Life With Ferris: Mefran Gave A Special Kind Of Love

  • Monday, February 19, 2024
  • Ferris Robinson
Mefran and Vic
Mefran and Vic

When we moved to Bartram Road in 2017, I was thrilled when I realized Mefran would be my next door neighbor. My little dog Vic was also beside himself. He quickly realized he could zip over to her back door, bark, and she would come out and throw handful-after-handful of treats out into the yard. She was like the very best Mardi Gras float, but he was the only participant, and she didn’t move on to the next thing, the next crowd.

But she actually was constantly moving on to the next thing, zipping back and forth in her car, eyes straight ahead and foot on the gas. Mefran kept that foot on the gas. Literally, yes, but also in her zest for life. She was in beloved by folks far and wide, and she did not believe in slowing down.

"Neva re-tii-ah,” she told me in her Boston accent, which translates to “Never retire.” She worked as a nurse until she was 82, and missed her job every day after she retired.

I took my granddaughter over to her house regularly, starting when she was a baby. But there was a slim window between Mary Jane’s morning and afternoon naps and Mefran’s busy schedule. Good luck if I hadn’t made an appointment because there was not such thing as her being around for a drop-in. Mary Jane, Vic and I would stand at the back door, peering in after knocking (and barking), and I’d finally say that we’d try again another day because Mefran wasn’t home.

“Mefran not home,” was Mary Jane’s first sentence, uttered long before the standard “Me want candy” or “Me big girl.”

My 16-year-old dog got more TLC from Mefran than he deserved. He knew when it was 5 p.m., cocktail hour at his neighbor’s house, and demanded to be let out at this time regularly. At first, we thought he just needed to do his business, but one day I noticed he sprinted straight to her back door, not slowing down for a sniff of anything, and she opened the door immediately.

I followed him over and caught the two of them, Vic reclining on her lap, all four legs in the air, and both looking guilty.

“He’s here for his daily massage,” she confessed. That and hamburger meat fried exclusively for him, as in not-leftover-but-custom-cooked.

“I didn’t know Mefran got a dog!” Winkie Persinger exclaimed to me a few years ago.

“What are you talking about?” I asked.

“I was walking down the hall to Mefran’s bedroom, and a little dog came running out barking at me!”

That would be Vic.

My husband and I took him to the vet and fed him dog food, but he was Mefran’s dog. His heart belonged to her.

When we came home from vacation, Vic would leap from the car the second we put it in park, and bolt across the yard to her back door. (Mind you he’d been on vacation with us, not boarded at the kennel). At Mefran’s house, he would get a kind of special love, the likes of which he will never get again.

Now that Mefran’s really and truly not home, lots of us can say the same thing.

* * *

Ferris Robinson is the author of three children’s books, “The Queen Who Banished Bugs,” “The Queen Who Accidentally Banished Birds,” and “Call Me Arthropod” in her pollinator series “If Bugs Are Banished.” “Making Arrangements” is her first novel. “Dogs and Love - Stories of Fidelity” is a collection of true tales about man’s best friend. Her website is ferrisrobinson.com and you can download a free pollinator poster there. She is the editor of The Lookout Mountain Mirror and The Signal Mountain Mirror.

Ferris Robinson
Ferris Robinson
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