The emails I’ve been getting from The Mom this week describe an increasingly desperate situation at home.
The Puppy is here! The first one gleefully announced: “I’ve been given my briefing from the neighbours about her wants and needs, and she’s got a playmate down the road, so they can run each other silly while I enjoy a swim or a cocktail. It’ll be wonderful to have a dog in the house again, I really miss having Piggie around, and Groucho only comes to visit on the weekends, so a full time dog will be great. Exactly what I need!”
I read the email and shrugged my shoulders figuring that by now at least The Mom had some inkling as to what she was getting herself into. Personally, I would not invite a puppy into my home, for the same reasons that I would not invite small children in: too much work. And hard work at that. I struggle to work up enough enthusiasm to take care of my own feeding, cleaning, and walking in the course of any given day, and frankly, I don’t always get to all of those things, so the idea that I would be left in charge of someone who needed me to do all those things on their behalf… beggars belief. And if ever I were to meet someone foolish enough to think I’d be great at these things, well, I would suggest that person had their head examined.
Nevermind. The first day, The Mom, or Grandma as she prefers to refer to herself in the context of dogs, was happy as can be. It was the first night when things took a bit of a turn.
The terse tone of her email belied a rather restless night.
“In the bed! The dog insisted on sleeping in the bed! Whipmered to itself all night. Wouldn’t settle. Schrunching up all the blankets. And making me hot. Too hot! And then to add to this, the silly thing had to go for a pee in the middle of the night! Picture your poor mother, having had to put on her proper running shoes, and tie up the laces (as though this were the height of impropriety) and take the blasted dog outside. But before even getting outside we had to put on her harness which requires at least two advanced degrees in engineering to understand. Couldn’t use Poochie’s old leash because your sister packed it or lost it. Then when we finally get outside, the dog wants to sniff the flowers and wander around. I hope I didn’t wake the neighbours will all my cursing.”
After a few nights of little sleep, The Mom is beside herself, and I’m not sure how best to proceed. Part of me is enjoying the hilarity (I remind you of Woody Allen’s famous quip about it’s tragedy when it happens to me, and comedy when it happens to somebody else). But part of me is also wondering if I should alert someone to send help, because this is only after the first few days.
And as far as I’m aware the puppy is in residence for three weeks. In fact, she leaves just before I arrive and I am beginning to wonder if The Mom will be in one piece when I get home.
I sort of picture Crazy D picking me up at the airport (eventually, of course, because like with both my siblings there’s the occasional flare of dyslexia/not paying enough attention to where I am whilst driving) and depositing me at The Mom’s, before having to run out to the shop at the mall he likes to buy more careeners or whatever kind of throw-yourself-off- a- cliff type stuff he likes to buy. Leaving me to wander, hungover (it’s my birthday the day before I fly), tired, and confused, through The Mom’s house.
“Mom? Mom?” I will call as I drag my case through the hallway.
When I reach the bottom of the stairs, a puppy will come screeching towards me, but with lightening reflexes, I’ll be able to deflect it with my case. The puppy will be momentarily dazed and I will seize upon the window afforded me and rush up the stairs. At the top I will find a trail of shoes – all The Mom’s favourite high heeled ones, and all chewed to death – piddle marks on the white carpeting, and several disembowelled chew toys.
But the whimpering and sniffling will grow loud enough for my fancy new hearing aids to pick up. I will follow the sound to find The Mom cowering behind the door of her walk-in closet. I’ll tug the door open – her arms are tiny and what strength she has will have been depleted by the puppy – and find her caressing one last shoe.
Good God woman, what’s happened to you? I’ll exclaim.
The Mom, a single tear running down her cheek will stammer: “The puppy got me.”