Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Willow Had Three Mommies

An Atheist, a Jew and an Evangelical Christian walk into a Vet Office (ba-dum-da-dump)

Willow had 3 Mommies

Willow was an old Friend --so old that I had started tracking his age in months again, You know – like kids will tell you “I’m 3 and a HALF; well Willow was 18 and a half.

Willow was a toy before toy went Hollywood and every skinny actress had a dog in their handbag. He was a Pomeranian - a redhead - 8 pounds on a good day. With a long nose, pointed ears and a soft orange coat.

He looked just like a little fox. Or at least that is what people said. Every time I took him out for a walk people would say, “Oh he looks just like a little fox!” Is he a fox?

When, Willow and I first met he was living with my sister – a wedding gift that seemed like a good idea but soon became too MUCH and too LOUD as she started a Bed & Breakfast. When castration didn’t solve it, Willow decided to come to DC – Likely with a dream to make it in politics, like a lot of us – and was adopted by my girlfriend and me - Mommy number two.

We were a family until a second man came into our lives. That’s right, this guy named Jesus moved in and WE were no longer. Then my EX-gay - EX-girlfriend and I had joint custody for the rest of his life.

When I met Mommy number three – a type A north eastern Jew, she was afraid when I told her that I had a dog. She imagined a big slobbery black Labrador who would mess up her organized life. She did not expect a “Little Fox” who people mistook for a stuffed animal. Really, they would! We would put him in a back pack or a bag and take him on my bike or shopping. His little head would stick out and his button eyes would be locked open. As I moved up and down the aisle at the CVS, I could hear whispering and debates from the people behind me. I think that is a real dog in her bag – "Nah."

Mommy number three became a victim to his charms.

Eight happy years went by with three Mommies and by his 17th year, Age caught up with him and he became known in the dupont dog walking circuit as “diaper boy” that is because he spent his time in a huggie for babies size 7 pounds to 10 pounds.

When I first decided to put him in diapers, I thought that there must be specially made diapers for her dog. So I found something in a pet catalog called a pet diaper shield. $13 dollars.

When they arrived I was surprised that they were no different than my always panty liners but for the cartoon puppy stamped in the breathable liner. Where was I supposed to stick them? Get underwear for a dog? That would be ridiculous - So it was the Huggie with a tail hole cut out for Willow and the puppy panty liners for me. Puppy fresh.

By 18 and a half, Willow was HALF blind, HALF deaf and fell over when he peed - but my eyes could not see what everybody else could.

There are few times in our lives when we have so much power that with our Word whole lives are changed – or ended. You know it is difficult to come to that point when you feel the conviction and the confidence of being RIGHT to take that ultimate power over another living thing.

It is a heavy responsibility, you question yourself “Am I being selfish”, “Is there something else I can do?”

Well I did all that for a long time, but one weekend I finally saw him as he was and was able to come to a decision. But Willow had 3 Mommies. Mommy number three (Jewish Mommy) came to this decision months before but she had less decisions power being number three. So it all rested on Mommy number two. Evangelical Mommy held all the power (as often do now a days). She had the biblical references and the moral authority to lay on the guilt and make me question my decision better than anyone.

So supported by conviction in my decision it became my role to convince her that it was time.

She agonized over the decision and struggled the most with those questions. But she had her own journey to take and her own fear to over-come for her eyes to be opened before one Saturday morning THREE MOMMIES and an 18 and A HALF, HALF blind, HALF deaf Pomeranian walked into a Vet Office.

By that morning Willow was very sick and it was an emotional drive to the office. Mommy number three and I were sad and tentative, but Mommy number two was brave. It took her the longest to come to the decision but now she was strong. She chose to hold him and rest his little head on her shoulder as the vet injected him with the drug. He gave one last POOF of breath and he was gone.


There he was looking so happy and sweet. His little smile back on his face, his coat which had been dull and thin for so long - looked bright and lush.

Suddenly, the assurance and confidence I had in my decision disappeared. The compelling reason to take his life was forgotten - I panicked and screamed out. “I changed my mind!” “Take it back”!

Realizing that I could not do that, my mind went to saving him and I wanted to give him to cup my mouth over his little snout and puff air into his lungs until he would lift his head on his own. Or give him the Heimlich maneuver, or get out the paddles or something!

But he lay there resting in peace.

Sanity came back to me so and we all sat there quite a bit longer when we started to get worried that we would have to leave him. So Mommy number two came up with the idea that we should steel him---sneak out and run away with him. We all started plotting of how we could get out of that little room with him and past the staff at the clinic.

I knew it was ridiculous but I wanted to put him in my backpack and take him to all of our favorite places. Sure people would wonder if he was breathing – we could pass him off as a stuffed animal.

We would be together again and Happy.

Well, we sat in the room with him – crying and laughing, questioning and assuring each other that we did the right thing.

Then when the office was closing and we couldn’t stay with him any longer An Atheist, a Jew and an Evangelical Christian walked out of a vet office.

Rest in Peace Willow 1989-2007.


H said...

Poor Willow, don't you have a more flattering image of him?

Stephanie said...

Thanks for the story, Molly. It reminded me of the 14 years I spent with D-Cat (diva cat, damn cat, darling cat, destructive cat - depending on the day). It's always hard to let friends go.