Friday, June 10, 2011

Reports of Our Death or Abduction Are Premature

We (that is the Human, in the royal sense of the "we") were on vacation in Israel, visiting our beautiful daughter. Sugar, however, stayed at home, or rather in a couple of homes, farmed out here and there. The result of all this tumult in her young life was a penchant for early hours and much wild running, and a complete de-programing of her potty training. Not to mention that she ran away several times, completely out of control. Once, hubby had to crawl under the fence, then chase her around the block; another time, her babysitter called the North Plainfield Police Department and a full-scale search was launched for a 6 pound trotting white poodle. There were tears, and I didn't actually know the extent of it till my return, but Sugar indeed had a time of enjoyable chaos.

Not content to make me clean up after her once again, upon my return, Sugar demonstrated her anger and resentment by ignoring me and turning up her twirly tail and swishing off away from me for a full twenty-four hours.

I think puppies don't have a very good handle on time, so by the next day (meaning two feedings by my hand) she gave me a pass.

But the short red leash is back on her, and I've discovered that a life without discipline is not worth living, not even for a dog. How she loves it when I gently yank on the leash after I've said "Come, Sugar" three or four times in vain. You can imagine. But the truth is that I now know that without the total mastery of this one command, the come, Sugar's life will always be at risk. It's the equivalent of children crossing the street alone or talking to strangers.

So here we are back at square one. But much has changed. I now have the courage of my convictions to parent (or train, if you must) this tiny hound; and I think she now has the trust that I have something for her that no one else has: the determination to see it through. Isn't that what so much of life's about? Just seeing things through?