My mother has recently retired from her job as a supervision aide at an elementary school. She has decided to set her sights on getting a dog, preferably through the usual rescue channels. My sister and I have been working day and night (well, day anyway) to make this happen, but with no luck so far.
Obtaining a rescued dog (not a rescue dog, which, to me, is a rum-toting Saint Bernard) is not as easy as it sounds, in spite of the fact that she has owned 3 dogs previously. The criteria list is long, which is fair enough, since these are creatures who cannot speak for themselves. My own mother’s criteria list is equally lengthy: must have floppy ears, must be female, must be over one year old (puppies are a non-starter for her), and must be medium-sized. Non-smoking, of course.
Every few months or so, some rock star trailers come up from the States (California usually, even Mexico) with a motley group of up to 40 pooches. They are quickly snapped up, each dog receiving dozens of applications for ownership. In fact, such is the furor, that a lottery system has had to be used. Sadly, our number has never come up.
We continue to plod on. So, immersed are we in our task, that it has inhabited my dreams – the titular dream, which I will now relate.
Fade in to my parents’ house. The sound of a whining and movement comes from within. I enter, my heart lifting, as it appears that my mother has finally obtained a dog on her own. As I enter the house, I notice chairs on their side, broken crockery, and glass strewn on the ground, along with red scraps, which appear to be raw meat. A resounding crash from the kitchen punctuates the silence. I enter, and to my shock, a bear cub is seen capering on the floor.
The sight of this filters into my sluggish dream brain. My mother, in a desperate gambit, has taken the bear cub with a view to ‘domestication’. I relate to her the tradition of bear cubs growing to many times their current size, and the present danger of a bear cub cavorting in the house, with the mother bear lurking nearby, no doubt. This does not produce the effect I had hoped, and she throws more scraps of meat (it is bacon) onto the kitchen floor.
She is skeptical of my advice (I am no zoologist), and asks me to run it by my father. He, too, is not a zoologist, but an engineer, which gives him a tenuous authority. He echoes my concerns. This should have ended things, but our discussion is interrupted by a keening sound, coming from another part of the house. It would be just typical for a dream to contain a nonsequiteur such as a dog, never mentioned by my mother, ensconced in another part of the house a la Jane Eyre. It is not a dog, although it is in the neighbourhood. My mother has captured a wild coyote and has it penned up in the master bedroom, a contingency, in case the bear cub does not work out, I suppose. At that point, I throw up my hands, and leave the house for the relative comfort of my wife and two teens.