A Dog's Life


I had somebody in tears again today.  They weren’t tears of sorrow or frustration or joy, in fact I think they were tears of anger.  I sat next to, and asked what I’d done, said, or wrote that set it all off and like a dog sitting next to an angry master – waited for absolution, or at least a tossed Frisbee.

Neither was granted me and the language that came forth was received much as a dog would hear it, not actual words but emotions.  I tried whining, wagging my tail, even chortling out a warm “woof” but none of them had the desired affect.  When my master left the room, I was left to hear only the silence and the best I could do with it was to put my head on my paws and wait till he came back.

There are days when I “do it all wrong”; I’m Peter with the sword, Jonah headed the wrong way, I’m a combination of Anita Bryant and Dan Quale – standing up for something and then being eviscerated by popular thought as being “an irrelevant idiot”.  I do far more wrong than right and like the dog, am left to wonder and wait with my muzzle on my paws.

When I was a kid I wanted to be a dog.  I recalled running around thinking that if I took a Dixie cup and a rubber band I could put the cup over my nose and upper lip and I’d have a muzzle.  Figured with my Princeton haircut, that my ears already had a floppy-like existence so the only thing hindering me was the forward kant of my knees and the lack of a suitable tail.  I knew I couldn’t change those issues so I simply dismissed the shortcomings and ran off, barking at cars.

Perhaps it was the hero image I’d grown to love from watching “Lassie”, perhaps it was just the need to be something I wasn’t – all I know now is that the dog I’ve become; I wish I were less of.  My anger with Bethany, my anger with work, my anger with myself – good dogs don’t seem to be bothered by such things, they forgive and move on, rarely displaying anger of any sort.  Bad dogs usually end up on the news or in the pound.  I fear my bite has become newsworthy and my value as a pet, diminished.

In my prayers last night, I prayed that the Lord would scratch my ears, pat my head and say “good boy, good boy”, offering me the solace that I needed so I could start to bring joy to lives again.  I know he did but for some reason I’ve just not felt the freedom of absolution to the point of wanting to go out front of the building and bark at cars. 

Then again, its nearly lunchtime – perhaps today I’ll get a Dixie cup from the cafeteria and give it a whirl.

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