The Grammar Police, the Zoo, and a Dog with an Owie

Chloe, looking through the cat door.

Our foster dog had surgery on Monday. Chloe had a small mass on her back that needed to be removed (assumed to be non-cancerous - we're just waiting for the histopathology report to come back from the lab). She also has some chronic issues with her ears. It seems she has had yeast infections in the past and that her former owners didn't bother to treat them. So, the condition just sort of snowballed over time. While Chloe was under general anesthesia, Dr. Barr flushed out her ear canals all the way down to the ear drum (she was born deaf, so no worries about harming her hearing). She is on meds for a week or so, and we are hopeful that her ears won't need more than routine maintenance in the future.

She doesn't have any adoption prospects so far, but it looks like she and I may have a couple of television appearances (local news) in the next couple of weeks in order to promote an upcoming fundraiser for the rescue. I'm hopeful that someone may see the smooshy-faced girl and fall for her goofy charm.

When we brought Chloe home after her surgery, the kid said, "Mama, Chloe doesn't feel well." I was so happy that she had used the correct word (I think a lot of kids would have said "good") that I nearly shed a tear over it. The poor kid - being the daughter of an English major she'll grow up not knowing what it's like to end a sentence in a preposition or to split an infinitive, as I will have headed her off at the pass. Or at least I'll try like hell.

I am never sure, however, if it's okay to correct her at this stage. We have a crack in the ceiling inside our garage, because my husband climbed up there and then somehow put his knee through it. Almost daily, A eyes that bulging crack and says, "Father breaked our house." So then I respond, "Yes, Father broke our house." I figure it's better for her to hear me say it correctly than for me to tell her that she said it INcorrectly.

At the same time, I am also trying to lead her down the path of good manners. So far, the results are mixed. When she says, "I want a cookie," I tell her to "try again." So then she asks, "Please may I can have a cookie?" Rome wasn't built in a day, as the saying goes.

At the zoo yesterday I heard a little boy use the word "ain't." He appeared to be around the same age as my daughter. Then I heard his parents speaking to each other and I understood. It maketh me weep. I am not a grammar expert by any stretch, but I do hate to witness the bastardization of our language. Somebody's got to take a stand, right?

It was a fun little trip to the zoo, though. Our little local zoo is no great shakes, but it's free on Wednesday evenings, so that's a plus. And the kid wore herself out, so that's worth the trip right there. I always feel conflicted about zoos, though, I have to admit. Part of me understands that they are necessary for conservation. We are destroying habitats at such an alarming rate that many species will be lost if not for these conservation efforts. And yet, when I am gazing a lion sitting forlornly in an enclosure that provides not even a fraction of the room he really needs, my heart always sinks a little. Granted, it's not like the zoos you see in the old Curious George books, all bars and concrete, but still . . .

At the zoo

p.s. Please accept my apologies for weaving three topics together in such a clumsy manner!


Mary said…
I dunno... me ain't good at English, is that a langauge?;) But I love reading your blog.... I did always try to teach my kids manners though.;)
Anonymous said…
Eh Lady - you ain't foolin' nobody wit yer stories. Me 'n' da hubby know yer jest .... Sorry, I can't keep it up any longer.
:) Sharon, Lizzie's mom

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