Saturday, August 18, 2012


How could you let this happen?
My grandfather had a deep baritone voice that stopped you in your tracks. If he was upset with you, there was no question about what you had done. There was no Who me? routine.  You knew and you regretted it immediately.

My dad wasn't the strictest parent by any means, but I always knew when I had crossed the line. If he was upset, then chances are I had messed up pretty good.

Maybe the men in my family soften each generation. Maybe there was too much talk about feelings in the eighties.  Regardless, if I have a son he's well on his way to becoming a marshmallow by the time I get through with him. I have got to learn to say no. 

If we're judging by how I discipline my dogs I don't stand a chance. I'm not saying I'm a push over, I'm saying that I've been shoved down a cliff and covered with mud. I need to toughen up, and quick.  Perhaps I should lock myself in the house one Saturday and watch John Wayne movies or check to see if Patton is streaming on Netflix, because I'm downright ridiculous.

For example, our dog Bruce was well overdue for a bath the other day. Bruce, the dog my wife calls Brucie Woosie Head, which of course, I allow.  We gave Woosie, I mean Bruce a bath, which is always traumatic for him, but he had been long enough without to the point he had begun to get that just rolled in poop smell that he works so hard to acquire.

Anyway, as we turned on the hose and began to give him a good soaking, he looked up with those sad Precious Moments eyes and I started to hear that Sara McLachian song from the SPCA commercial in my head.  I held firm, he needed a bath and a bath he was going to get.

As I fought through it, telling myself to toughen up, we locked eyes again. Okay, okay, rinse him off! I told my wife, We're killing him, I can't take it anymore!!! Rinse him off! Get it off him!  I screamed as if he was covered in Agent Orange.

We rinsed him off, making sure the painful soap was thoroughly rinsed.No harm done.  I walked towards the house to turn the hose off, looking back at my dog who was rolling around in the grass, with a bone in his mouth looking happier than ever.  Yeah, I don't stand a chance...

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