Since Sunday was Mother’s Day, I thought I would share a funny story about my own mom.
When I was in my mid-twenties, I had two dogs, King Oberon and Asticou. (I actually had three dogs, but Bronte turned out to be crazy and attacked my neighbor). By my mid-thirties, I had only one dog left, Asticou.
At this point, I was between husbands. My first husband had died ,and I had not yet met my second husband. Asticou was aging and had a host of health issues. I worried that one day my kids and I would wake up and find Asticou dead. I wasn’t sure that any of us were emotionally prepared for that possibility. My parents suggested that they take care of my dog and put her to sleep when the time came. I took them up on their offer.
So, Asticou went to live with my folks, and although I was not present for the next part of this story, this is the way my father always told it:
Asticou seemed to be getting worse, so your mom and I decided it was time to put her down. Mom insisted on doing it and packed the dog off to the Humane Society. About an hour later she returned. I stood at the window and watched her exit the car, then saw Asticou jump out after her. I thought it was sweet. Your mom was a tough girl, but obviously, she couldn’t put the dog to sleep. I met her on the porch.
With sympathy I said, “So, you couldn’t do it?”
“No,” your mother snapped. “They wanted seventy-five dollars. For seventy-five dollars, I’ll kill her myself!”
(OK, just to clarify, my mother was not a cold-hearted puppy murderer. To my knowledge, my mother never killed anything except houseflies, wasps, carpenter ants, and the occasional rodent.)
Thinking that Asticou was on her death-bed, my mom began feeding her waffles for breakfast and hotdogs for lunch. Every night she gave my dog a bowl of ice cream before bed. Asticou quickly gained twenty pounds. She looked like an ottoman, skinny legs with a broad flat back. Filled with a new-found zest for life, and a belly full of spaghetti, my ailing dog survived for two more years. My mother’s waffles actually gave her the will to live.
PS Asticou was named after the Inn where I used to work. King Oberon was named after the Shakespeare character from Midsummer Night’s Dream. Bronte was named after Charlotte and Emily Bronte–authors of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, respectively.