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Creative Nonfiction

-         I should be the one to be taken,  instead- mother was repeating, in tears.

Suddenly, she stopped to cry.

It was the doorbell.

-         Ok, I go – volunteering myself to open the door, as my mom could only keep repeating

-         I should be the one to be taken, instead – immersing her eyes in loosing words.

-          It is the  delivery man  - pretending not to know who sent it hom – I said, while signing the reception of a big cage

It was  a black barking and black  furry schnauzer.

It ran under my mother’s chair, in fear.

-         What a nice surprise ! – I smiled, mourning a month of my father passing away.

-         What is your name, little boy – I asked it, taking a look at the name in the certificate attached – Alejandro de las tres lunas.

-         Poetic name, I said, looking at the  data included, assign at birth , vaccines, diseases, dental health.

I do not know exactly what happened, cause as  quick as the wind, my chubby mother kissed the dog all her way to the kitchen

-         Mama is going to give you something delicious to eat – while hugging and more kissing it …

Embracing the animal, she asked:

Open the cage . There  must have more  information about this little man – now, kissing its humid snout - and I kissed it too. I do not know why, but we always do things like that, don’t we ?

Look ! – said  mom, reading the paper I took from the cage  and showed to her:

 Here it says the dog makes some tricks, like standing on two feet, bringing the stuff we need, but he eats a lot.

He  - no, there is no grammar mistake in here, because the members of our family considered him one new member in a short time, so it was “he" - is really special, this Alejandro – she admitted ,  concluding :

- strange name for a dog isn’t it ? Well, as a matter of fact, it does not really matter –

On that first  morning  he spent at  home,  the first thing we noticed was that  he  did not bark at all, not even to the telephone ring

 As a matter of fact, nothing happened.

We were seriously considering to take it to the vet.

-         He must be sick –  somebody  said.

-         He must be hungry – and another one brought him food.

-         He is just getting used to his new house – granny observed his  eyes  moving according to our steps around the house, kids. Play with him !

So we did, throwing a little ball taken from the toys of my niece, who started to run after the ball, but,  he stayed there, under the table, without even smelling nor watching it.

  - can you believe? – I asked, watching him  stay the whole breakfast time  under the table,  where  my niece was   having breakfast.

Some crumbs of fresh bread fell from the table.

And he simply devoured it, without leaving a single piece of bread.

It obviously became a rule at home :  all from the family gave him pieces and pieces of bread, pasta cookies, meat and so on to him

How do I know that?

-         Because all of us took some food from our plates and kept the hands hid under the table while comforting him with our hand over his head, until he could fall asleep near our shoes, sniffing and smelling our  feet and biting our flip flops to , after that , hide in his bed or under the couch.

On trying to get her school stuff ready, my niece found a stick in her payback.

And she just threw it to the floor.

The dog saw that.

And run to catch it.

We were all astonished.

He – . So, it is he  - just got out of under that table, three days after he realized that he could have more food in a bowl, out of that prosaic roof.

One day when he was going to chew some water in the white bowl he has – and still have it, by the way – he barked , for the first time since he was part of my family.

Such a gorgeous surprise!

All of us felt proud of him, showing our affection by kissing him and – as usual – giving him some snacks, that he – of course -  did not  refuse.

Then, my niece took a look at his white bowl of water : it was full of dirt from his own beard

-         Does he want it to be cleaned ? – asked the short and  chubby grandma, in an intelligent way.

As the fuss had already finished, she took the bowl and put some fresh and clean water, giving it to him.

First, he suspiciously sniffed at the bowl.

And only after being sure that it was really water, and  the water was fresh and clean, he drank it.

-         But this dog is really smart, we agreeded.

So smart, that every time there was no water in his white bowl, he waited as long as it could be , beside his bowl  until somebody could gently change it for him and fill the bowl with water again, barking.

It happened millions of times , during the day or at night .

But, that night , specifically, he was waiting beside his bowl of water , but, differently, he did not bark , just peed.

Everywhere.

On the sofa.

In my wardrobe.

Over the carpet.

And the pee was hidden inside that places.

So,  no one noticed about it.

Till the moment my husband tried to look for his new shoes, and found it completely wet.

-what happened here? – he asked with his hand hanging a piece of  the shoebox dripping.

I smelled.

-         Pee! – she shouted, taking the cardboard to the dustbin, not before giving her hands.

-         Who did it ? –  mom asked, with bulging  green eyes, almost going out from the casquets.

Nobody answered.

And everybody looked at the dog.

-         Was it you ? – mom questioned the dog, who was sleeping.

This dog has many  issues

 It is  better to take it to the vet again – mom concluded, sipping tea from a glass, as she normally used to do before any meal.

On talking about food, we had dinner that night as  usual.

Washed the dishes as usual

Watched television as usual, too

And there he was , under the table – waiting, I think.

He, stayed there.

The time to go to bed came, so, we all went to bed and had a wonderful night of sleep – as it was a cozy autumn night.

But the dog kept being under the table, beside his bowl of water.

The whole night, sipping and sipping water.

I was in charge of filling his bowl with water, and I clearly remember filling it more than five times!

Next morning , the sun rose at six.

Grandma woke up, to have some tea.

And saw the dog, sleeping beside his bowl of water.

-         Oh no! We forgot about you !!! – running to the kitchen to fetch some water for the dog.

He drank.

The whole bowl.

In less than a minute – soon after our leaves to our daily activities .

-         Oh my ! This dog was absolutely thirsty . Poor little thing ! I promise, little fella that I will always give you water; and some leftovers from lunch, too – embracing and kissing him- who obviously licked her because in my opinion he knew she was going to do it.

And she religiously did it, everyday, preparing special soup and boiling water for him.

But one day , grandmother  lost her balance on her way to the bathroom.

As she had arthritis in her leg,    she once was said by the doctor that   she should take some rest  at home , or at least diminish her activity it.

She did not do it, of course

So, she was trying to get some stuff from the floor.

Her leg did not follow the step she was supposed to take  and  the inevitable happened : she   fell, a  big far from her walking stick, despite being a bit close or nearly   beside the phone, and called me to help her.

-         Mom, let me see what I can do, because you know she knew I  had no permission to leave my job.

I got nervous at the same moment.

-         Oh my God! What can I do now?

One minute later, in the middle of my worry and desperation to reach a solution , I received another phone call: it was   my mother  who was calling  me again.

-         What happened?? – I anxiously answered the phone.

-         Do not worry about it , dear, cause I had already been helped.

-         Really? – I had to ask, as I knew she was probably alone at home that afternoon.

-         Who did it ?

-         The dog brought my walking stick, and I could stand up.

I was baffled.

How was it possible?

In despite of all my disbelief, it was possible.

What happened was that the dog  used to be always around my mother, waiting for the food and the water she offered him – believe me, he did understand what she said, because he sniffed her deep and sincere feeling involved in that promise - always supported by her walking stick that the doctor said to her to use , every day .

Consequently, he was used to that wooden smell, in  close relation   to the smell of food and water.

So, his bright  intelligence , even without training, worked for good that day.

Since then, he became the most important member of the family, due to all his fidelity and strength.

I still remember that when I was going back home, two hours later from the happening , I passed by  a bakery.

-         What an amazing bread smell ! I think I have to stop by and buy some to take home – I said,

-         Fine. Here I am.

-          Being conscious for the first time of my life,  I brought him what he liked most : bread, a lot of it, of all sizes and tastes.

Yes, I needed to be grateful by giving him a bowl of some  no waiting water .

Kissing and hugging him, of course.

But it would be better if it was forever – she said observing that his eyes had something.like a cloud.

-         Is it possible that there is a cloud in his eyes? – mom asked, stretching her eyes.

All if us immediately looked at his eyes

It was true.

He had a kind of a cloud covering half of his eyes.

-         Is he getting blind ? - I asked, looking many times at it, but not sure at all.

-         This is not the worst thing – said mom, taking his bowl of food under her chair, intact.

-         Something is going on, and we have to do something about it. Remember that he brought light and happiness to this house. We all have changed for the better because of him.

-         What can I do ?  - visibly affected by the situation.

e answer was given by the vet

-         Give Ale   these pills, everyday, for a week. It must cure  Ale – said the doctor,who told us to  give him some pills.

We gave.

Nothing happened.-

-         I suspect it is diabetes, considering the signs and symptoms he shows. Anyway , it is demanding .

We  have to make some lab tests.

We did it.

One each day.

He is suffering. Do we  really  have to do it ? – asked mom, with q teardrop falling from her lost eye.

-         It is better  - the doctor said.

-         Ok, we do it – mom said- in order to have him feeling better.

That is the exact moment we changed.

When we could not bear the fear of losing it, after so much happiness he had given us.

That way, we spent the whole month taking him to have medicines, intravenous treatments and making lab test to check his blood glucose.

Our daily routine changed drastically :  my mom  took care of the dog in the mornings, giving breakfast, cleaning pees and cooking.

I arrived home at midday, after a whole morning working in an office, as a secretary.

At that time, I had to  clean his bowls,  bathe him and wash the dishes.

The cousins were supposed to arrive from school at that time so, they had lunch and play with the dog – as a fact, it was not so keen to play nor to  move, due to the blindness.

-         He  hit on the table leg and the walls, trying to reach his bed crossing the wood of the doors – the kids told us .

-         - poor little thing ! – we said, feeling the same pain that he was feeling at every pe and every hit he had.

At night, the kids had to do their homework, and I was supposed to clean his bowls again, and bathe the dog again, as he had peed so many uncountable times , that was mandatory to wash him up over.

We could not let him step without a companion, as he

His blindness got worse, day by day, as his eyes turned whiter and whiter.

My mom kept filling food in his bowl.

And he kept refusing it.

-         He has to recover, regain his strength –  cleaning her nose with the sleeve of her blouse, clearing the original color in that spot.

Not to mention  his lack of hunger , that made my mom hide many runaway tears in the middle of lonely afternoons that she  spent beside him.

Looking after  him.

Caressing him.

But the thing is that he peed and peed, all the time.

More and more, even under a medication regime and up to the last minute of life he had.

Mom, went back to her repetitions, muttering the pain of another loss.

I realized that  a change is never permanent, but  a  fragile moment in which human beings pretend to control their emotions, like mom.

And I never bought bread again.

-          

April 10, 2021 20:59

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