Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Forty Days of Discipline

I never fully got into the practice of giving up something for Lent.  It was my Baptist childhood, I think.  But this Lent, I decided to do something instead of giving up something.  I am going to write every day for 40 days.  Some of that may be book writing (better be!), but some of it will be blog writing.  It all counts!  So away we go...

My days lately have been filled with one thing mostly...the new dog.  Charlie is overall, a good dog.  I think he must have had a rough life.  He is quick to feel threatened and go slunk away in a corner.  He pees like a fire hydrant (submissive urination, it's called) if he feels I am angry at him (unless, of course, he is outside where he is supposed to pee.  Then he refuses to pee for fear it will start another cycle of me being grumpy at him.)  Patience is my mantra lately.  Did I mention he has a habit of howling at night when we put him to bed, too?

Anyway, all this trouble with the new dog made me think of my own dogs growing up.  In particular, I think of Heather.  She was my first "dog."  She was a beautiful Irish Setter.  I haven't seen an Irish Setter in a long time, and I remember her being unusual even then.  I say "dog" (in quotes), because she was a stray.  I don't remember actually having this dog live with us.  I think she just visited and claimed our yard as her own.  We might have fed her.  I remember playing with her and thinking she was just the coolest dog ever.  Except one day she disappeared and never came back.  I did not get a good explanation as to why, but I found out (much later) that my parents had  taken her to the pound. 

We parents see pets, and life overall, in a much different light than children see it.  I loved a dog that my parents obviously despised.  So much so that they lied to me about why she disappeared.  Is it the burden of responsibility that changes us as we age?  Or do we lose touch with something else inside ourselves?  I'm not sure.

But it helps to think that at least my children love Charlie, even when I want to ship him off to Mars.

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