Dog (Grand) Ma—the Corgi Comes to Lewes
My husband and I are dog lovers, so when my son, Greg and daughter-in-law, Hannah, adopted a Corgi puppy and asked us babysit while they vacationed, we readily agreed. In an email, to follow up our phone conversation, I wrote:
Greg, yes, of course we will be happy to watch Captain while you and Hannah sun yourselves in Cancun. Don’t worry about a thing.
Our home will be Captain’s home, and yes, he is soooo very precious—thank you, by the way, for the CD with hundreds of his photos—how adorable he looked in his Penn State sweater, his Halloween antler costume, not to mention his canine tuxedo. We also appreciated the CD of Captain’s agility training. What a smart dog! How well he has mastered his commands: sit, down, roll over, jump, come, stay.
But three days into Captain’s nine-day visit, I want to say Go! I am stressed, sleep-deprived, and crotchety. I am trying hard to deal with the surprise deposits on our pricey new area rug, the demolished throw pillows, how the pooch flings himself against any closed door, and his shrill bark at sudden sounds: the end of the dishwasher cycle, the ring of the phone, a random sneeze.
But I lost it when the little beast lunged at my latest poem as it churned out of the printer. He grabbed it, ran and tore it into shreds. I wrote the following email message, but decided not to hit the “send” button.
Dear Greg, is this a test? Some sort of payback? Was I a bad mother? I’m sorry I missed some of your soccer games, or felt relief when you stayed overnight with your dad so I could sing in a karaoke bar. And yes, I could have paid more attention to your Legoland creations. But I tried, I really tried.
Yesterday, vacation over, we returned Captain to his home three hours away. We packed our car with his chew toys, short and long leashes, baby gate, crate, pee pad, food, puppy vitamins, allergy medicines, treats, water bowls, stain remover, and my unwashed, torn L. L. Bean shirt, in case he misses his Grandma.
Now, it’s just the two of us again, settling into our charmed life. Yet…this morning, I found some extra poop bags in my pocket. And the house suddenly seemed empty. No more signs of the little pooch with his stubby legs and jumbo ears, no more cuddly little pup who sprawled out on my tummy, tired after a long day of dash and damage. I wrote the following email:
Dear Greg, the next time you and Hannah plan a vacation, be sure to let us know. Your little treasure is always welcome in our home.
Irene Fick, a resident of Lewes, Delaware, is active in the Rehoboth Beach Writers’ Guild, as well as Coastal Writers, and a member of the CAMP Rehoboth Chorus.