Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Family Pet (05/15/08)
TITLE: Mommy's Boy
By Jim Oates
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We were in the empty nest syndrome and had lost our previous pet, another dog, who we called Larry. Poor Larry met his end under the wheels of a Hydro truck. That was a sad day indeed, but life must go on. We were pet-less for several months, but as luck would have it, Larry’s mom had another litter of puppies. Mother’s Day was approaching and I made arrangements to collect our new puppy on Mother’s Day after church.
As Billy grew, he became the master of the house and yard, spoiled rotten. He was now big enough to walk through the grass and followed me out to the barn, where I was raising veal calves for freezer meat. As on most farms, there was a rat problem and I had set out poison in sheltered places covered with boards. Billy's curious exploring got the best of him and, as he was no bigger than a rat, was able to find the poison. As with any curious child, everything went into his mouth.
Realizing that Billy wasn’t with me on returning to the house, I called and soon he came bounding through the short grass. He looked fine, but I began to wonder if he might have gotten into the poison.
On calling the animal clinic, I was told to watch for bleeding from his nose and mouth. Sure enough, within the hour Wilma noticed blood trickling from his nose. Wrapping him in a towel, we were off to the clinic were the doctor was waiting for us with a dose of vitamin K, which he immediately administered. We left him there in a very weakened state. The doctor didn’t give us much hope as he was so tiny. We went home to wait for that dreaded phone call. Later in the day the call came; Billy had rallied and we could take him home if we wished. With Divine help, the vitamin K did the job. We, especially Wilma, were delighted. She cuddled him all the way home. Mom had her little boy back and he resumed his permanent residence on her lap.
As he grew, like all youngsters loved to play, one of his favorite games was chasing cotton-tail rabbits. They easily out maneuvered him. Although it was fun to watch him, it was impossible to call him off the chase. In the spring he discovered these critters he had been chasing were now having babies. He could catch them, and acquired a taste for them. This provoked Wilma, to no end. He was a naughty boy and no amount of scolding could break him of this disgusting habit.
He was still mommy’s boy and spent most of the evenings in his favorite spot, on her lap. This went on for a few years until Wilma acquired cancer and because of her stomach pain, could no longer hold him on her lap. He would sit at her feet gazing up at her with those longing eyes, not understanding why his Mom was rejecting him. She tried to explain to him that because of the pain in her tummy she couldn’t hold him on her lap. He just couldn’t understand. I tried to get him to sit on my lap but I wasn’t his Mom; he would rather lie at her feet.
After Wilma went to Heaven, Billy couldn’t understand why Mom was away, she was never way before. Every time I came home from being out, he would look at me with an inquiring expression on his face and would rush into the front room, then to the bedroom and bathroom looking for her. He would then come back and look at me as if to ask, “Where is Mom?” I believe Billy loved her every bit as much as any son could love his Mom.
Billy died in his seventeenth year, out-living his Mom by three years. He died in his bed at home just as his Mom had. I buried him in one of Wilma’s favorite spots, in her flower garden.
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