During the last few years of her life, my mother would go back in her mind to her early days. She told me all about Jock, the only dog she'd ever had and the only one she'd ever loved. He was a black Scottish terrier and, considering the disdain Mom showed towards all other animals including other dogs, it was quite something to hear her go on about Jock.
When Christmas came around in the year 2000, I was sort of stumped as to what to get her for a gift. Mom had everything she needed and it seemed silly to buy her more ornaments, clothes, or bath products. I wanted to find something really original and special for her that year - I think because I knew her time was limited. She'd already been suffering from Alzheimers for some years already.
I must have wandered the malls (both indoor and outdoor), trendy little boutiques, department stores and Walmart, and every little "off-the-beaten-track" store I found. One day I arrived at a card shop and thought I'd pop in and get her a special Christmas card to go with whatever I'd end up finding. As I gazed around the shop, my eyes landed on a shelf where lo and behold I found her gift!
Sitting amongst a group of stuffed animals was a stuffed black Scottish terrier! Well, I just KNEW this was her Christmas present!
When I arrived home, I had second thoughts. Buying your mother a stuffed animal for Christmas? How silly! But then, I thought "No! She's going to love it!"
I found a tartan ribbon that I put around the little black dog's neck in honour of my Mom's Scottish heritage, put him in a box with tissue paper, wrapped him all up with colourful paper and took him over.My mother was absolutely thrilled with him! So much so, that she named him Jock after the dog she'd had as a young girl. From that day on, he sat on the back of the sofa right where she'd sit every day and she would talk to him as though he were real.
When she passed away in 2002, Jock came to live with me. He now sits on the back of my sofa and every time I look at him, I remember my mother.