Saturday, December 11, 2010
Man Rescues Dog..Dog Rescues Baby Girl
One day, she returned to the farmhouse with a bundle in her mouth and deposited it in her bed. The farmer took a look and was amazed to find a little, human baby...a girl, suffering a bit from exposure but otherwise healthy. The little girl went on to grow up and become a nice young lady. Her farmer friend and canine savior had long since passed away.
When I was born, my grandparents had a female lab, shepherd mix named Smoke. She was a really bright and well-behaved dog. From the minute they moved my crib in and placed me inside it, her place to sleep was under my crib. If I awoke, she alerted the household until someone came to see about me. She worked guard duty when I began toddling, pulling me away from the stairs by my diaper. My memories of her are blurry, but the stories told to me by my parents and grandparents are precious to me. I have a badly faded photo of baby-me and Smoke under the Christmas tree with bows on our heads.
It has recently dawned on me that, for these deluded mothers of today who are "choosing" specific adopters and "adoption plans (yuck)," that they might want to make sure that the PAPs have a dog. That way, since Mommy is being edged out of the picture, they could check out the canine family member and be sure that their little ones are getting unconditional love of the highest order. My Grampa once told me that Smoke would have fought off a grizzly bear to save me.
She didn't adopt me. She didn't see me as a replacement for pups she didn't have. She saw me as her human responsibility and a pack leader in the making. My mother would cringe when Smoke gave me a kiss, but I would just chortle in delight. Smoke fetched my cup, my blanket and my toys and would present them to my mother to wash off and return to me. I first walked holding on to her back. She was Nana, Lassie and Rin Tin Tin all in one. Her love for me was uncomplicated by her own needs and fiercely protective.
I was a lucky kid. I was 9 when she died. I do remember that as a very bad day. She stayed with Gramma and Grampa when we moved to SC because she was already getting on in years and the trip would have been hard on her. It was a tearful goodbye and would have been worse had I known it was our last time together.
Perhaps the smart thing to do to screen PAPs, better than the home study, would be to have them adopt, YES, ADOPT, a dog that really needs a home from a local shelter or rescue group. These canine babies come with issues and that would test the unconditional love factor. If they pass that test, then MAYBE, if there is a child that needs the guardianship of others not of their kin, then they could assume that legal responsibility. But no game playing.
Oh, we call ourselves, "Mommy and Daddy" to Dolly but we have better sense than to indulge in a fantasy that she is our real child. Indulging in that fantasy with children born to other families is just as dumb and very damaging in the long run. When the need to fulfill that "as if born to" impossibility becomes obsessive, you have very screwed up children growing up with a lot of heavy baggage. What we do to our children in adoption, we wouldn't do to a dog.
Right now, there are more domestic, companion animals needing homes than there are homes for them. Thousands are euthanized every week. It is such a simple thing to spay and neuter our little friends. It is such a simple thing to teach our adolescent children about birth control. It is such a simple thing to put the money we were putting into 5-figure tax breaks for adopters and tax cuts for the affluent into helping a mother and her child get a fair start in life. It's such a simple thing to honor the mother-child bond without bringing judgment and Victorian attitudes into it. It's such a simple thing to recognize and address the crimes committed against these mothers and their children over the years.
It's all as simple as a dog's devotion to people that would move that so-called "dumb" animal to rescue and guard a human child. Nature's wisdom seems to beat out the assumed wisdom of humanity every time.