The swoosh of the tin can echoed in the kitchen as I peeled back the lid of his "Blue Buffalo" chicken and gravy. A heaping pile of indescribable mush is plopped into his shiny silver stainless steel bowl. "Want your chow-chow?" I asked, as he danced like a trained circus bear at my ankles, nails tapping on the cool ceramic floor tiles. Placing the dish in front of my furry clown, he gobbled down his dinner, barely taking a breath between his swallowing.
With one task completed, I walked into the living room turning toward the floral embroidered sofa where my mother sat, nose buried deep in yet another empty calorie romance novel. "I fed the dog, mom", I bantered, as I paced passed her into my office. Within a moment, I heard her bellow from her cushiony throne, "Did you feed the dog?" "Yes, mom, the dog's been fed!!"
Emails checked, I begin to sift through a stack of ignored mail. A voice from the other room cracked my concentration. "Honey, did you feed the dog?" "Yes, I fed him", I squawked forcefully, "The dog has eaten!!" Under my breath, I muttered, "Dear God, don't ask me again!" Just then the phone interrupted my anger. As I am deep into a business call, the air is rattled by yet another, "Honey, did you feed the dog? I didn't hear you, did you feed Moussey?" My fists clenched, I bang on the desk and continue to try and concentrate on my important phone-call. "Bev, I need to know if you fed the dog? Can you hear me? Did you feed him?" At this point, I am more than relieved I do not have a gun tucked secretly away in my desk drawer. I can clearly picture myself raising it to my pulsating temple and blowing my brains out....or even better, storming into the living room and placing my trembling hands strategically around her neck and squeezing out her last breath! I end the call and kick the desk chair from beneath me so hard, a tornado of papers swirl wildly to the floor. I march into the living room where I find she has mysteriously disappeared from her plush perch. As I round the kitchen, I almost collide with my tiny, silver haired mother clutching the handles of her walker. With a big smile upon her face, she proudly boasts, "I FED THE DOG!!" I look beyond her frail frame and my dog's muzzle is once again buried deep within his shiny stainless steel silver bowl. Relaxing my tightly clenched fists, I take a very deep breath and forcing a big, toothy smile, I gently clasp her arthritic hands, kiss her on her wrinkled forehead and sweetly say, "Thank you, mom!"
Alzheimer's Caregiver, Beverly Booher-2015