Every dog should have a boy…. Erma Bombeck. I’m sure Ms. Bombeck had a freckle-faced 10-year-old boy in mind when she wrote that. At our house “the boy” is almost 72 years old. But it seems that some things are timeless and not bound by the limits of age.
I should point out that “the boy” has resisted my attempts to get a dog for the past 25 years. Every broach of the subject was met with groans, moans and 87 reasons why we shouldn’t get a dog. Over many of those years he had a point – we were both working long hours, we traveled a lot, we had white carpeting.
But last summer our kids went on vacation and we offered to dog sit. When he thought I wasn’t looking, “the boy” would give the dog treats. And he was perfectly content to sit on the couch with the dog right next to him watching golf tournaments on TV. Over the course of ten days the dog learned all about lip-outs, soft fades and why Tiger Woods will never win another major.
So, as you faithful readers know (and we do thank you for your subscription!), “the boy” was finally worn down enough by last fall that the moans and groans were uttered with less conviction. I pounced on the opportunity and put a down payment on a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. He was born in November and we named him “Dash”. We were finally able to bring him home two weeks ago. That’s when life in the Watson house changed. Forever.
Before Dash came home, “the boy” wanted it made perfectly clear that I was going to be totally responsible for all feeding, training and (this is critical) poop patrol. Dash was going to be tolerated and allowed to live with us just to keep me happy. Yeah, right.
Within 48 hours it became clear that Dash was going to belong to “the boy”. He didn’t want to leave the house for fear the dog would miss him. He admonished me for washing Dash’s face with a bit too much pressure. He got a big stick to take outside to the dog run just in case any wild animal ventured near. And the baby talk? Here’s the best example I can provide: one week after Dash came home “the boy” was watching hockey while Dash and I were in my office watching something educational, like “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”. When I decided to retire, I took Dash and walked into the family room to say good night. “The boy” jumped up from his chair, came over to us and starting petting and cooing …”oh, I love you soooo much”, “good-night little sweetheart”, etc. …. to the DOG. He has not jumped up out of a chair like that for me in 20 years.
So now, after 25 years of wanting a dog, I have to fight for equal time. At best, “the boy” and I sit on the couch with Dash in between us. Life is very good at those moments. And truthfully, I love seeing “the boy” so enamored with Dash. Dash has brought us a lot of love and I’m sure has lowered our blood pressure by several points.
However, I should stipulate that “the boy” is not so enamoured that he has picked up poop. Somehow, that is still my responsibility.