In early June my sister Amy asked me and my other siblings to contribute money to purchase our parents an I-Pad. Who knew that it would become such a useful tool and source of entertainment for them. It also means our parents have entered the Social Media Circle and see what we post on Facebook. This could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on which of my brothers or sisters pages they were viewing. Since mine is mostly pictures of Sadie, pleas for dogs to be adopted, and my blogs, I felt pretty safe. My Mom has been very interested in my posts about dogs left in hot cars. We’ve had several discussions about it. Living in a rural county and this being their first Internet voyage, it was news to her that people actually did this.
My Mom is known to begin her telephone calls to you with whatever is going on at the time instead of hello. I received a call around midnight one night, “Your Dad got bit by a dog.” Turned into a pretty interesting story for my column. I answered the phone earlier this year to hear, ”Don’t worry, they said I had a heart attack, but as soon as the blizzard is over, I’ll be going to a better hospital.” Luckily my sister who is a nurse took the phone to explain. We have our colloquialisms in Western Pennsylvania where my family lives, so I get the calls that start with someone has gone off the “deep end”, or any other piece of strange gossip. This past weekend I received one of her famous calls and as it turns out it might not have happenned except for Facebook.
“You would be SO proud of me,” my Mom excitedly belted out when I answered the phone. Well, I’m pretty proud of her all the time, but knew something was up so I asked what was going on. My Mom had gone to our local NAPA Parts store to pick up something for my Dad. This is a typical arrangement at home as my parents still run an electrical repair business and my Dad often tinkers on their cars.
My Mom had parked the car and was heading into the store when she heard a dog barking. All the images from my Facebook Page and tales of irate owners being called out for this cruel practice got the best of her and she sought out the source. There in a black pick-up truck was a dog trying to stick his nose out the window and he was barking loudly. My mother marched to the store, flung open the door and yelled as loud as she could…”WHO LEFT THE DOG OUT IN THE BLACK TRUCK?” Nope, no announcement over the PA system needed for my Mom, and in her defense, she’s had plenty of experience yelling from our back porch for kids to come inside.
A man quickly came out of one of the aisles, clutching windshield wipers and stammered that yes, he had a dog in his truck. “What’ wrong with you,” my Mom asked him. “Don’t you know how hot is out there? This isn’t a place that serves food. You could’ve brought him in with you And you only left the windows down an inch or so.” He said he was only going to be in the store briefly. My Mom replied, “My daughter told me the inside of a car can get over 100 degrees or more in just a minute. Put those down and let’s get the dog.”
By this time everyone in the small store had gathered around the two of them and my Mom led the way to the guy’s truck where the grateful dog leaped out. My Mom took the leash and brought the dog into the store. She asked the manager to get him a drink and he brought him a bowl of water. The dog lapped up the water and the man stood there looking embarassed.
“Don’t do this again,” my Mom told the man. “You’re lucky I didn’t just bust out the window.” (We say bust in Western PA) The man paid for his wiper blades, my Mom handed him the leash and he left. The manager went back behind the counter, my Mom picked up the parts and left. But not before scanning the parking lot for any more dogs in cars.
Her last comment made me laugh, “That dog licked my leg over and over, and you know, I don’t really even like dogs that much.” My Mom, who allowed us to have any pet we wanted over the years always did put on a front that she wasn’t attached to any of them, but we knew better. She asked me what I thought of what she did, and I said she did great, but next time she might want to ask them to announce it. No, she said she wouldn’t…that would take too much time and I ought to do the same. Thanks Mom…I’ll keep that in mind. Like daughter…like mother…what a good thing.