First: The Doggy Daddy is no longer to be referred to herein as the DD. He’s as much a “father” figure to our dogs as I’m a mother to… uhm, anything or anyone. It’s not that I take offense at the idea that pet guardianship is like parenting, or that the Bows are like children. However, I shouldn’t pretend to know anything about parenting and I WON’T know for some time to come, having made a pretty conscious decision not to be a biological mother in my own lifetime. Since the moniker far exceeds either of our experiences, I may as well drop it.
So from now on, the DD is just RJ.
Now here’s an example of the difference between RJ’s family and mine, when it comes to pets.
Bowpi is conducting quality control inspections on our second annual calendar order from Snapfish. I made one last year for RJ’s grandma, and it was apparently such a hit that I had to compile another one for 2012. We printed up an extra one for his folks this year. RJ’s family was the first to greet us when we moved back to the States with Bowdu, but since they haven’t actually had a chance to meet Bowpi, the pictures help flesh out her personality when his folks inevitably ask how the dogs are doing.
They always ask, just like they ask how I’m doing, because they see the dogs as part of the family.
Then, there’s my folks. Though my Facebook profile picture has featured myself flanked by both Bows since this March (and we’ve had her since two Marches ago), my mother just figured out that we added a new canine member to the household.
Mom: I heard you have TWO dogs now.
Me: Ha ha ha… so it finally dawned on you.
Mom: *sigh* Such a nuisance. Think of how much trouble it is!
Me: Nah, she’s the most easy-going gal. Just a wee little second dog.
Mom: Little? I don’t think so! And so much dog fur everywhere!
Me: Oh, Bowdu sheds enough for three dogs. Can’t be helped. Besides, she barely has any fur. She’s an African Basenji.
Mom: An African dog? They have dogs in Africa?
Me: *exasperated* Yes, mom.
Mom: The Africans can’t even feed themselves! How can they take care of dogs?
Me: Mom!! Geez. A good African hunting dog can be very valuable for bringing home meat, you know…
Mom: Their dogs are not for eating?
Mom: By the way, your sister brought you some bawan.* She couldn’t bring the sauce on the plane. Do you know how to make it? …
… And so she pinballed off to another topic, without even bothering to ask the name of our second Bow.
* My younger sister, who now lives in my neck of the woods, recently made the long journey home to visit the folks for the holidays, and brought back some bawan 肉圓, or “meat dumplings” as a local Taiwanese restaurant calls them on the menu. Our recipe is a unique family specialty and one of the tastes of home that I absolutely crave… if only I didn’t have to risk parental nuttiness just to score a bite.