Sunday, April 14, 2013

She Always had a Dog

Mildred Annette Bynum Edmonds
My Uncle Jimmie once said of my grandfather's many bird dogs, "Daddy and I trained 'em and Mildred named 'em."  

From the time she was a young girl, she loved dogs.  She tolerated cats.  Barely. 

She was once featured in her college newspaper as an "attractive and outstanding Sophomore".   Included in the article were her likes, dislikes, and ambitions.  One of her ambitions was to own a dog farm.  My mother would carry this love of dogs with her throughout her life.

When I was in high school, my boyfriend bought me a toy poodle.  I brought it home and of course, it became Mama's poodle.  When Misty passed away years later, my mother was heartbroken.  My father called me on the phone and said, "Find another one, now".  So I did.  We didn't tell Mama.  She walked in the door from work about a week later and there sat Julie, a tiny apricot toy poodle who Mama adored from the moment she first held her in her arms. 

Julie lived for many years.  When she passed away, Mama insisted that she could not go through the heartache of losing another dog.  We honored her wishes and did not attempt to replace Julie.

Several years passed and I decided I wanted a Shih Tzu.  Jack accompanied me on my next trip South to visit Mama.  To say she was "taken" with Jack was an understatement.  On the morning I was preparing to head back North, she looked at me and quietly asked, "Would you consider leaving Jack here?"  I couldn't and she knew it.  She said she had to at least ask.

One day about a year later, she and my brother were sitting out in the swing behind her house.  Mama looked up and spotted a small dog slowly making its way toward her.  The dog had no collar or tags and was covered in ticks and fleas.  Her coat was a matted mess.  My brother took her inside and bathed her, removing all the ticks and treating her for fleas.  A trip to the vet revealed that she was probably a Shih Tzu, several years old and not in the best of health.

Yes, Mama kept her.  And yes, she named her go with my Jack.

I believe God sent Jill to Mama.  He knew Mama ached for another dog and He knew Jill ached for human love.   Jill helped Mama through some difficult times and for that I'll always be thankful to God.

God knew, as He always does.  He made sure....She Always Had A Dog.

Cross-posted from Photos and Footnotes

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