Friday, July 16, 2010

Annie, the Little Monster

I have a need to share with you information about the most important character in my mother's life, Annie.

When mother and Yates married, both brought with them, several old dogs to live on the farm. It wasn't long until one by one they began to die. My nephew asked my mother if she would like to have a collie puppy, seeing that they would soon be without, mother accepted and the rest is history. They named their new puppy,"Tauger" which was a childhood nickname of Yates'. Tauger grew up on the farm, helping out with the cows, guarding the property but mostly loving his masters. As years passed, Tauger became feeble. Several months after Yates passed, Tauger followed. What a sad day.

My oldest sister was a lover of all animals and had a very special heart for abandoned ones. When someone sat out a litter of puppies near her house she immediately thought of mother. These puppies seemed to be part German Shepherd and part something that looked like to me, hound. Mother named this puppy "Annie." She seemed to fill the emptiness and loneliness which had been left by the passing of Yates and Tauger.

Up until last Winter, Annie would sleep outside in an old chair on the front porch or in her doghouse on the back deck at night, but for some reason, mother began enticing Annie in at night to sleep with her in her bedroom. We began finding dog hairs and other surprises left behind on certain mornings. When asked about it, mother would vehemently deny that she allowed her in. Soon all the tricks mother could think of to get Annie in at night had come to an end. This alone, seemed to drive mother further into her dementia. To this day, mother will be talking to you and just look up suddenly and say "You know I don't have a dog!" You can imagine some of the responses we give her, not being able to hold our tongue. The first time this happened, we were standing in line at Ryans when she suddenly said, "you know my dog Annie is gone." I said, "What?" She said, "yes, she's been gone for awhile now and I don't have a dog anymore." Well, I couldn't remember seeing Annie and I guess I believed her and began to worry about her until we drove up, got out and was carrying our groceries in the house and Annie practically knocked me down coming in the house. I called to mother and said, "Mother, here's Annie" and without missing a beat, she said, "yeah, she's come to get her a treat." I said I thought you said she had gone off. She acted like she knew nothing about it.

Some nights we would have 6 to 8 calls from mother, telling us that she didn't have a dog. One night in particular, I had just sat down to watch my favorite TV show, American Idol, when the phone began to ring, it was mother. She was giggling and whispering like a little child. I said "MOTHER! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" She replied in a whisper that she had something sitting on her couch that looked similar to a little monster. I said "what color is it?" She said "well, it's black with brown spots." I said "MOTHER! THAT IS ANNIE!" She told me that she didn't know if it was part human or what. This really scared me but after all the other stories I could tell you with similar content concerning mother and Annie, I knew it was Annie. I told her to just leave her alone and let her sleep in tonight since she was already in and this seemed to please her. I immediately called my sister who lives in Asheville and she called mother and talked to her and mother told her basically the same story with a little more twists.

We have laughed over that one on many a bad day!

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