Next week will mark the 10th anniversary of the passing of my loving, lovable mother at the age of 92. I will write about her next week, but for now I’d like to pay tribute to her equally lovable companion, BooBoo.
My mother never planned to get a dog. It just happened that she was made an offer she couldn’t refuse by my brother’s girlfriend at the time. Sylvie had adopted more rescue dogs than she could handle, and during one visit with my mom she noticed that BooBoo and Mom had taken quite a shine to each other. Sylvie said (I imagine, as I was not there), “Ida, maybe you would like to take him?” Would she! Mom batted her eyelids in disbelief, hands crossed over her heart (in my mind’s eye)! “Really?!” Ecstasy – Mom and dog.
Our family had owned dogs before – or should I say the dogs owned us – and Mom was always their primary caretaker and fan.
Although I’m a dog lover myself – shh, don’t tell my cat, Annie – I had trouble imagining how Mom was going to manage walking BooBoo during our tough winters, since she was getting on in years by then. She was 84, truly ancient by my reckoning at the time.
I asked her what she would do when BooBoo had to go outside in a snowstorm. (She lived in an apartment.) Her answer was typical Mom: “I’ll figure it out” – with a big grin, proud of herself. Corny but true: smiling was my mom’s default expression. (See also Learning To Drive… Again. Thanks Ma! )
And she did indeed figure it out. She hired a series of dogwalkers who lived in her building. She made it work.
BooBoo was so affectionate! He would greet you at the door, jumping with delight, then dash over to the sofa, flipping over, offering himself up for belly rubs, snorfles and kisses. (Dog people will know what a “snorfle” is. 😉 )
But mostly he luxuriated on my mom’s lap all day, as long as she was home. If she got dressed to go out he would slink into depression that lasted – well, until the second her key turned in the lock, announcing her return. O Happy Day, when she was back!
Sadly – as Mom herself used to say – nothing lasts forever. After months of suffering congestive heart failure, the time came for her to go to the hospital. She was very short of breath. When the paramedics came, and were preparing to lift her onto the stretcher, I had to gently unseat her protector, BooBoo, from his ‘home’ on her lap.
She and BooBoo had shared each other’s company for eight years. They were years of joy and love.
After Mom’s death, BooBoo lived several more years in the family of my daughter’s in-laws: a “Mom,” “Dad” and two “sisters” – Dakota and Carolina, beautiful black labs. Have a look.
He had a great life.