Don Kesner

We love to have our children and grandchildren come for a visit. Actually, we enjoy when they all come at the same time because it is so nice having them all together. Everyone lives in different areas, and so getting them all together at the same time doesn’t happen often enough. But when our one daughter and son-in-law come to visit, they bring their dog with them, which is an inside dog.

Being an inside dog is one thing, but this isn’t one’s typical small lap dog by any means. When standing up on her hind legs, she can easily put her front paws on my shoulders and look me in the eyes, and she isn’t even a year old yet. This canine is still in the stage of being a pup and loves to play. The problem is, she’s too smart for her own good. No, let me rephrase that — she is too smart for my own good.

I recently had the pleasure (a term I use very lightly in this case) of dog sitting for a couple of short hours while the rest of the family went out for a while. This wasn’t going to be a problem. After all, I love dogs, and I particularly love this dog. She is so much fun because she still enjoys playing and wrestling around, something that I very seldom do any more.

But I enjoy playing on my terms. And this particular evening, I didn’t want to spend the entire time they were gone playing and wrestling on the living room floor. She, however, had different ideas of how we were going to spend our time together.

As I said, she’s way too smart for my own good. As soon as I stepped down into our sunken family room to plop down in my rocker and watch some TV, she quickly ran ahead of me, grabbed the remote in her teeth and took off running toward the dining room. OK, anywhere but the dining room. I have already lost the battle if she makes it to the dining room. She has it figured out that with our dining room table setting out in the middle of the room, she can have a long period of enjoyment watching me attempt to chase her around the table.  Granted it, she could make a break at any time for any other room in the house but not as long as I’m chasing her around the dining room table.

It was at least 10 minutes later before I was able to somehow get the remote out of her mouth and lecture her on being rude before I was able to find my place in my rocking chair in front of the TV. Less than 2 minutes in my chair, I hear my beloved visitor in the other room, chewing on something that she had gotten hold of. A sigh of frustration and a check on the situation, and I found that it was a pair of our daughter’s good sunglasses.

Around the dining room table we go again. Around and around and so on until my attempts to have fun with her are turning into an attempt to just get my hands on her. (And no, I wouldn’t hurt her; although, it was beginning to cross my poor, tired, anguished mind.)

For the sake of space, and I kid not, within the period of about 30 minutes my dog-sitting adventure had turned into a time of prayer, pleading for God to please let my family come home before they came home and found me lifeless about three-quarters of the way around the dining room table. For within that period of time, she had gotten 8 different things in her mouth that she knew she was not supposed to have, solely for the purpose of her getting to play, and me being tortured. Those items included such things as 2 separate pair of sunglasses, a wireless mouse to our daughter’s laptop, 2 of my wife’s shoes, a box of snack cakes from off of the counter and more.

Since that time I can honestly say that I still love for our kids to come home, and they are welcome to bring their kids and in this case, even the dog. But there is one definite restriction — please, please, please, don’t ever leave me alone with the dog again for any length of time.

First published Sept. 23, 2015

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