This week I planned to write about the passing of my old DS friend Peco Dee’s mom Mary. The news of her passing spread among her Facebook friends at the end of December. There were dozens, perhaps even hundreds of comments left on the page Peco shared with his mom Mary and on the Facebook group Dog Euphoria that Peco had administered since Doggyspace folded.
Mary was very private. Few knew how old she was or what she looked like. They did know that Mary had been ill. There was a post in March about her falling and breaking a hip. A couple of weeks later Peco announced his mom was okay. Astute observers of Peco’s page and his Dog Euphoria profile realized something was off. The voice they had known as Peco’s was different by just a tad. And occasionally there would be pictures of Peco pensively looking off into the distance while underneath the caption read “Thinking of someone I miss in heaven.”
After hearing of Peco’s mom's passing one parent, in a quest to get more information, and knowing Peco’s mom’s elusive last name did an obituary check of the St. Paul's area. They found a person with his mom's name, but she had passed in March around the time of her fall.
For their friends on Facebook Mary and Peco were indistinguishable. In December, when their friends learned of Mary’s passing, they were heartbroken, and when it came to light that she had really passed seven months earlier their emotions were raw, and they felt betrayed.
Peco’s mom’s son Tom, either at his mom’s request or on his own, at her passing, decided to keep Peco’s profile unchanged. Mary had been a very private woman and may not have wanted her passing known, or for people to make a fuss. Or that Tom, in his grief, just wanted to keep something of his mom alive.
Perhaps, in retrospect, he should have let people know his mother had passed and that he would be taking over the reins on Peco’s page and at Doggy Euphoria. But who makes good decisions when they are grieving? We have all suffered together at the passing of a pup friend. We know there is no wrong way to grieve.
The people who loved Mary and Peco were hurt. Love is a big soup made up of lots of ingredients like faith, hope, and kindness. When dishonesty is added, it turns the broth bitter, and people react to it. This lead to the unit-Peco backlash that occurred when the news broke. It is a byproduct of being hurt after betrayal, not deliberate unkindness.
Humans don’t adapt well to the fact that two opposing opinions may both be right. You need to be a Republican or Democrat, Red Sox fan or Yankee, bagels or English muffins. How can you be both? I call it the cereal box conundrum. I sit on one side of the box and say there's a big picture of Tony the Tiger on it and you sit on the other side and say “no, there’s a puzzle on it.” Both are right. It's just a matter of perspective. Peco’s brother’s perspective was that he was doing right by Peco’s followers and his mom. Some to their friends perspective was that they felt betrayed. Both are right, and if you can’t see it, you need to get up and look at the other side of the box.
Peco’s momma Mary is with us at the Bridge. She has a huge farm that she shares with her pets that preceded her. She has provided a home for thousands of dogs who never found love in the mortal world. I have sat with her and watched everything that has unfolded since Christmas. She has been upset because she only wanted Peco to be loved as she loved him.
For everyone still hurt by these events, I can tell you what the old dogs told me. Jump in the swamp and shake it off. Then go back to honoring the little dog who brought so may together: Peco Dee