Thursday, July 04, 2013

Gilda's Dog Story

There's a piece of Gilda Radner's book, It's Always Something, that I've always been struck by. I tried to find the book, but it's out of print. Recently, I came across the audio version of the book on two tapes, read by Gilda a month before she died. I came across it on my own shelf, had forgotten I owned it. It's the last words of the book, probably the last words of any kind of a "performance" that she ever did. Dibby was her housekeeper/nanny with whom she was very close.

When I was little, Dibby told me a story about her cousin who had a dog – just a mutt – and the dog was pregnant. I don’t know how long dogs are pregnant, but she was due to have her puppies in about a week. She was out in the yard one day and got in the way of the lawnmower and her two back legs got cut off. They rushed her to the vet who said, "I can sew her up, or you can put her to sleep if you want. But the puppies are OK – she’ll be able to deliver the puppies. Dibby’s cousin said, "keep her alive." So the vet sewed up her backside and over the next week that dog learned how to walk. She didn’t spend any time worrying; she just learned to walk by taking two steps in the front and flipping up her backside and then taking two more steps and flipping up her backside again. She gave birth to six little puppies, all in perfect health. She nursed them and then weaned them. And when they learned to walk, they all walked like her.


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