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The Mom has been adrift since Poochie passed away, some time ago now. Years even. It’s rare that The Mom is without a dog, in fact, I remember only a few scant years where the house didn’t have a mutt of some kind and we were all sort of at loose ends then.

I can always tell when The Pig has been round to visit The Mom as the emails that follow are lengthy and full of delight. It would appear that The Pig has taken up where the three of us – The Mom’s actual children – have left off, proffering all manner of bad behaviour in an effort to get a laugh out of The Mom.

Indeed, it would seem that we’ve unintentionally conditioned the poor woman into being able to only find terrible or at least suspicious behaviour in any way amusing.

And make no mistake, The Mom really does consider The Pig her muse. I get long, detailed emails of the days they spend together, and let me tell you, that’s no mean feat considering what they get up to which never amounts to more than eating lunch, going for a walk, and taking a nap. But I suppose that’s the way it is with a muse, it doesn’t really matter what you get up to, it’s all-inspiring.

The Mom can waffle on about The Pig’s many facial expressions, wax lyrical about the way in which the dog scrunches up the cushions on the sofa ‘just so’, and even invent new moods, new thoughts, and new desires for the creature.  What it is though, what it all really amounts to is that The Pig is quite content to be bothered and fussed over, whereas the rest of us most certainly are not.

The Mom mentions I have to go and see a GI specialist and this is true. The last time I saw one was many, many years ago because I prefer to deal with major illnesses by ignoring them and waiting for them to go away. Look, if you’ve got a chronic incurable disease, this is a completely reasonable approach. I remember the last time I had to go and see my doctor when I was at home and The Mom insisted on coming with me (I believe I was too weakened to fight her off and also too unwell to get there under my own steam). The Mom likes a bit of drama and embellishment, which are not really welcomed in a doctor’s office. So, much as it would be nice to have her here in a ‘please make me soup and listen to me whimper’ way, I’m glad to be going to the doctor on my own. And quite glad of The Pig to give The Mom something else to worry about and fuss over.

Actually and upon reflection, I suppose this is exactly the point of having a trusty pet. Well, at least one of the reasons one might want to have one. They function as an excellent distraction to whatever life’s slinging at you. No matter what else is happening, Piggie still needs to be fed, walked, and fawned over. She gives The Mom purpose, direction. And keeps her out of our hair. Brilliant all round if you ask me. We often joke that The Pig is a service dog, mostly when we want to bring her places where they’re not keen on pets, but now that I think on it, she actually is quite a service dog – keeping The Mom busy, and focused on other things.

Excellent work as usual, Piggie.