I left the house to do errands and took the new little rescue chihuahua with me. My oldest daughter, Roz, found it online and will take it back to New York City with her when she next comes home.
In its pink and white wool sweater and yellow harness, it was a big hit at Mom's residence.
As we sailed out of Ocean View Assisted Living to continue our errands, the dog sat alertly on Mom's knees like a carved ornament at the prow of a ship.
I'd just intended to do local errands, but I'd gotten a call from the church that a member soon to have open heart surgery needed O- blood. Although I'd been rejected as a donor on Sunday because my hemoglobin was a bit too low, I decided to try again.
So we went to UCLA, parked at Whole Foods, left the dog in the car, wheeled a block to the clinic, waited.
In the car and while waiting I supplied Mom with cashews, grapes, sticks of gum. Food is one of her greatest pleasures at this point in her life.
However, my count was only 12.4 (12.5 was the cutoff), so the effort was in vain. With a brisk wind blowing, we went back to the car.
"It's so cold," Mom complained.
"You're okay," I told her, adjusting the blanket on her lap.
I was thinking, "It's this or sitting in your chair all afternoon. Cold or not, this excursion is probably more stimulating for you."
Once in the car, I put the dog in her lap for the drive back to her residence.