Before we had our children, we had dogs – yes, not one, but two dogs. Before I got married, I had my schnauzer, Liebchen – who of course, as all Schnauzers are want to do – thought she was a human being and queen of the household. After we got married, Pat wanted a hunting dog – so having heard about a ‘free’ dog on a farm, we went out to the country and picked up a black Lab/German Shorthair mix who we named Liberty. I use the term ‘free’ very loosely here because as we all know, there is no such thing as a ‘free’ dog. You have to have them spade/neutered, given shots, buy dog dishes, leashes and toys – usually the ‘free’ dog will cost you around $300 by the time all the necessities are taken care of. In addition, Liberty never did become a hunter — turns out she was a little gun-shy!
Liberty and Liebchen were soon joined by Jenny, our oldest daughter. Liebchen wasn’t too happy with this arrangement until she realized that this small person was always warm and usually had food nearby. Liberty knew right away that this was THE person to know in the household and became very attached. When Jenny learned to walk, Liebchen would be close by, ready to knock her on her butt in order to steal her cookie or cracker. Liberty never had to resort to such tactics as Jenny willingly handed over everything to Liberty, much as a Queen would hand her food over to the Royal Taste Tester.
Soon, Jenny was joined by Bob and the dogs were in heaven! There was an endless supply of food to be taken and gobbled up! And – the best part was the high chair! How those dogs loved the high chair. The minute a child was put in the chair, a dog would position herself on either side and wait for the goodies to fall from the sky just like manna from God! They would sit and stare lovingly at their benefactor, drool in a steady stream falling from Liberty’s mouth to the floor, waiting for the wonderful gifts to be bestowed upon them. When breakfast, lunch or dinner was over, I would ask Jenny or Bob if they were all done – at which point each child would wipe everything off the high chair tray into the open mouths of their loyal subjects. They would giggle and laugh while the dogs licked everything off the floor.
I thought this was pretty funny also – until the first time I took my little rascals out to dinner at a real restaurant – not a McDonald’s or Burger King — but a place where waitresses actually come to the table and bring your food! Dinner went fairly well – the children in a high chair and a booster seat — there was a minimal mess on the table, but nothing a good size tip couldn’t handle — that is until the waitress came to our table and trying to engage the children, she asked “All done?” It was at this point that one of those embarrassing parent moments happened and both my children, in unison swept everything onto the floor and waited for the dogs to appear! Jenny actually looked at the waitress and asked “Where’s the dogs?”
It was at this point that we made a promise to ourselves (and to the waitress) that we wouldn’t go out to dinner at a nice place until the children were about 15 years old, at which time, they would hopefully understand that restaurants do not include the doggie clean up crew in the price of the meal.
- A Dog’s Life… (leftofsean.com)
- 2010 – Year of the Dog! (thinkspin.blogspot.com)
- “Jackie the Hitler Saluting Dog Really Pissed Off the Nazis.” (althouse.blogspot.com)
- What is your dog thinking? (doggies.com)
- What Type of Dog is for You? (therealowner.com)