Monday, February 21, 2011

The Obsession

So you may have noticed a few new additions over there at the side of my blog.  You might have noticed one in particular, up towards the top.  You know the one I'm talking about.  Even if you don't want to admit you know, you know.  I'm sure you do.

I'm not sure when it started.  I'm not even sure how it started.  All I know is that Hassaan has an obsession.  This obsession, as well as other tendencies, has led his teacher, myself, and others to think that Hassaan might have Aspergers as well.  His obsession carries through everything in life, right down to his pillow.  Hassaan's obsession?

Dogs.  Hassaan LOVES dogs.  His pillow is a giant stuffed dog that is bigger than he is.  The dog's name is Rainbow.  The irony of the dog being named Rainbow?  Rainbow is a very plain, beige, dog with a black nose.  Not a rainbow on him.  Don't ask me why his name is Rainbow.  Don't even ask Hassaan, because every time he's asked the story is different.  Okay, ask him. And then ask him again in an hour.  It might give you a small bit of entertainment on a rainy afternoon.

Within our family, we also have Baby Fetch, Baby Bury, Daddy Dog, Bingo, Spot, Big Ears, Floppy, Icy, and literally about twenty five others whose names escape me because, quite frankly, I just don't care that much to know the names of about 30 stuffed dogs.  I love my son.  But I don't love him to the point of joining in his obsession.

Fourteen months ago, I caved in and - in a moment of a total, complete, and embarrassing loss of common sense - got the boys a puppy.  He was a rambunctious puppy - half pug, half Boston terrier.  I'm pretty sure there was a bit of kangaroo in there too.  The boys named him Fetch.  I had absolutely nothing - let me repeat: nothing - to do with  naming this dog.  Why do I make this clear?  Well, picture this.  Close your eyes.  No!  Wait!  Don't!  Because then you can't read this.  So figuratively close your eyes. You're standing in the driveway.  You're calling an absent minded puppy to come back.  You're chasing him through the back yard.  And what are you yelling this whole time?  "Fetch!  Come!  Fetch!  Sit!  FETCH!  STAY!"  I sounded like a moron.  But the boys loved Fetch.  And note that I have referred to Fetch totally in the past tense.

Nine months and three days after Fetch arrived at our home and just made the boys' hearts swell with pride, Fetch decided that chasing my father's car was a good thing to do.  He ran out into the road and was hit by a car coming up behind my father.  A neighbour a few doors down told me later that he knew it was bad by the type of scream coming from both Hassaan and Hammad.  I was at work.  I came home to a note on the door left by my husband (who was home for only the weekend) that just said "Fetch hit by car.  Call cell."  The next day, we had to put Fetch to sleep.  He had a spinal cord injury that left him unable to move one back leg and all and the other hind leg sometimes worked but mostly didn't.  We took the boys' to the vet's to say goodbye to him, and the poor puppy sat in my lap shaking, knowing something was desperately wrong, and there I was, two boys who were barely holding it together and all I wanted to do was fix it for them and I couldn't.

It's been just shy of five months since Fetch died, and every day Hassaan still talks about him.  For quite a long time Hassaan declared that he wanted to be dead because then he could be with Fetch.  The paediatrician told me that, at five years old, he wasn't concerned that Hassaan was actually suicidal because at that age they don't have the concept of the finality of death.  But it was still scary to hear your son talking like that.  And someone the absolutely ridiculous comes out of his mouth.  Like the night that he was fighting going to bed (again) and said he "couldn't wear pants because wearing pants reminded him of Fetch!"  It took every ounce of self control to wait til he'd gone up the stairs before I lost it laughing.

But dogs are Hassaan's obsession.  We have stuffed dogs, hard plastic model-type dogs, books on dogs, movies on dogs, clothes with pictures of dogs (that was just coincidence, not something I went looking for).  Heck, I even have a ringtone of dog barks on my phone just for Hassaan.

I'm pretty sure that if Hassaan could trade me in for a dog, he would.  And if he could trade in his brother for a dog, he'd be all over that deal!


  1. That's how we met Hassaan. At the park he came over to us to see my parents dog :)

  2. I honestly was thinking Asperger's instead of ADHD all along. Hugs to you. My little one has Asperger's as well, as you know. It can cause meltdowns similar to ODD and behaviour similar to ADHD. I love you Anisa, let me know if you need anything!