Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 04/20/2020
When we were first married we lived in an apartment and both worked. We had a couple of cats over that time, Irwin and Sydney, which were perfect pets. They didn’t need tending all day, ate their cat food, and minded their own business. They died too young and we were heartbroken.
After we had bought our first house, my brother-in-law asked us to take in his five-year-old Siberian Husky, which they could no longer care for. Buck lived with us, incredibly, for 12 more years, ran away whenever he could, ate anything that would fit in his mouth, and turned us into dog people.
We’re not alone. There are nearly 90 million dogs in US households, up by 20 million in the past ten years. They entered our camps about 10,000 years ago, served in a few reliable ways, and we haven’t been able to get rid of them since. I’ll pray for forgiveness, but I consider the short lifespans of dogs one of God’s very, very few mistakes.
They are, of course, pack animals, which is why we’ve always had two, once Buck sired a litter. Now that I’m home almost all day every day, the pack has never been closer or happier. Neither Bentley nor Coco is ever far from me, or my wife, or each other. They anticipate our routines (they run for the truck and the coffee trip once they see me grab a coat). They now share three meals a day with me, sitting beside the kitchen island in exactly the same positions each time. They are patient, they don’t bark or demand, they simply stare and await their share.
When I stop petting them before they are finished being petted, they hit me with a paw. A 90-pound German Shepherd paw hit tends to get your attention. When they hear the bridge alarm they run to a window so see if a car is coming and, if so, they race to the door to threaten whoever it is. The UPS guy wisely is armed with large biscuits.
I’ve grown fond of being part of the pack. I’m just trying to convince myself that I’m the alpha dog.
The time to save is now. When a dog gets a bone, he doesn’t go out and make a down payment on a bigger bone. He buries the one he’s got.—Will Rogers
If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater suggest that he wear a tail.—Fran Lebowitz