Do we really need to know anything new about mothers? Is there some secret that only mothers know, or something about mothers that only some people know? The answer might be yes to one or the other, or both, but quite frankly, regarding the first question at least, there are things about some nonmother-mothers that might also be worth knowing because they have served as mothers to either children or their beloved dogs.
For example, I know a nonmother-mother whose doggie became afflicted with a fatal disease that was not uncommon to that particular breed of dog. Although the dog had been “a little under the weather,” or acting rather out of sorts, as we might say, it was not exactly acting like a dog on its last legs… until that one particular day. Not willing to ignore her doggie, in spite of the fact that she had no money to pay for a vet visit, she hoped for the best — that maybe he’d see her dog anyway — while expecting the worst — that he wouldn’t.
Even though she had no one there to help her, she lifted the heavy dog into her car and went off to see the vet, who graciously agreed to see him. Yes, money was “an object,” but “mothers” always find a way. If she had had any jewels, she would have gladly sold them to help her pet.
As all mothers know, when they’re waiting for their child to see the doctor, they go through all kinds of thoughts: “What can be wrong?”
“Will he be all right?” “I hope it’s nothing serious.” “Please, God, let him be all right!” And then, interrupting her thoughts and
prayers, the vet’s assistant came out and said it’s time to go in to see the doctor.
She led her sick doggie into the room and the doctor lifted him up onto the table. It didn’t take long for him to make the diagnosis. It
was not good news. According to the vet, her dog was a lot sicker than she could have imagined; in fact, because of the nature of his
illness, as the vet explained to her, it is always fatal, and when it’s diagnosed, such dogs seldom live even a few days. He told her
that in her dog’s case, he might not even make it through the night.
This was her pet, her beloved pet. She was not ready to have him die. She took him home and spent many long, long hours on the internet looking for something, anything, that might help her dear sick dog.
With bleary eyes, but with a renewed sense of hope, she finally found what she was looking for, and sent for it, to be mailed the fastest
she could get it. In the meantime, she did everything she could think of to help him along, holding his paw through the long sad night.
Her package arrived in the morning. She read everything on the leaflet that came with it. It would be necessary to see that her sick doggie took doses of the substance every two hours around the clock. She knew it was only a chance, but her vet gave her no hope at all, even telling her that he had never seen a dog bounce back from that particular illness. As any mother would do, she was willing to go for any chance rather than no chance. So the minute it arrived in the mail, she was ready to start him on what she hoped would be his road back to health, no matter what the vet had told her.
She was the only one there who could help her pet, and she still had all those other responsibilities, too — some of the usual things that “mothers” do: washing clothes; feeding her other dogs (her children); doing, in her case now, at least minimal housework; watering her garden so she could still have her veggies, and so forth. And while her vet didn’t hold out any hope at all, he still felt he should check the dog’s blood work every week to see with his own eyes if whatever treatment she was giving him was working. So, willing to do whatever it would take, and writing up her schedule so she wouldn’t forget a single dose or a single trip to the vet for his blood work—to be sure that what she was doing was working and that she wasn’t doing too much or not enough, she gave him his first dose.
Then, that very day, if she never felt like a mother before — which she obviously did — she really became one starting with her desire to get her doggie well again. She set her alarm to ring every two hours around the clock and never missed a dose. Her dedication to her doggie’s life and health kept her going. And in between all that, she still had to prepare his special meals requiring blended raw liver and a bunch of other health-giving foods.
Now what mother wouldn’t do the same for her child? Many children need round-the-clock attention, or care, and they give whatever is needed; it’s what they do. They see their children through fever, through coughing spells, through pain, and through their post-operative tonsillitis or appendicitis, even if it takes weeks at a time. They sleep when they can, sometimes instead of eating or any time they get any help at all to give them the tiniest respite. Hopefully, they have a daddy who lives there with them to help out during those trying times.
This particular doggie mother had no one else. Yet for many long months, all through the summer and more, she had to get up every two hours around the clock to give her doggie what he needed to get well.
And she never complained. And her doggie got well. And the vet was more than surprised that anything could have saved him. Of course, he could see that the dog was getting better since he went back to the vet practically every week to have more blood work done. But the vet could not understand it. He himself could not have saved her pet. He’d seen several cases of this particular health problem before, and he had nothing to offer the saddened pet-owners. He was more than amazed at this woman’s dedication to finding a cure and helping her “beyond-hope” pet back to health.
Some mothers, sad to say, never went to parenting school, and even sadder, they never seemed to feel that “mothering” spirit that so many mothers are born with. But the good news is that there are women who never could, or never did, have children, and yet had that mothering spirit from the top of their heads down to the bottom of their feet.
They might have served as foster mothers, or adoptive mothers, or in some cases, just doggy-mothers, taking in abandoned dogs, or rescuing them from someone else’s neglect or from a sure death sentence.
So whether or not anyone sees anything resembling a mother in a woman who got up every two hours around the clock for more than an entire summer to help her given-up-for-dead doggie, and did everything it took to keep things going in the house, including the care and feeding of her other dogs, and n ever gave up hope that her health-challenged dog would get better — I do.
Sometimes there is something new to say about mothers.
Happy Mothers’ Day to all those who feel the surge of mother-love in their veins.
Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.