I recently read a newspaper article about colleges creating a dog-petting space to relieve stress for students during final exams. Groups bring in dogs and allow stressed-out students to play with them on their way to and from classes, study sessions, and exams. Judging from the picture in the article, it seems to work. The students--and the dogs--looked like they were really enjoying it.
We didn’t have anything like that during my campus days, and it’s probably just as well. I would have had to make a detour around the petting area.
I hate to admit it, but it’s true. Connecting with dogs has been a real challenge for me.
You see, somewhere during my life I must have offended a dog. I don’t have any idea where, when, or how. But it must have happened. The dog I apparently offended, for whatever reason, must have told every other dog on the planet. I have come to believe there is a canine version of LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter that allows dogs to network and share information. For some reason unknown to me, I am on their s-list.
I don’t deserve this because I have never mistreated a dog in any way. It must all be a big misunderstanding.
As a youngster our family owned a dog, and I played with and loved her. When the family moved from West Orange, NJ to Greenville, SC our little Duchess didn’t make the traveling squad. My parents said it was best to give her away. It wasn’t my decision or my fault. I was just a kid.
As a parent, I agreed with my wife (reluctantly) to buy my older son a dog as a birthday present. Frisky was a handful, but we all loved him. After a few years we agreed to let Frisky go live with my mother-in-law, who had taken a special liking to him and was in poor health and in need of companionship. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Frisky seemed to be fine with it.
No, it can’t be Duchess or Frisky. Some other dog must have it in for me, and put out a network alert to all other dogs.
Trust me when I tell you this dog network is extensive. I can’t claim to be a world traveler, but I have been all over the U.S. and out of the country a few times. Everywhere I go, the dogs have been alerted.
Over the years I’ve tried my best to make friends with a few dogs, hoping to get an answer to my question, “What have you heard?” They just give me an angry growl.
I know I’m missing out by not connecting with dogs. I see my friends and neighbors walking their dogs every day, and they seem to be having so much fun.
I hope one day to clear up this misunderstanding and restore my good name in the dog world. Until then, if I pass by you on my daily walk, please tighten your hold on your dog leash.
Your dog is probably on the network too.
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