Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day

Pabu always sat under Ellie's chair whenever she sat at table. Here is his favorite chair that fit him perfectly. He is not asking for special handouts since the food that day was a lobster salad at a shower for Olivia's birth before she was born and whose birthday is today. "Underwater insects - ick! he'd say to that food.
Ellie would sometimes say Pabu was the son she never had but she always treated him like a dog, never a human. She had raised a companion dog when she was a child and another when her own children were young. She loved fixing them special meals like poached salmon and baby food rice when puppies. She certainly knew what dogs like to do and what they don't like. She knew he usually liked to be right next to her but sometimes he'd like to stretch out in a sunny place in another room or outside. She learned how to be a mother by raising her own two younger sisters when she discovered her own mother had as she often said, "Not a single maternal bone in her body!" That sounds harsh but it was true. Ellie happily fixed their food, clothes, and cared for them as a normal mother would.
Here she is with her youngest sister Frannie at the home of her Aunt Lou and Uncle Frank Mates where she learned herself what real parental love was. I see in this photo again her soft hands as she rests them on Frannie's shoulders. Ellie said about this picture it showed how much she really was a mother to Frannie. For Mother's Day 2017, here is Ellie with her two granddaughters: my sister and me. She was always happiest at home with family and a child in her lap or next to her who wanted to be there. The day Pabu died I got a fortune cookie which said, "You are guided by silent love and friendship around you." I think that is what Ellie and Pabu, too, always showed me and the world as well.
Happy Mother's Day all!

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Christmas 2002

On Pabu's birthday today, I tried to find a photo of him as a puppy but could not easily find any. Instead this photo calls out for some contemplation today. Here are Pabu and his first person, Ellie, on their Christmas card for 2002 which I took in their back yard. Ellie holds him with soft hands. She never touched or patted him with anything but the most gentle hands. Pabu at about 3 and a half years old had grown out his tail and black ear tips to almost their full lengths. His puppy fur colors had disappeared. Ellie had just started having trouble with vascular dementia so Pabu took extra special care of her now that he was becoming the "adult" in the household. They met in Placitas, New Mexico, at the home of Ruth Davis. She bred her bed dog, Lucky, to her female dog, Libby, and they had one puppy who would be a bit too big for AKC Tibetan Spaniel standards. Ruth said he had a personality which would need to have him be the only dog in a household. Grandma Ellie and her daughter, Carolyn, sat in Ruth's living room waiting for the household puppies and dogs to charge in together. Pabu ran straight to Ellie, stood up on his hind legs and showed he wanted to sit in her lap right away. She picked him up, he snuggled down, and never left her lap again on that visit. He knew she was the one for him. He had spotted the ur-mother of the human world who needed and wanted him. Someone who would devote all of her mothering skills to him and then he would devote himself to her care in her final years. Tibetan Buddhists believe dogs like Pabu are often monks reborn to try life again after making mistakes in the past. I see in this picture Pabu saying, "I'm all grown up in this dog life and ready to take care of her as she has taken care of me."