An Ode To My Dog's Birth Mother
I was walking down the street last week when I passed a veterinary clinic. A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel — like Elizabeth Taylor, Charlotte’s dog from Sex and the City — was pooping on the sidewalk. To no fault of her own, she looked like she was the equivalent of ten months pregnant. With a pang of sisterhood and solidarity, I thought, it’s hard out there for a bitch.
My grandmother had a piece of African art in her house. It was a sculpted figure of a pregnant woman. She and my aunt would look at it and say, “That poor woman.” That’s how I felt when I saw Elizabeth Taylor Goldenblatt’s doppelganger make on the pavement.
Then I had the realization that this canine with litter was about to bring some adorable puppies into this world. Just like when Tracy Jordan learned that every woman was someone’s daughter, I realized that all dogs have mothers, including my own. He wasn’t hatched out of mythical egg or brought by the stork. Some dog was impregnated by another dog, got fat and gave birth to my Rasco.
The next few blocks home, I was overwhelmed with emotions. Does my Maltese remember his mother? Does he get excited when he sees other Maltese because she imprinted? Imprinting is a thing, right?
For a dog with a brain the size of a pistachio, I was attributing grand introspection.
Then my thoughts grew less selfish. I became concerned for the well-being of Rasco’s birth mother. Wonderful lady that she is, I’m sure. I bet she looks just like my little guy, but daintier. And, I am imagining her with a pink bow, although, I’m not sure why. Did she give him his big brown eyes and goofy underbite?
Cue, “Maybe” from Annie.
When I got to my apartment and opened the door, Rasco came trotting excitedly toward me — like he always does. We may not know who his birth mother is or where she is, but I am thankful for her. Without her contribution, I wouldn’t have him. And, I promise her that I am doing the best I can with our little man.
So, to all dog-mama’s out there, thank you. But, we probably should still make Bob Barker proud and spay and neuter our pets.