“No, no and no!”- Mom said for a hundred times. As usual, I looked at her impassively and continued.
“Isn’t he obedient? I promise he will be well taken care off and you will not have to worry about feeding, cleaning or even toilet training him. To top it off, I’ll get sis to make sure that our beds made every day!”.
Mom should have known better, but she was one of thousands of mothers every year who give in to family pressure and get a dog.
The first thing Mom did was to set up house rules. Anyone who saw the little puddles or dog bombs first was to clean it up. Then, you were to rub his nose in it and put him outside.
No one was to feed him at the table. He was to sleep only in his own bed in the utility room. Everyone would take turns putting him out and bringing him in. Praise him when he did good, punish him when he did bad.
The first week, Benji’s feet never touched the floor. He was the darling of our household.
The second week, we were less enthusiastic about his being there. (Sis even told him to “shut up!” when he yapped in the middle of the night.)
By the third week, Benji was Mom’s dog. She fed him, bathed him, and cleaned his poo poo fifty times a day.
One night four years later, Mom heard Sis and me whispering. I was saying, “You better clean up Benji’s mess.” Sis answered, “ It’s my year not to see it. You didn’t see it last year.”
Mom gathered the family together and said, “ I thought all of you should know that we are going to be in the Guinness Book of World Records.”
“Our living room carpet is now one large, continuous wall-to-wall stain. The bottom line is, I am getting a new carpet and Benji goes. Please, I don’t want anyone to say anything until I am finished, “ she continued.
“Try to see Benji as I see him – a twenty-eight-year – old man in a shaggy fur coat who watches television for six hours every evening and never leaves the room for a commercial, if you get my drift,” she patiently explained.
“He knows nothing of nature. The nearest park is like a hundred stones away. He has never seen another dog. The closest animal that he has come across is probably the cats in the neighborhood. That’s only when I got the time to drag him out for a short walk, once a month.”
“I have tried everything, including sawing a hole in our door for him to come in and out when he needs to do his ‘business’. Benji is out!”
The ten year old me then remembered mom as the selfish mother who put carpet before compassion.
Now, taking a trip down memory lane. I’ve learned two things about mom. First she was the living example of patience with our family. Second, she was the very first animal activist that I’ve met. It was more humane to let Benji go, where he can be who he is, than for him carry on languishing in our home.
This is one of the many sacrifices that my mom has made. Not the most touching but it is one of the lessons that mom showed us throughout her life. What about yours?
Have you discounted her little sacrifices that she has made? Would you make it up to her this coming Mother’s Day?
Take the cue from her when you were young. Pretty gifts and luxuries that she says ‘No” to, but would love to own and experience. If every good boy deserves a puppy, then doesn’t every good mum deserves something special, especially on her special day?
Make a difference today this Mother’s Day!
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