The Dog Who Ate Mother’s Day

10 May

Mother’s Day is something of a struggle in my house. My own mother passed away a few weeks before I graduated from college, so my Mother’s Day obligation is limited to one mother: The Mother-in-law. She and I get along just fine. The struggle is getting my Significant Other to participate in the whole Mother’s Day ritual.

Don’t get me wrong, the Sig loves his mother, he is just not a fan of Mother’s Day.

“It is a Hallmark holiday,” he will say, as if he has hit upon a truth of which few of us are aware. “It isn’t a real holiday.”

Which begs the question, which of the red-letter days is a real holiday? Christmas? Not if you don’t believe in either Jesus or Santa Claus (and Sig does not.) Easter? Same as previous, only substitute Easter Bunny for Santa Claus.

Hallmark Holiday or not, on Saturday we did the requisite shopping and were prepared when Mother’s Day dawned. After lunch on Sunday, we decided to gather gifts and card and head for Mother-in-Law’s house.

My Significant Other has a nephew. About a year ago, two men with a gun woke The Nephew in the middle of the night. They robbed him of cash and a few DVDs, but mostly they robbed him of his sense of security. So he went to the pound and picked out a big ornery dog.

He named the dog Boone. Boone does not like the Sig or me, and on the few occasions we have been at The Nephews house, Boone has been less than cordial. I am not generally afraid of dogs, but I am pretty sure Boone means business.

Recently, The Nephew found another rental house in another (safer) neighborhood, but the landlord does not allow dogs. So, The Nephew left the dog at the home of his mother and his grandmother, his grandmother being the Sig’s Mom and my Mother-in-law.

The trip to The Mother-in-law’s is a brief drive. We pulled into the driveway, hopped out of the car and immediately heard the loud and cacophonous barking of Boone.

“I forgot about that damn dog,” the Sig started to say. He was interrupted by the physical eruption of Boone, as the dog pushed open the screen door and lunged in our direction. We took the most logical course of action: we jumped back in the car.

Boone ran around the car barking, generally telling us about ourselves, with an occasional snarled threat and much fervor.

Soon The Mother-in-law appeared in the doorway. She came out on her front porch, stood at the edge of the porch and in an insistent but quiet voice said, “Boone. Boone. Come here.” The dog did nothing of the kind.

I doubt Boone could even hear her over his own barking. “Boone. Boone,” she quietly reiterated, “Come Here.” There was a little more emphasis on the “here” but really, not particularly effective.

Boone must have realized that he was now a free range canine and instead of wasting his time on us, decided to take off down the street. From my vantage point in the car I could see him happily digging up a neighbor’s lawn a few doors up.

“That can’t be good,” I thought. Soon Boone came loping back, barking all the while as if to say, “You’d better keep your ass in that car!”

During all of this, The Mother-in-law continued her plaintive but pathetically understated cries of “Boone.Boone. Come here,” without ever stepping off of her front porch. While she is not exactly an athletic woman, she can walk and I was sort of wondering why she didn’t make more of a physical effort. I was, however, in no position to quibble about her dog catching abilities, no matter how critical I felt.

As Boone went loping past, heading in the other direction up the street, the Sig ventured out of the car. “He’s chasing someone!” he reported.

I did not see the hapless pedestrian, but apparently Boone chased a man who had attempted to walk down the street. When Boone came back the other way, toward us, the man who had been chased retreated to his own back yard, which borders on the side of The Mother-in-law’s yard.

Chased Man began to shout, “That’s the second time that done happened to me! I got a gun! If that dog does that again I am going to get my gun and shoot him!”

The Neighbor on the other side of The Mother-in-law, who I did not know was even involved in this situation, called back to Chased Man,It’s not my dog! It belongs to the lady next door!”

“Well, I am going to shoot that dog!” Chased Man called back.

Being neighborly, The Neighbor replied, “OK, I’ll tell her.”

About this time I decided to slink out of the car. “Hey,” The Neighbor shouted at me, “That man is gonna shoot that dog!”

“It’s not my dog!” I said. “He doesn’t like me either.”

Then the Chased Man started up again, “Hey, hey, that dog done chased me. If he comes around again I am going to get my gun and shoot him!”

By this time my Sig, not the most patient man in the world to begin with, shouted back, “He got out. She’s trying to catch him!”

“Well, I am gonna get my gun and shoot him!” Chased Man ranted.

The Sig exploded, “Go ahead! Do us all a favor! Go get your damn gun and shoot him!”

I couldn’t see Chased Man, but I was pretty sure at this point he had indeed gone back into his house and I was thinking, “Hmmm. It is entirely possible that a gun will soon be introduced into the situation.”

This suddenly had all the earmarks of the kind of dumbass tale of homicide the local news channels lap up with a spoon:

“Mothers Day Massacre! Man is shot over argument about a dog! Film at 11!”

While I sat in the car pondering the pros and cons of potential widowerhood, The Mother-in-law, in between quiet cries of “Boone. Boone. Come here,” went into her house and called The Nephew.

Meanwhile, The Significant Other inched his way onto the front porch. Boone came back and stood a few feet away from him, barking his brains out. The Sig picked up a small step ladder to wield in case Boone decided he wanted to take this fight to another level.

The Mother-in-law returned to the front porch and resumed her fruitless but consistent, “Boone. Boone. Come here.”

I stayed in the car wondering, “Can I get a blog out of this?”

After a while, Boone seemed to lose steam. He stopped barking and slowly wandered over to The Mother-in-law. Apparently all of those quiet cries of “Boone, Boone Come here,” finally bore fruit. She put Boone in the house and sat down on the porch swing.

Alas, the entire adventure had taken a toll. She opened the Mothers Day card, but with trembling hands. She was truly appreciative of the gifts, but I couldn’t help but see that the whole dog incident had put a definite damper on this Mom’s special day.

Of course The Nephew arrived after the problem was resolved. (There is never a nephew around when you need one.) He gave his grandmother a gift card to a seafood restaurant and then he was off.

I couldn’t help but think the best gift he could have given her was to take that dog off of her hands, but I held my tongue.

Since the Dads on both sides of our family passed away years ago, we are off the hook for Fathers Day. Thank goodness. I can only handle so many Hallmark holidays a year.

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