Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Cat and Dog (09/04/14)
- TITLE: What's Wrong With Me?
By Wayne Newsom
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Dogs are allowed inside French restaurants and kitchens. Otherwise lovable dogs have attempted to use our table at an outdoor café as a fire hydrant. French dog owners are not careful to clean up after doggie business. My mother’s caution, “Don’t cut your foot”, meant to avoid cowpats when crossing a pasture. This can be useful advice in France too. Dog pat alert level is lowest at daybreak right after municipal crews wash down the streets. An hour after dawn, high alert is necessary to avoid “cutting your foot”. Is there something wrong with me if I am irritated about a dog deposit directly in front of our apartment door? No one else seems to care.
Our dog ownership history is replete with memories, some good but mostly bad. I have fond childhood memories of Scrapper and Tiger. They were fun to run and play with. I liked feeding them and watching as they woofed meals down in just a few seconds. I didn’t enjoy the cleanup detail but my parents wanted to teach me to accept responsibility. They knew nothing about France and that cleaning up after dogs was, after all, optional. Was it really necessary to be taught dog cleanup duty? Would something be wrong with me if I adopted a “c’est la vie” attitude? I dared not ask.
Shortly after our wedding I decided we needed a dog. My new bride didn’t like dogs. Ole Doc had some kind of digestive issue. I never found out if there was a canine version of Beano®. Had there been an Environmental Protection Agency back then I may well have been fined into poverty. My wife issued an ultimatum, Doc or her. Wisely I chose the later and, thankfully, our 52-year marriage has survived. We gave the dog to my wife’s cousin. What’s wrong with me that I would put relationship with a relative at risk by giving her that stinky dog?
With my dear wife’s approval our married with children dogs were:
1) Brewton - a hyperactive pest. He met his demise after escaping from a fence and being run over by a car.
2) Amos - beautiful but destructive to property and a thief. We kindly transferred ownership to some friends. Shortly thereafter he corrupted the good manners of their other dogs and all three ran away never to be seen again. What is wrong with me that I would give a rebellious dog to close friends? In retrospect it comforts me that shortly thereafter this couple answered God’s call to be missionaries so they didn’t need those dogs anyway.
3) Agnes - the family favorite who even captured my wife’s heart. Following an unfortunate encounter with a garbage truck, Agnes was given a decent burial in our backyard.
We have been dogless ever since.
Our grandchildren now have dogs and, happily, those dogs live at THEIR house. While on a Colorado ski trip a friend advised my grandson to “never trust a woman who doesn’t like a dog”. Now wait a minute. Is he not supposed to trust his grandmother? Shortly after college my grandson acquired a dog and recently married a wonderful trustworthy girl who also has a dog. He still trusts Gram, though, the advice of my friend not withstanding.
I don’t like cats but some of our best friends do. One couple has a beloved cat named Frosty. During a recent visit Frosty promptly jumped up in my wife’s lap. Not being a cat lover, she was unnerved but reassured by the owner this meant Frosty had detected good character. If I visit Frosty’s house there would no desire for him to sit in my lap but on the other hand if he didn’t I might be thinking, “What’s wrong with me”? What character flaw might he spot? I comfort myself in God’s word which is the only true “ … discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12 NKJV) and that I am “… accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6 NJKV).
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