Friday, December 31, 2010

Erin and Nana

My grandmother aptly called Nana by all family members adored Erin and the feeling was mutual. They loved spending time with each other and Erin especially loved the fact that Nana was very generous with whatever food was at hand. It didn't matter whether the food source was canine or human, if it was edible then Nana believed it was not to be wasted but to be given to a cherished pet and since I spent much time in Nana's company then Erin reaped the rewards of leftover food and the mountains of stockpiled dog treats. Rarely can I remember a time when Erin didn't receive a goodie of some type and it always elicited a rapid tail wag when I said "Go see Nana".

We routinely visited Nana's house where Erin considered herself the boss despite numerous cats roaming the premise. By nature, Erin was very curious and loved to investigate every nook and cranny that was available for exploration and during these visits with Nana, an occasional encounter with a feline ensued. Once in awhile, Erin would corner a cat would didn't appreciate quality canine company but she never got the hint until a hiss and swipe across the face shocked her. She always looked over at me to say "I just wanna play with them" and then she went back to wagging her nub as if that would seduce the cat to play chase. The cats never gave in to Erin's tomfoolery and believe me...Nana would never allow Erin to harass her babies!!  

Unfortunately Nana broke a hip and her health deteriorated to the point where she was admitted to a nursing home to receive the medical care she truly deserved. Despite being in a senior care facility it was arranged for Erin to have access to visit Nana and as much as possible, Erin was loaded into the car and we drove across town for a visit. Eventually, the medical staff, patients, and family members came to recognize myself and the "hunting dog" when we strolled onto the premises.What I always found remarkable and a testament to Nana's love and friendship for Erin is how she hoarded food from her dining room trays until we arrived. It was generally a biscuit, hamburger patty, or a piece of cornbread but occasionally some sweet dessert that was hidden away until we surprised her with a visit. With Erin in tow, I'd enter the room where she'd say "look in the top drawer" and there would be a morsel for Erin wrapped inside a napkin and placed alongside other personal belongings.  

Repeatedly, myself and other family members told Nana to stop storing food items for Erin as she was well fed but due to Nana's generous nature and feelings towards Erin, it continued until the very end. It was a win-win situation as Erin provided the love and companionship while Nana offered attention and food in return. It brings tears to my eyes as I recall them together in happier times both full of energy and love for each other. Something tells me as they're both watching over me from above, Nana is handing Erin a yummy treat to munch on. RIP Nana and Erin!!

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