Thursday, December 18, 2014

End-of-the-season flashback

Tonight at the dinner table we were discussing the word "bitch," enlightening the boys to the fact that not only is it a bad word that somehow they already know, but it does have a much more simple and appropriate meaning, female dog. This came up, of course, after my husband spelled out b-i-t-c-h when our dog, Sophie, tried stealing food off of the counter. "Yes dear husband, so very funny, ha, ha, ha. I am going to give you some leeway, being drugged-up on painkillers after minor surgery." And, yes, S is doing well, just a wee bit loopy, tired and apparently missing the kid-filter.

After this conversation, we shared an example of how this word has been so misused over the years, that even when used correctly it can be easily misunderstood. And, this brings us to tonight's end-of-the-season flashback. 

When we lived in Pakistan, I worked part-time in the Consular Section. We had an American car in Pakistan (a country in which right-hand drive cars were the appropriate style). S and I would drive in to work together, then I would go home and come back for him in the evening. 

While driving in to pick-up S, my car would be surrounded by beggars at certain stop lights. I had learned the hard way to never give money to a person on the street, at least in Pakistan. Once I gave money to a tragic, sweet looking little boy from the car window. Only a few seconds later a bigger, older boy came and punched him and took the money I had just given. Organized gangs referred to as the beggar mafia were all too commonplace. It was unnerving, sad, and overwhelming. 

Emma Lou was our beautiful, protective Belgian Malinois (or maybe Pakistani Shepherd or maybe wolf-dog, who knows) that we had adopted while living in Pakistan. And, by chance, one day I took her with me to pick-up S from work because she loved car rides and we thought it funny that it looked like our dog was driving the car. Lo and behold no beggars approached the car, even with a woman driving around alone. It was from this point forward that I learned two things, 1) give the money to reputable organizations that can truly help the kids and 2) take our dog with me in the car when driving alone to the Embassy. 

Our guards at the Embassy were a local guard force with limited English skills. Each time we would enter the Embassy, we would have to go through a car check at the security gate. The guards were friendly, professional and tried their best with English as I tried my best with Urdu. One day, Emma Lou and I pulled up to the security gate. The guard inspected my badge and then said, "bitch." Cue a stunned look on my face. Again, he said, "bitch." With me totally confused, he then pointed to Emma Lou and again said, "bitch?" "Oh yes, yes, she is."

And, so, in this flashback is our tribute to our beautiful Emma Lou. We still think about you and miss you girl. And, no boys, unlike your father who has the excuse of being in a medically induced stupor, you cannot go around calling our dog "bitch," just because she actually is one.

Emma Lou when we first adopted her

Emma Lou doing her impression of an Arctic Wolf in Bulgaira

Emma Lou in her later years, her black muzzle had turned gray.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'll always miss Emma. I love you, Emma.