Monday, August 24, 2009

The Mom Chronicles: How Can I Be Blue?

My mom and my dog are best of friends. I think Mom identifies with Blue (at right).

Blue (a.k.a. Puppy Girl) is a rescue Dalmatian who came into our lives about six years ago. She was a quivering mess. Still is, somewhat. We're not sure how old she is, but we believe that she was one of the puppies born shortly after the last "101 Dalmatians" movie, which was 1996. Which means neither she nor my mom is any spring chicken.

From what tells me, Blue was used as a puppy mill and when the family moved, she was kicked to the curb. We don't know much more, except that the hair is gone from her joints because she apparently slept from concrete; that she is afraid of brooms and sprayed water, which may have been used as discipline; and that, despite it all, she lives to please. Her tail could challenge any metronome and win.

My mother was furious with me when I showed up at her house with Blue (so named for her blue eyes). "You work too many hours to have a dog!" she barked. (My mom, not Blue.) And in one of the more famous nonsequiturs, I said, "Let's go to the beach." And we did. As we sat on a bench, I told her what I knew about Blue, and her heart melted, as she heard the sad story of puppies taken away and punishment meted out.

Puppy Girl was in. They've been the best of friends ever since.

When my mom still lived in her own home, P.G. would say with her. Nowadays, Blue comes for short visits or my mom comes to the house to see Blue. Absent a personal visit, we have photos of Blue in the apartment and a Dalmatian calendar and a Dalmatian blanket that Mom has dubbed "Puppy Girl."

At 5:45 this morning, my mom is ready to get up. I am not, but it doesn't matter. We get up anyway, and she totters into the TV room. The blanket is ready to assist. Its companion is a blue blanket, which my mother has dubbed "Puppy Girl Part 2."

As I spread them over her legs, I say, "Here comes Puppy Girl!" and then "Here comes Puppy Girl Part 2!" and my mother says, "Oh, Puppy Girl. Oh Puppy Girl Part 2. I need you. I am so cold. You warm me up."

You do too, Mom.

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