Today, I would like to speak with you about, as my dear little sister puts it, one of my “favoritest things.” Actually, it’s one of my favorite people – my dad.
Dad and I formed a bond early on after my adoption. You see, the entirety of his job is to stay home and keep me company. Of course, this is not what he or my mother would tell you his job is. They would give you some nonsense about him working from home as a “software tester.” But make no mistake – my dad’s real purpose in life is to be my companion.
And take it from me, he is stellar at what he does. Each day we enjoy breakfast together and then it’s time for my morning siesta. Dad opens his computer and sets about pretending to do his “other” job. At approximately 11 am each day, Mayzie and I remind him that it is time for our daily constitutional and off we go to a trail system near our house. It is a lovely hour of checking messages left for us by other dogs, sniffing any new vegetation and, if we’re lucky, giving good chase to a rabbit or two. Once home, Mayzie and I happily dream until dad serves our dinner at promptly 5 p.m. I give him extra points for punctuality in this regard. He also takes us with him as many places as he can so that we have opportunities to get out and see the world.
Although my dad might look intimidating to the casual observer, he is actually very kind, attentive and patient. He is also extremely smart as he quickly learned to pet me when I whacked poked hit gently nudged him with my paw. However, my mother – although she is a dear – still hasn’t picked up on this most basic behavior with 100% accuracy after almost 5 years! There are times when I have to nudge her 10 or 12 times before she “gets it.” Other times I simply get exasperated and stop trying. And then – wouldn’t you know it – that’s when she decides to give me a stroke. I am determined not to give up entirely on teaching her this behavior but there are times I consider it.
Ahem – pardon me, I believe I have digressed.
However, perhaps the most admirable qualities my dad possesses are those of loyalty and compassion. To wit, when my dear sister Mayzie came to live with us, it was not an easy transition, as you may already know. My parents knew Mayzie was “sensitive” but had no idea the extent of her fearfulness until they brought her home. I believe we have told you how she was most literally afraid of EVERYTHING in our house – and outside of it, too. It made the simplest things, like going into the backyard, a tedious and frustrating chore. In addition, because the adoption of Mayzie was my mother’s idea, my mother told me later that she felt tremendous guilt over the fact that my dad had to take on so much of the responsibility of dealing with Mayzie’s fearfulness due to the fact that he “works” from home.
Well, after one particularly difficult and frustrating day a few weeks after her adoption, I happened to overhear my mother break down into tears and tell my dad that she was sorry – that she was afraid they’d gotten in over their heads and if he wanted to, we could return her to the rescue. Now, you must understand that my mother is of the firm belief that when you adopt an animal, it is yours for life; so I hope you can grasp how dire the situation seemed to her at the time. I held my breath, half-hoping (I am ashamed to say) that dad would agree to my mother’s proposition. But being the kind of man he is, he quietly but firmly said, “No. She’s ours now and we’re not giving up on her.” And, well, that was that. That told my mother that he was 100% on board for this wild ride that was Mayzie and I know because of his support, my mother permanently put away any doubts she had about the adoption or about my dad’s feelings about the situation.
I realize I have rambled on a bit but I felt it was important for you to know more about my dad and how very special he is to my mother, to Mayzie, and to me. As always, your kind indulgence is sincerely appreciated.
Until next time, this is Ranger – wishing you good day and good biscuits!