This. This is Kelsey.

Kelsey is a fourteen and a half year old diabetic Yorkshire Terrier.

Kelsey wasn’t always diabetic.

Prior to that, Kelsey was an unpredictable agent of terror.

Kelsey began her life as my sister’s dog. Within a few years, she had ascended to supreme dictator of my parent’s home. To this day, it is still unknown if she is responsible for such incidents as the ceiling tiles collapsing in the living room leading to the premature death of a parakeet or giving the previous family dog cancer.

Please note, Kelsey is totally fine with guinea pigs, though, as they are generally in cages on the floor… Beneath her.

Most importantly, Kelsey has always been possessive of her toys.

That’s the bunkey.

That’s the monkey and an unknown toy whose squeaker was torn from its soul much too soon.

This is Barbara.

Barbara was once used as a device to establish that I should not be in a relationship with someone. Of course, being that this was a dog establishing this, the communication was unclear.

It should also be noted that Kelsey is fluent in the English language. She doesn’t just understand commands. She understands them and usually ignores them. Kelsey knows the names of all her toys and, perhaps most frightenly, if she has multiples of a certain toy, can bring you the right color.

This is a Yorkie you can not trust.

I was in yet another one of my great many long distance relationships and she was in town for an extended weekend. Following a dinner out with my family, we were hanging out on the couch. The television was on.

And up jumped Kelsey with Barbara in her mouth.

Nobody move.

With Kelsey being as possessive as she is about her toys, a visitor’s instinct to take the toy from the doggie’s mouth and… ‘Play’… Is the WRONG INSTINCT.

It was a trap.

Dare to take Barbara from her mouth and Kelsey will wreck you like a gremlin after midnight (though I don’t know if that reference works because I’ve never seen the movies because the previews scared the crap out of me). We awaited the forthcoming growl, but one never came.

This is when things got tactical.

Kelsey dropped Barbara. She dropped Barbara from her mouth.

Kelsey dropped Barbara from her mouth into the lap of my long distance visitor.

Things were too quiet – even with the television on.

Barbara might as well had a red wire and a blue wire, one of which had to be disconnected to keep everything from exploding. But, on the flip side, Kelsey had never done this before. It was unprecedented. Maybe this was a sign. Maybe this was a very good sign for this relationship.


Now, Kelsey has a bipolar, Jekyll & Hyde, Fight Club, personality so anything was possible. After dropping Barbara into the lap of my long distance visitor, she looked up to her with her cute face. As this was a time where digital pictures were barely a thing, I can only provide a modern day representation…


15 Seconds passed. Maybe 30.

Perhaps Kelsey was providing a peace offering. Maybe Kelsey was showing her approval. Maybe Kelsey was accepting my long distance visitor with potential for a long term relation—


Kelsey’s cute look turned. First she looked down at the long distance visitor’s lap. The tension in her body (Kelsey’s, not my long distance visitor) is most accurately represented in this photo:

And then, Kelsey looked up at my long distance visitor…

And then came the slow building grumbling growl. A slow building grumbling growl that usually crescendos with an uncertain reactive outburst.

The options were limited:

1) Run.

2) I could fall into her lap and onto the proverbial sword, taking a potential attack on myself… Chivalrous.

3) Attempt to swat Barbara off the long distance visitor’s lap, hoping Kelsey follows… Chance of success: 43%.

4) Run.

The stress level was such that I don’t clearly remember what followed. I know no one was harmed as a result. What I did know when all was said and done… the message was clear…

Anytime Kelsey wants.

Anytime Kelsey decides.

Kelsey can end this.

Categorized as LIFE

By The Improviser's Guide

The Improviser's Guide Network was created by Frank Cardillo, a Queens, NY based Creator & Producer. Frank has appeared throughout New York City performing improvisation and standup comedy, including performances at Super Bowl XLVIII, Turning Stone Casino, Gotham Comedy Club, Universal Studios, Walt Disney World, and for 15 years off the shores of Lake Ontario at the Sterling Renaissance Festival as their emcee, Lenny Burrows. Most recently, Frank was part of the cast for the New York City premiere of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival hit, Overheard at Joe's (formerly Joe's NYC Bar). Since 2009, Frank has been the Founder and Producing Director of the 'Raft of Comic Knockouts' known as [By The Mummers]. Known for their 'unpredictable, coming out-of-nowhere humor' (Backstage), their musical 'BLOOD' was a Next Link Selection of the New York Musical Theatre Festival and was named 'Best of the Fest' by Davenport Theatricals. [By The Mummers] are the reigning, defending Champions of the Down Under Improv Festival. Besides serving as a member of the writing team for several original [By The Mummers] events, Frank has had public stagings of two original modern Commedia dell'Arte performances and has devised several structured scenarios for productions in New York City and across the state. In September 2015, [By The Mummers] held a public staged reading of Frank's historical, satirical, farce, 'The Double Play' at Foley's, Home to the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame. In June 2016, Frank debuted 'The Improviser's Guide to Being a Better Birth Partner' onstage Off Off Broadway. He has performed this one man piece in New York City on multiple occasions with a book in the works. Following years as an adjunct faculty member at Stony Brook University, Frank has applied his improvisation experience in training employees at Macy's Herald Square, Carnegie Hall, & the Sterling Renaissance Festival. Frank has been the recipient of the Impresario Award for supporting New Play Development, as well as a Rollie Award winner for his service to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. In 2008, he received the Spirit of Christmas Award.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: