Last night the Missus went out to dine with a bunch of her former (and current) colleagues. Prior to their departing for the restaurant, one of them regaled us with a true story, this kind that inspired the beloved blogger aphorism, “You just can’t make this shit up.”
It appears that Ms. J. (the one telling the story) had an elderly aunt who had two great loves in her life: her Pekingese dog and her ever-present pack of cigarettes. She would survive the first but eventually be done in by the second.
When the dog crossed the Rainbow Bridge - which is to say, passed on to the World to Come - as dogs tend to do when they are of an age, the elderly lady could not bear to part with him. And so she had the little guy packed off to refrigerated storage until such time as he could receive the tender ministrations of the taxidermist. Yes, indeedy: She had the dog stuffed and mounted in what must have been a realistic pose. Alas, the poor defunct pooch was missing an eye, but nevertheless he proceeded to occupy a place of honor by the hearth, where he sat quietly for years.
[If you think this sounds like an episode of the short-lived TV series The Marriage Ref (“That dog was givin’ me the malocchio!”), it does - but that is simply coincidence.]
Presumably he would receive an occasional dusting, but that’s about it in the maintenance department. Stuffed pooches, after all, do not need to be walked and fed... a big advantage, in my book. But I digress.
Came a time when Auntie’s cigarette habit caught up with her in the form of a case of lung cancer... and as her condition deteriorated, she prepared to move to hospice. A representative from the hospice came to meet her as part of the pre-induction formalities, accompanied by Ms. J’s sister.
After the visit, the hospice rep remarked, “Your aunt’s dog is so well behaved - he just sat there quietly the whole time!”
As I said - you just can’t make this shit up.
Postscript: When the lady finally passed on, she was buried with her taxidermied Animal Companion. Whether they also threw in a carton of cigarettes is a subject best left to useless speculation.