While cruising South Beach last week, I happened upon this Neapolitan Mastiff service dog and fell instantly in love. He weighed in at- wait for it…173 pounds. And clearly, he practices yoga.And then there is this fellow, Misha’s dilapidated dog of many years. He lives in Russia (the dog does) and here he is celebrating New Year’s Eve. When Abby showed me this picture Misha, Abby and I laughed so hard we were in tears. The dog’s name is…Jim.If you think it’s cold, consider this: It was so cold in the Red Square the day Abby went sight-seeing (12 below and very windy) that all the Russians stayed inside. They had the Kremlin to themselves.On Misha’s grandparents farm near the Black Sea, they grow the family’s food. The kitchen is a separate building, the only one with running water. Outdoor plumbing. That’s grandfather in the background. Abby learned to milk cows and said she would love to spend a year there just farming. That’s my girl!Back in town, she is treated, quite literally, like royalty. This was at the reception Misha’s family had for the returning son and his bride. They were showered with gifts and in one photo she is holding dozens of bouquets of long stem roses. Here she is crowned as Grandfather Frost’s granddaughter. That’s my girl!Later that night, they hiked to high above Misha’s town. The little tree on the left has bits of paper with messages, prayers and good wishes for newly weds. It seems the lights, fogs and clouds conspired to put on a show for them.And that’s the recap on Abby’s Russian adventure. Now they are back, Misha is finishing his business degree and Abby is working for Uncle Sam. She is recruiting, testing and training Hispanics to administer the 2010 census (and staying fluent in Spanish) while she waits to finalize grad school plans.
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