It’s a Boy!
by Terri Bonin
Apparently, my mom misses having kids in the house because now that we are all grown, she has obtained an extremely high-maintenance dog, a Yorkshire. This is wonderful and all except for the fact that Mimi and Poppy, my parents, travel quite a bit. Since I never had a brother and her dog is like a son to her, my kids call him Uncle Rudy. “Here is his diaper bag,” Mimi said. “He has acid reflux and has to take a pill twice a day. If you don’t take him out right after he eats, you will be cleaning up a mess.” The instructions just kept coming. “He darts off fast, so keep him on a leash, but don’t pull because he has esophageal problems and will start to cough. He will also cough if he does not take his medication on time,” my mom continued. “He has two sweaters in case it gets cold outside. He likes the red one better than the green one,” she continued.
Good grief! I thought Good luck, Rudy, I hope we don’t fail you!
But I said…
“No problem, Mom. The kids will love taking care of Uncle Rudy, it will be a good bonding time.” Then I took her beloved dog and his belongings, kissed my parents’ goodbye wished them a fun trip, and prayed that I would not forget any of the instructions in between diaper changes and grammar lessons.
After a week of tricking Rudy into taking his medication, hiding it in this block of cheese or that piece of chicken, remembering to put his favorite sweater on him before his morning walk, or just remembering to take him on his walk… I knew why I was a cat person. Quickly the instructions became suggestions.
When my mom called to check on Rudy, I suddenly became a child again desperately trying to hide something. With Rudy coughing in the background, I fled the room so she would not hear. Rudy was just as ready to go home, as we were to send him.
I have decided that a house full of toddlers has to be easier than a dog that must be shampooed and conditioned weekly; brushed, medicated, and dressed daily! We are so happy my parents finally have the son they always hoped for; it’s just not what we expected.
“Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds–livestock and
creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds. And it was so.”
Challenge: Notice a dog-walking neighbor. Strike up a conversation about their beloved pet and make a new friend as a result.