Monday, 12 May 2008

Mother's Day and Furry Children

Today is Mother’s Day in the States. As I didn’t have the many reminders that the card shops thrust upon you nearer the time, since Mother’s Day in England is in March, I’m worried I didn’t post my card in time, so I will ring my mother in the States as well. I’m just waiting for her to return to her home, as she spent the weekend with her own mother in Pennsylvania, and is now miles above the east coast on a quick flight south.

It’s not the happiest Mother’s Day for her. One of her children is in London, and the other one, who could normally be depended upon to drive the four hours to her home and take her out to brunch or dinner, is away and in mourning. Sadly, yesterday he had to put down his absolutely adorable, most beloved Golden Retriever, who has been like a child to him and his wife for 10 years. Dear Dutch even took part in their wedding.

Like most Golden Retrievers, he seemed to wear a constant smile on his face and absolutely embrace life, bursting with enthusiasm and adoration for his owners. Unfortunately, he was recently found to have cancer and went downhill quickly. I know my brother and his wife are utterly devastated in a way that people who aren’t true pet lovers can never understand; it is like losing a close member of your immediate family for whom you’ve been entirely responsible as a full-time carer. The void left where all that love and energy so recently existed is massive and deeply painful. I went through such a death of a beloved furry one a few years ago and dread the day when my miraculous survive-all but very frail 18-year-old Persian can no longer surprise me and the vets with his amazing staying power. It’s an awful loss, particularly painful when so many people around you consider your sorrow to be a silly indulgence for little more than a possession.

But I didn’t mean to focus on that sorrowful situation, although my brother and his wife are definitely in my thoughts, and bless dear Dutch, may he rest in peace now.

It is a coincidence that the Mother’s Day card I sent my mother—well, a regular card that I turned into a Mother’s Day card, as after all, she usually likes the ones with dirty jokes that are embarrassing to buy, so she’s hardly a traditionalist---has an animal/offspring theme. She and I both seem to prefer animals to children, at least in our own homes. The Paw Play greeting card produced by pictured cute cats and a dog on the front, with the words:-

“Dogs and cats are better than kids because they eat less, don’t ask for money…and if they get pregnant, you can sell their children.”

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