Our Dog Dobby
Sometimes I don't want to do my dad thing. Sometimes I just want to sit and watch football which is code for "I want to take a nap while pretending to watch football." I can almost make it through the 3rd quarter of a game now a days. But not today, today it was halftime and the screams of my daughter and the barking of my dog were getting fainter.
I know what happened. Everyone who has kids and a dog knows what's happened. The dog has gotten out. The dog has bolted, flown the coup, made tracks to adventure. And my daughter is chasing him. I bet she doesn't have shoes on.
We got a new puppy. An 8 month old mix of lab and boxer. It was a shelter dog. The kids were begging for weeks and weeks and weeks to get a new dog. I finally said ok because I'm not a heartless bastard. Every kid deserves a dog, a dog that belongs to them. A dog that they will remember when they are old and I'll resent every time it craps in the house. It's natures way of reminding us that no matter how much in charge we think we are, there is always someone's shit we have to clean up. And with 3 kids, 2 dogs (now) and a cat, there is alot of shit to clean up.
The puppy does what puppy's do. It jumps, chews on anything, pee's when it needs to, eats whatever I say it can't and it runs. It runs very fast. It's a puppy, that's what they do. I made a deal with the kids. If they got a new puppy, they would be responsible for taking care of it, cleaning up after it, going to the vet with him and training him. And to my constant amazement, they have held up this end of the bargain. But there are times when it's a little to much, like now and Dad has to step in.
Little Hoss was taking the dog out in the backyard to put him on the leash, give him some quality poop time outside instead of right outside my door. The dog saw our family squirrel. The dog bolted. The leash snapped because fuck it, why not. Didn't even slow Dobby down. That's his name by the way. Dobby, like from Harry Potter. We got him at the pound and after seeing him it seemed very fitting. It also seems fitting now after he is refusing to listen to us and has bolted to do his own thing.
Of course he couldn't catch the squirrel. Jeff, our squirrel, has been ditching our pets for years. I'm pretty sure that it's not the same Jeff as when we moved in 7 years ago but I don't tell the kids that. One squirrel moves out, another one moves in, they are all named Jeff. I'm good with this. He lives in our walnut trees and if he can dodge the dogs, can live like a king.
I make it outside and see my daughter in near hysterics by the edge of our little forest. She's got no shoes on and is yelling "Dobby! Please come back! Dobby! Please!" What works on me obviously doesn't work on the new dog. We will have a talk about that later. The dog isn't coming back and has gone into a thicket. My daughter has stopped just at the edge of it yelling.
I get to the edge and calm her down, letting her know that it's going to be ok that he hasn't gone far. She's crying a bit, she really loves her dog. Little Hoss won't go into the thicket because it freaks her out a bit. There are bugs in there and where there are bugs there are monsters and homework that has to be done. She's terrified of thickets but she begins to walk forward, no shoes on at all, to find her dog.
My heart breaks because I'm a wimp. I'm so proud that my daughter has put her fears aside and is going in barefoot for her dog. This should be in a book somewhere. And in this book the hero shows up. Me. I'm the hero. I'm the hero because I'm dad and dads do what they need to so that their little girls will stop crying. Besides, dad knows a secret.
"It's ok sweety." I tell her. "He's still right there."
I know this because I know that just beyound the thicket is a 6 foot tall wire mesh fence. I'm guessing that our new puppy hasn't figured out how to climb it yet. So I head into the thicket, making sure that I squash any bugs, monsters and homework that I find. Sure enough, the dog has it's nose against the mesh 10 feet beyond the underbrush. I grab him and throw him over my shoulder (he's a big pup) and head back to my daughter. She see's me come out and runs up to me.
This is the image that I want my daughter to have of me. A dog over my shoulder as I emerge from the woods. This is what a hero should look like. Except he should have more hair and some sort of sword. I'm working on that.
She hugs me and begins to scold the dog. Dobby doesn't understand any of this of course, he's a fucking dog. But he's happy that he got to create some drama. Perhaps dogs keep our life interesting and that's a noble cause, isn't it?
He licks my daughter, licks me and eyes where the squirrel has gone. I'm sure that it's supposed to be menacing to the squirrel and I'm also sure that Jeff flips him the finger.
Posted by Team Hossman