A Dog’s Life

My children like to listen to Florence sing about The Dog Days being over or should I say that they like to sing and dance to it. Can’t say that there is any real significance to that other than it offers a nice segue into a conversation about the dog. Read that last sentence twice because it is important. Technically you are reading this but I view my blog as being more like a coffeehouse or house party so we are having a conversation. My blog, my rules. And well, the dog part is simple because I want to talk about our dog.

The rascal that lives here made his appearance into this world 365 days ago. You might ask yourself why we are acknowledging the dogs birthday. You might wonder if it has anything to do with his sharing the day with Thomas Edison and I would answer that there is significance there. I looked the dog in the eye and said, “Thomas Alva Edison, reveal yourself to me now!’ He wagged his tail and licked my face. I said thank you and then repeated my command, only this time I did it with my hands extended and with more authority. There was more tail wagging and some licking, but no answer.

I shook my head and muttered “rats” and wandered into the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee. Moments later the silence was pierced by the shrieking of children. They were happy shrieks that should have shattered the windows and blown out the eardrums of every adult within a country mile. You see, my kids were home from school and more than a little excited by the birthday of our canine companion. Home courtesy of a faculty in-service day at their school they were only too happy to run in circles and dance around the dog singing “Happy Birthday.”

It would be wrong of me to say that I was unhappy with this or irritated by their intrusion on the silence of my morning. It would be bad for their dad to say that he might have raised an eyebrow or been irked because his caffeine fix hadn’t been taken care of so I won’t mention any of those things. Nor will I talk about how hard it is to work out of a home office when everyone is home. Conference calls are always joyous and only made more exciting by the loud screams of a little sister who is enraged with the actions of her older brother.

Might I say that it is never wise to try to torture your younger sister by doing anything to her American Girl doll. And might I add that as an older brother I would never admit to laughing at this because I never would have tortured any of my sisters in this fashion. I would have been far more clever, but I have far more practice than the ten year-old boy does so there is time for him to learn how to do it right. Of course as a father I would never sanction or encourage this behavior because ultimately I am forced to referee.

On a side note I have to share the insights of my son who looked at me and asked, “do girls always lose their minds when they get angry?” It was a sincere question and one that I wanted to answer but fear of a large black purse dampened my enthusiasm for responding with a broad smile but that would be wrong and untruthful so I told him that we are not supposed to tease our sisters. Damn if that boy didn’t look at me and tell me not to lie because he knew that I teased my sisters when we were kids. I asked him if he was certain and he said that he has seen me do it as a grown up and then added that he thinks I am good at it.

Have I mentioned that he is smart or that he should have asked me to buy him a Lego set right then and there. Fact is if I don’t tease you it is because I don’t like you. Not to mention that all of my sisters understand that their only brother loves them and that my benevolence has extended from childhood into our adult years. Ask my BILs and they’ll tell you that while I might pull their legs once in a while, I won’t let anyone else do it….much.

In between the the screaming and the shrieking the kids gave the dog his birthday gifts. Yes, he got two but they were purchased by the children. More importantly the kids insisted on buying the gifts with their own money. It was their own idea and something that I am quite proud of. These children are sweet, compassionate, caring and giving. And that my friends is worth a lot.

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