Some years ago I was in the process of moving and my father had come by to help me pack. He’d lost Shadow a few months before, and, having spent the year carrying the elderly dog everywhere, kept looking around as if expecting to see him. So, Dad needed a dog.
We took a walk, making sure my little dog had sufficient exercise, and there she was. Or rather, there they were. Numbers are hard to discern in a flood of moving fur and barking, but it was definitely a number of Pomeranians. Their owner admired mine, and we got to talking. I mentioned Shadow, and remarked on how Dad needed a dog. As it happened, she had a five year old Pomeranian, who was retiring from a life of having puppies and needed a home. Her name was Kiki.
It hadn’t been that long since she’d had the puppies and she’d shed a considerable amount of hair. She was a bit chubby, apparently shy, didn’t bark, and Dad got to hold her. Seeing what was looking a lot like love at first sight, I went home for the checkbook and bought Dad a dog.
Kiki was shy. She was so attached to my father that she trembled on my lap the entire time he was gone for a shower. Dad spent the evening reassuring and comforting the little thing and wasn’t looking around for the little dog he’d buried, being preoccupied with the one in his arms.
Cheerfully contemplating my success, I realized that someone would have to tell my mother. Glancing at my phone told me that, as it happened, it was Mother’s Day. I am, unfortunately, terrible with dates. I can forget my own birthday. Presents, cards, good wishes all come terribly late.
It is always a wonderful experience when two problems solve one another. I needed to tell Mom about the dog. I had forgotten Mother’s Day (again), and consequently hadn’t gotten her anything, or even sent her a note. Opportunity! I took a picture of the very cute little creature in Dad’s arms. “Happy Mother’s Day”, I captioned it.
Sometimes, I am not quite so clever as I think I am. Dad drove home with Kiki, and introduced the Mother’s Day Present to my Mom. While I’m not certain that Kiki hated my mother at first sight, it must have been close. When purchasing a dog as a gift, it is important to remember that the dog gets a vote. And Kiki certainly voted!
When my father would rise to make coffee, Kiki would rush to the bedroom, barking loudly to wake her up. When Mom reached to pet her, she would rush away and hide under furniture, or she would growl and threaten. When Mom passed by the window outside, Kiki would bark. She adored my father, following him around, always a step behind him. She spent the sleepless evenings keeping him company, supervised and kept watch while he worked outside, and provided the constant canine companionship he had missed.
A year after I had purchased the Mother’s Day Dog, it had become apparent that she and my mother were not going to make friends. “I don’t have a present.” I told my mother, that Mother’s Day, rather apologetic (I had, once again, forgotten the date); “Good!”
Of course, it was becoming apparent that my mother needed a dog…