If you want to leave your kids with someone who will follow your rules, feed them only healthy foods, put them to bed on time…don’t call me. If you want someone who’ll use your absence as an excuse to change the dynamics, spoil them rotten and let them bathe in the swimming pool, I’m your girl!
I’m afraid that karma is waiting for me. On many occasions I gave my rescue parents grey hairs. Some are trivial, like the time I dragged the kids into the pool with a bottle of shampoo. Some were annoying, like when we put green food coloring in the same pool to celebrate St Patrick’s day. Some are still too painful to bring up. Enough on that.
My favorite story involves Rich, one of my favorite people growing up. He was like a younger brother to me. He could be sweet and funny, and wanted his mother’s attention in the worst way. Of course this meant that due to his efforts he was constantly being grounded.
On one occasion he and I, being both in some sort of disgrace, were left at home while the others went on a trip. I didn’t mind being left behind. I really, really deserved to be left behind. Rich, however, just broke my heart with his sadness. I tried so hard to cheer him up. Ice cream for dinner- he didn’t even notice. Late night TV…he didn’t feel like watching. I even took our ride-em-mower out into the hay fields under his window and mowed a great big “F__k You” into the hay. I yelled up to him to look outside. I got a weak smile and a wave. That’s it. Geez.
Then, I found an ad in the local paper: “Gorden Setter puppy, 5 months old. Too active for our small children. Free to good home only”. Now, what would cheer him up more than a puppy? When his mom (yeah, my rescue mom) called, I asked her if we could get a puppy. She didn’t exactly say no. She said “We’ll talk about it when I get home”. Now you’d think that, being as how I was already in some form of disgrace, I’d leave it at that, right? Then you don’t know me. No means No, and anything else is a maybe. In the land of puppies, maybe is a yes!
So now, how to convince this family that a 17 year old girl and a 13 year old boy are a good home for their puppy? Here we are, no mom or dad to vouch for us. No one even available by phone. Not even a note from home. I told Rich about the puppy. He was soooo excited. Then I explained our dilemma. We had to convince that family that he was the rightful owner of the dog. That it was fate. Kismet. So, right there in our kitchen, I stripped him down to his skivvies (that poor boy!). Then, I took a few slices of bacon. I rubbed him down, from the bottom of his drawers to the tips of his toes, then a little on his belly for good measure. He got his clothes back on and we went to meet the puppy. Well….it was the best day ever. That dog got one whiff of him, the walking bacon pop, and it was all over. The dog was whimpering, whining and trying to climb him for all he was worth. The family didn’t even have a clue.
I did get into a bit of trouble when the mother-unit returned home. It was worth it. That boy and that dog were inseparable. Oh- and you should have seen the grin on his face over the next couple of months every time a small plane would veer from their normal flight path and buzz our home while they checked out the message in the hayfield!