Last weekend I visited my mom in Flushing and told her the news of how dogs now outnumber the human inhabitants of my apartment by more than 3:1. She seemed a little disappointed; she never really approved of us having dogs because she never felt they were worth the time and money and eventual heartbreak.
My brother, who essentially functions as the family chauffeur when he’s in town from New Jersey, also happened to be visiting my mom on this day with his wife. At the end of the night, as usual, he offered to give me a ride back to Brooklyn. And as usual, I accepted, as this turns a crappy 1.5 hour commute by train into a breezy 20 minute commute. But unusually, this time, my mother asked if she could come along.
Since I settled in Brooklyn in 2007, my mom has never expressed an interest in seeing my shabby digs. She may still harbor some resentment that I moved out. But apparently the prospect of 9 squirmy baby puppies was enough to do away with that resentment.
A 20 minute car ride (and a quick phone call to the boyfriend – “HIDE ALL OUR BAD THINGS!” – another time the language barrier came in handy) later, I walked into my apartment with my brother, his wife, and my mom. Penny came over, barked hello, and promptly gave my mom a hug. I was a little worried that they wouldn’t get along – Penny has a nervous tendency to bark and lunge at people who are scared of her, creating this awful positive feedback loop of fear – but maybe they had the mom bond going for them. At any rate, without further ado, here are arguably the most adorable pictures ever taken of my mom.
I’d like to add that I did get around to asking my mom if she had ever eaten dogs in Korea and she answered that, while people around her did, she has no recollection of doing so herself. Whew. I asked what kind of dogs people ate – Jindos? Sapsalis? – and she said no breed in particular, just any sort of mutt lying around with enough meat and fat on its bones. Then I asked, What about cats? to which she answered no, because they’re not good eatin’.
While she was cooing at and cuddling with her puppy I jokingly asked my mom if she’d like one. I know her condo doesn’t allow pets, and she works too many hours to train and take care of a dog, but I guess some part of me figured maybe it could guard the kitchen at work or something. My mom, still regarding the pup with a tender smile, said, “[No, they’re cute now but they grow up to be ugly.]”