Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The wacko neighbor next door

I'm a dog lover. They not only make me happy, they inspire me to try to be a better man.

What other animal is always thrilled to see you, no matter how grumpy or mean you might be? Name one other creature whose only desire is to love and be loved in return?

I think dogs are God's gift to us as a reminder of how He loves us unconditionally. (And yes, I know "dog" is "God" spelled backward but the etymologists assure us that's just a coincidence.)

Cricket and me
I have loved a lot of dogs in my long life but none so much as the Yorkshire
terrier I bought Carolann as a gift eleven years ago. Only a few weeks old at the time, we named her Cricket for the way she hopped through the grass of our front lawn, grass that came up to her tiny chest. Cricket, or, as we often call her, our "Baby Girl", stole our hearts when we first laid eyes on her and she owns us, still.

When we first brought Cricket home I commenced the potty training. I would take her outside in the back yard every hour or two and command her to "go potty." She's a smart baby girl and she would learn quickly.

Our Baby Girl
One evening, shortly after dusk, I took her into the backyard and we began going through the exercise. "Go potty, Cricket," I said. Curious puppy that she was she ignored me and sniffed and poked around the yard while I continued to give the command, firmly yet kindly.

It was a lovely spring evening. A single cricket (the insect, not the dog) was chirping. I eventually became aware that our next-door neighbor was in his yard across the fence. The fence was tall enough that we couldn't see each other but I was aware of his movements and he could hear me, of course.

Here's what he heard:

A single cricket chirping.

And, me saying, "Go potty, Cricket! Cricket, go potty. Go potty for Daddy!"

Copyright © 2011, Dave Williams. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Crippling honesty from the eight-year-old

These are the precise words we exchanged not five minutes ago:

Isaiah: (Hollering from downstairs.) "Grandpa!"

Me: "What?"

Isaiah: "Can we take the dogs for a walk and maybe go around the block or down to the park? I'm just asking."

I half-hear him, half-think for only a moment.

Me: "Maybe. That sounds like a good idea. Let me finish a couple of things. Then I'll think about it."

Isaiah: (Still downstairs) "Okay. I love you!"

Me: (Mindlessly, back to my writing) "I love you, too."

Isaiah: "I'm saying that because I want to convince you to take the dogs for a walk. (slight pause) But also because I really do love you."

And so it begins.

 Copyright © 2011, Dave Williams. All rights reserved.
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