One would think it only fair at least to have a well-behaved dog when blessed with a child that could star in his own comic strip and at age two already give Dennis the Menace a run for his money. But, no. I do not have a well-behaved dog.
Well, I used to think I did.
I had sent Kendra to sell cookie dough to the neighbors for her school fundraiser and I gazed out the window and smiled as I watched her walking home down the long picturesque driveway littered with fallen leaves on the beautiful autumn day that is today. I was cheesing it pretty hard, sitting there thinking how perfect for my kids to be growing up in the country with their trusty dog always following them to watch over and protect them. I thought of the many memories they would have of traipsing through the woods, shooting things with a sling shot, always followed by their best friend, the dog. La, la, la, la, and fiddle-dee-dee, what a perfect (almost poetic) moment I was enjoying sitting there looking out my window letting my imagination run wild.
When Kendra got home, I met her at the door and greeted her and Roxy cheerfully. Did you sell any cookie dough? “Mom!” she answered, “I am so mad! That dog will never learn. She disappointed me so much! She will never learn to stop following me!” And with that, she burst into tears.
Well, this is certainly not what I had been imagining only moments before. What’s wrong honey? What did Roxy do?
Kendra finally managed to tell me in between sobs that when she knocked on our dear neighbor’s door, he opened it, and in ran Roxy, the filthy, stinky, muddy puppy that she is. Kendra felt it was all her fault. She was embarrassed and very upset. I can only imagine what that dumb dog looked like running around my neighbor’s living room with Kendra standing there watching in horror.
I sat calming her telling her Roxy’s just a puppy and will naturally do wrong things; it’s not anyone’s fault, when Ronnie came barrelling in the back door, a teensy bit on the mad side.
“We’re getting rid of that dog!! Get her locked up right now! I mean right now! That stupid dog has trash all over the yard! She ate Johnny’s cigarettes (Johnny happens to be our kind neighbor who was giving up his Saturday to help Ronnie clear and burn the brush in our woods) and his water bottle! We are getting rid of her!!” I nonchalantly tried to ignore the veins pulsing out in his temples and the unusual red hue of his face.
I didn’t think it a good time to tell him why Kendra was crying.
I went outside, locked Roxy up, and cleaned up what remained of the cigarettes, my Crocs, our car-washing mitt, a two-liter bottle, some shredded paper plates, a turtle shell, and other miscellenous items in varying stages of destruction.
I’m sure Roxy was just having an off day. After all, she’s normally sweet and generally laid back. Today was no such day. I don’t really think we’ll have to get rid of her – Ronnie was just a little angry when he said that.
I’m just thankful it was me, and not him, who was barefooted the other morning when she stepped in a fresh pile of dog mess IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DRIVEWAY!!