The Christmas of 2010 will forever be referred to as: The Worst Christmas Ever. At least that is what I call it; Mom and Tom had a great old-time.
Though we did have a flurry of holiday company, which is always fun, and Santa brought me a 96-count tub of Greenies (score!) it was still the worst Christmas ever. But Katie finally did leave our home on Dec 26th; sometimes the best presents don’t come in shiny Christmas wrapping.
With Katie gone, our lives settled into a happy calm. I was back to getting 100% of Moms attention and all was right with the world.
If you thought the now famous “puppy fiasco of 2010” would swear Mom off fostering for life, dear readers, you would be wrong. There is a transport scheduled on Jan 29th and she is already plotting.
For the first time since this crazy adventure started, I am alerted to the fact that we are getting a new foster dog ahead of time. It’s nice to be in the loop; I feel part of the process for a change.
Tommy, on the other hand, is completely in the dark.
Mom seems to think he doesn’t care for the constant stream of mangy misbehaving mutts parading through the house. Perhaps it’s the wads of hair beginning to collect under the furniture or the occasional pee puddle that soaks into his sock on his nightly 3am trip to the bathroom.
Whatever the reason, Mom decides to wait for the right moment to break the news and the right moment never comes.
But when we are alone, she whispers to me: “you want a baby sister BB? Do you?”
Grandma is the one to accidentally break the news:
“So, when are you getting your new foster?” she asks innocently sipping on her tea. Tom, looks up from his newspaper, “what??” Mom, rolls her eyes, “Oh Honey, we discussed it already, don’t you remember?”
This was discussion she was referring to:
Tommy: “We should really replace that rug, Katie pooped on it, like 100 times.” Mom: “You’re right, we should replace it.” “Do you want go rug shopping this weekend?” “No”
Even I can see how he didn’t make the connection.
Below is a picture of the dog we are expecting along with a picture of her twin who was separated at birth. I dare you to tell me you don’t see the resemblance:
We get word that our new charge is not house broken before she even arrives. A quick thinking Mom, sensing a possible disaster, decides to let Tom pick the little harp seal’s name. Mom calls this ”damage control,” I call it manipulation. Either way, Tom is none the wiser and proud to be included. He picks the name “Maggie” which we quickly and over enthusiastically agree is a great name.
When Maggie finally arrives, I can smell something is not right (dogs are good at this).
Limp in Moms arms, she slithers to the ground and crouches on the floor. Her tail is firmly tucked between her legs; her eyes are wide and round. She is scared shitless!!
When Tom takes a step forward; she cowers and runs underneath the kitchen table.
I don’t say a word; for fear she will die on the spot. But I sit back and observe this sad creature in front of me, trying to make an assessment.
She certainly is not calm and regal like Jeanie. Nor is she the bohemian wild child type like Abby. No sign a happy, bouncy Bear in there either. And she wasn’t even remotely like dopey little Katie.
The only word I can think to describe her is…..broken. Like her spirit has been stolen. It’s painful to watch.
Mom, seeing her discomfort, meets her at the floor. Maggie crawls out from under the table, sliding along on her belly; she timidly approaches Mom. She stops about 3 feet away. I hear her thinking, ever so quietly, “Please don’t hit me.”
Now I must step in, from across the room I whisper softly, ”don’t worry Maggie, no one here will hurt you, I promise.”
She doesn’t even glance my way. Her eyes are firmly planted on the humans, waiting for any sudden moves.
She inches closer to Mom, flinching when Mom gently reaches out a hand for her to smell. A gentle pat on the head sends that old tail wagging so hard a reverberating “thump thump thump” echoes through the room.
Later that night I couldn’t sleep; I scratch the side of Mom’s bed. “Pssst, Mom, wake up.” A sleepy bed headed Mom peers down at me, “BB, go to sleep it’s 2 in the morning.” “But Mom, how could you leave her downstairs all alone? She is so scared andconfused.” She doesn’t hear me and she actually gets cross. “BB lay down!”
3 am rolls around and I still can’t sleep. What to do?? I bow my head, trying to look solemn:
Dear God, It’s me BB. I’ve got a question for you. I know what you’re thinking. How dare I, a lowly dog, question your divine order? Chalk it off to the fact that maybe I don’t know any better; I’m just a dog for God’s sake (oops, sorry).
Anyway, you know that relationship you had in mind, when on that 6th day you created dogs (and saw it was good)? You deemed that man would be our faithful guardian and we, the loyal companion? I don’t know if you have been paying attention to what’s going on down here but things have gone terribly amiss. Don’t get me wrong; we are holding our part of the bargain, the humans – not so much. I’m asking you tonight to pay a little more attention please. More specifically, I’m talking about Maggie (if you are “all knowing” like you claim-you know who I am talking about). Thanks.
I almost forgot: God Bless Mom, Tom, Grandma, and all the dogs in the neighborhood, even the ones I don’t like.
3:30 rolls around and I finally fall asleep pondering the fact that the word “God” spelled backwards is “Dog.”