Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Since today was my mother's birthday it seems a good time to share a memory. I honestly can't remember whether I've already shared this with my readers and I apologize if I have, but in going back over posts I can't find anything that looks like it so here goes:

My parents had a boxer puppy before they had any children so I grew to the age of about eight with this big dog as part of the family. My brother, who is older than I, would have been about 11 when we lost Duke so he and I were the most saddened by his death. My younger sisters would hardly remember him I think.

Anyway, Duke had been gone about 6 months when my grandmother came by the house one day and picked me up to "go for a ride". We ended up at an animal shelter where my grandmother disappeared inside and returned shortly with a lively young boxer on tow. Or perhaps it was the other way around - this was a pretty active animal. I was beyond excited, but not nearly as much as my brother was when we got home with this adolescent canine. I remember him grabbing that leash and running all around the yard with the dog, laughing and shouting as my mother and grandmother looked on with smiles.

Suddenly my father pulled in the driveway. He quickly took in the scene and climbed out of the car with a scowl. "It's going back tomorrow!" he declared and my brother and I were crestfallen. But then my grandmother - his mother - pulled herself up to her full 5 feet 3 inches, scowled right back at him and said "Oh no it's not! It's staying!" and for the first time in my life I saw my father cower slightly, back off, and storm into the house.

When we took the dog inside my mother went to a high cabinet and pulled out a new dog dish and a few cans of food and then disappeared into the basement, emerging with a dog bed. She set up a corner of the back room for the dog that we had already named "Dutchess" and we watched as my father sulked in the living room, knowing that he was defeated.

My mother and my grandmothers were my heroes. They were constrained by the times to fill their "roles" as they knew them. But when it came to us, they were mother bears protecting their cubs and that day I knew that as much as they were able, they would always be our advocates.

Happy Birthday Mom - I hope you know that I remember!


Ben said...

Nice Story ! Saw my Mom straighten Dad out a time or two. LOL

Anonymous said...

She was a wonderful, inspiring woman.