Saturday, May 08, 2004

Until this evening, I was at a loss for what do to for Mom on Mother's Day. Call me a procrastinator, but I feel that the pressure of a deadline breeds creativity that planning simply cannot.

Usually my mom is, instead of the woman who has everything, she is the woman who needs nothing. She absolutely hates clutter, and frou-frou universal knicknacks and generic mushy mini-books found in the "inspiration" section of B&N don't really define our relationship. Most of the time I end up getting her a gift certificate, and this year I was thinking of the Massage Therapy and Wellness Center that we both frequent, but I effed up and the place was closed before I could get one. Plus, the last time she got a gift certificate for a free massage, she gave it to me.

So I had to think really hard as to what to do for this annual celebration of the woman who gave me life, put up with many hours of excrutiating labor pains, dragged me crying and vomiting to nursery school, worked backstage through many many many dance recitals, Christmas Concerts, school plays, field trips to boring Richmond Landmarks. The woman who watched me graduate not once, not twice, but approximately four times (Kindergarden, Eighth grade, high school, nursing school), who always kicked my butt when I needed it, who sat and held me and cried with me when my ex-fiancee cheated on me and I was broken. And I thought, what does this woman really love about me? The answer came quickly: my dog.

Her granddog, more like it. The Fee.

It was Mom's idea to get FiFi in the first place. Last July, after I ended my toxic engagement, I was lamenting on how much I was missing my ex-cat. My mom, being the stout dog person that she is, suggested a bichon for it's low-energy and even temper. That weekend, an ad appeared in the Times-Disgrace for a 4 month old bichon female was advertised. Mom went first, and then took me to see her. The small mop that greeted me at the door didn't blow me away at first. I remember she didn't come when I patted the floor, which is what an Ideal Pup should do, according to Good Morning America.The lady who had bred her was already calling her FiFi, so I figured that it'd be wrong to change a name she was already used to, it might give her an identity crisis. Anyway, I needed time to think about it, and after purchasing a Big Book Of Bichons and conferring with a panel (Tim, our chaplain, and my aunt Karen, who both basically said, "AWWW!" when they saw the bichon pictures in the book, I figured that this dog and I were destined to be together. Well, I was at least 85% sure. I'd already picked out a nickname: Feeferdog. The lady said she needed an official name for her certification papers. I chose Florence Chanel Carrie Bradshaw Smith. Florence for Florence Nightingale (also began with an "F" and could be shortened to FiFi), Chanel in reference to the fragrance, and because I thought it sounded sophisticated and French, and Carrie Bradshaw for the heroine of Sex and The City, which was basically my favorite show that I really identified with at that time (single gal with new hopes in store, yadda, yadda, yadda). I plunked down a large sum of money, thanked the lady, scooped up my wiggling, licking new responsibility, and walked into a new phase of my life.

I loved her, but my mom adored her. Mom walks her each day at lunch. She takes her to Petsmart, lavishing her with toys that make sounds so funny that Big and I are amused for hours. She buys Greenies, Vita-gravy, Snausages, Livertreats, Rawhidees, Beggin' Strips. She forks over a ridiculous amount of money each month so a woman known as Aunt Susan will clip, shave, groom and attach multi-colored bows to FiFi's ears and tush, and refuses when I offer to pay her back. She sneaked FiFi into the church office where she works on Take Your Granddog To Work Day. She bought Fee a crate so big a mastiff would call it a mansion. Most recently, she and my Dad have offered to take FiFi camping again, just the three of them, for a weekend.

Hence, the point of my story. I decided that, to thank my Mom for being my Mom, I would give her something practical yet sentimental. After spending about 1/4 of my paycheck at Target and Petsmart, I put together Mom's present: FiFi's Travel Case. It's a black International Traveler tolietry bag filled with the essentials a dog would need while traveling with her grandparents in an RV: brush, comb, puppy wet-naps, puppy bug repellant, organic spot and stain remover, baby-powder scented doggy cologne called "Baby Dog," and finally, a veterinary first aid kit, complete with essential supplies to deal with whatever doggy trauma life may throw at you. I also threw in a gift card to Petsmart from me.

Needless to say, Mom loved it when FiFi gave it to her tonight. And FiFi realizes what a lucky dog she is.

Happy Mother's Day.

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