intuition, as it has been over the years, was correct. My sister, Kathy Elise Petit, was born.

I loved her more than anyone can imagine. I remember waking up at nights and finding my mother feeding the new baby. I was the one whom Mother would send out in the afternoons to go and retrieve Kathy from playing a friend’s house so that we could have dinner. I coached her for her beauty pageant interviews, and she absorbed the information so well — but always with wit — that she always stood out in the crowd. I marveled at the way that she had not a malicious cell in her body. She had an amazing ability to forgive those who wronged her, and her kindness was genuine.

The loss of my beautiful Kathy three months ago yesterday has damaged my heart more than any disease. For more than 50 years, she was my heart. Kathy was the first person I loved after my parents. Ours was a bond that could not be broken no matter how many harsh words were spoken, no matter who came and went in our lives. Kathy and I grieved the death of our Mother,worried over the declining health of our Dad and laughed often about the silly things in life that we confronted. And we also shed tears. And hugs.

Four years ago this week, Kathy and I attended the Westminster Dog Show. It was one of the best times that we ever had as sisters. I am so grateful for that wonderful trip when we overdosed on our love for dogs, ate great food, bought matching coats for Louise and Dixie and laughed until our sides hurt. We talked about going again this year to the show. It was not to be. Our trip to Westminster was the only one that we would take together.

No matter how much I tried, I could not protect my younger sister from of the cuts and bruises and hard knocks in life. But sisters do want that, because as they get older that bond does grow strong along with the love!

And that is why, as Margaret Mead said, sisters have such undeniable strength.

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Memorable Monday: For the love of dogs!

Westminster

The Westminster Dog Show is under way. The competition is a celebration of the centuries of bonds between man and dog!

As the countdown to Valentine’s Day begins, we’re celebrating love this week on my blog!

And on this Memorable Monday when the Westminster Dog Show begins in New York, we’re honoring the love of dogs.

More than 2,270 dogs are scheduled to compete in this great show, which has entries from every state and Washington, D.C. The show also has entries from 117 countries, including Brazil, Germany, Croatia, United Kingdom, France, Japan and Mexico. That’s so many dogs, owners, trainers, groomers, handlers, friends of dogs and their families!

This is most exciting for those of you who love the members of the canine kingdom. Just think how much we love you!

Is there a special dog in your life? Think about what you love about your dog! I’ll bet you have a really long list! No doubt, Mom Karen has a huge list because of the tremendous number of my admirable qualities.

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Terrific Tuesday: Celebrating Achievement

Alexis Riester of Columbia and Dr. Carmen Battaglia, president of the Dog Writers Association of America are shown at the 2012 awards dinner of the Dog Writers Association of America in New York City.

Alexis Riester of Columbia and Dr. Carmen Battaglia, president of the Dog Writers Association of America, are shown at the 2012 DWAA awards dinner in New York.

This is so exciting!

Mom Karen and I are announcing something special for my blog. Beginning this week, I would like to recognize students, teachers, schools, businesses and others who have achieved a special honor in writing or are doing something to promote reading, writing or literacy.  Those who are featured on the blog will receive a certificate recognizing their achievement.

Today, we are recognizing Alexis Riester of Columbia who was named the recipient of the 2012 Young Writer’s Award by the Dog Writers Association of America. The annual contest honors excellence in writing about dogs, and our friend Alexis, who wrote a poem for one of Mom Karen’s books, was nominated for the award and won! Not only that, Alexis won the Poetry Award, too, for the poem “Farewell, My Friend” in the book, “Ivy, the True Tail of America’s No. 1 Canine Sleuth.”

Mom Karen and Alexis went to New York for the awards dinner, always held on the night before the start of the Westminster Dog Show. They also attended the dog show, though I was left in South Carolina. Who made that decision! After all, I’m a pretty posh pooch, too!

Alexis is such a talented writer and has a bright future.

The 2013 DWAA awards dinner will be held Sunday, Feb. 10, in New York, and another young writer will receive the award, now being sponsored by Mom Karen.

So, if you know a student who has a great achievement in his or life or a teacher, business, organization or individual who is doing something exceptional to promote literacy and language, please email me at LouiseSpeaks@gmail.com.

Mom Karen will send you an application to fill out, and of course we want a photo, too!

To learn more about Alexis’ award, visit http://www.thecolumbiastar.com/news/2012-02-24/Front_Page/BC_student_wins_at_Westminster.html.

Do you have a favorite book about a dog? Or have you written a poem or story about a dog? Let us know!

And don’t forget to email me so that we can tell your amazing achievement!

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