Recently my wife and I…at my wife’s insistence…went to the animal shelter to buy some books to help support a new building at the shelter.
OK anything for the poor critters housed there and I was going to get a bag of books for only $5…what a deal.
I searched through the books oblivious to those around me and to what my wife was doing. She had decided to go into the back where the dogs for adoption are kept. When my bag was full I turned to look for her. Cradling my find in my arms I went to search for her. I tried the cat room and the dog kennels and finally went to the yard where adoptive dogs can run…and get acquainted with their prospective new owners and their pets. You guessed it…she was there with our dog, Zoe, and a springy, out of control, black and white, 6 month old, sleek ball of energy. I lost all hope of leaving with just my $5 bag of books…we were going to leave with an $85 bag of books and a FREE dog in the exchange.
My wife asked me what I thought of “MY” new dog. Surrendering, I asked “What’s his name?”
“They call him Luther” she said.
‘Oh, no you don’t’ I thought. ‘I believe in Truth, Justice, The American Way and…Superman!’
“We’ll have to change his name,” was all I could say.
So, with the dog introductions done and my “excited” acceptance of the situation, we left with “Zeke”. A name that quickly changed to “Pokey” due to his ability to poke his nose into the smallest of places and find something off-limits to chew up. Like the collection of music CDs in my truck. Or the mail on the kitchen counter etc.
Now came the house training that included midnight trips to the yard so he could leave his dinner deposits there and the inevitable “Pooey dog” for leaving these deposits in the house. He learned quickly and I began to read his “I need to go’ signs to get him out of the house in time.
I have to admit he is a smart dog, although weak on learning tricks that don’t involve the instantaneous reward of dog treats. He has learned that he can use his “I really need to go and if I have to wait a minute longer you’re going to have a mess to clean up” message to get me to let him outside so he can simply go out to play.
I thought that when my kids grew up, moved away and began a life of their own these types of responsibilities would go with them. No more diapers, midnight bottles, baseball games, dance competitions and nights awake on the couch waiting for dates to end were over. (Although I do miss all that.) Not even close. It seems that we always make decisions in our life that have responsibilities attached to them. It becomes obvious that even if we make that decision with someone else’s help, the final responsibility of that decision is ours…we could have simply said “No.” We better be sure that we are able to live up to the decision and the ramifications of that decision before we make it. And sometimes we simply say “Yes.”
Pokey must know I am using him in my column…he keeps coming over and putting his head on my arm and reading the content…or maybe he’s just telling me it’s time for “me” to go for a walk…maybe he can read my “Ive been here too long and need to go out ” message…I said he was smart.
I guess I chose wisely.