closeup photography of tan and white boxer

Photo by Mindaugas on

My mother was looking through a book I found in my daughter’s room re: dog breeds. She has always been a dog lover.  And curious about everything.

She was having a good few days. Maybe because the dementia, which had been working really hard, decided to take a vacation.

It was nice having her back.

I was not ready for the next phase.  The feeding and fighting phase that her doctors tell me is coming.  But I saw the movie trailer version of it.

The good Lord must have heard me screaming prayers. Nightly.

I observed my Mother now as she flipped over the pages, reading the names of specific dog breeds out loud:

“Afghan Hound

Alaskan Malamute

English Coonhound..”

It was comforting to hear her doing this.  But there was a time when she made me want to bleach my face.  Growing-up with a slightly odd mom was embarrassing.

This is a woman who would read a bumper sticker that says “ask me about my Catahoula Leopard dog” and run the driver down to ask about the dog.

Sometimes she can still say things that make me want to bleach my face.

But now it makes me love her even more.

I approached her and asked if she was enjoying the book.

She mused over the working group section, and in particular, the boxers.  The history of the breed.  The temperament.  Its broad muzzle and sloping topline.

150 years ago German hunters created boxers by breeding bull baiting dogs with mastiffs and terriers.

We designed an animal.

We’ve designed many animals.  We’ve eradicated polio and discovered how to treat dropsy.

But we cannot make my mother’s brain work as it did.

Designer species fall into the loam as easily as my mother’s dementia will return.

Her mind was always different anyway.  Like mine.

We are not boxers.

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