Wednesday, June 15, 2005

They Love Their Dad

Poor kids. Daddy Don is away again in Ireland. I can't tell if the dogs' sluggishness is heat related or if they just miss their "dad." It's probably both.

Don has a different relationship with Baxter, Elsie, and Ridge than I. He's the alpha male in our pack--no question about it. They respect him. But they also love him and play with him. He's their primary trainer and field buddy. They romp in the woods with him. They retrieve for him. They run with him and obey him. They even sit for him when he clips their toenails (well, sort of).

Don is trainer, disciplinarian, leader, and wrassling buddy all wrapped up into one. He's the primary source of leadership and all things fun. He was that way with our human kids, too.

Then there's me--the old softy. I cater to the kids (human and canine). I comfort them and sooth their anxieties. I listen and coddle. I spoil and indulge (although I can discipline effectively when I need to). And I play, too, just not the way Daddy Don does. When it comes to disobedience, I'm probably far too patient, but then again, everyone in my house knows I have an incrediably high tolerance for inappropriate behavior. That can be good and bad.

Don and I balance each other well. And in both cases, the kids (human and canine) know they're loved and secure. Life at our house is predictable--no ugly or scary inconsistencies--just the normal everyday routine of provision, discipline, love, and play. And I think we're all happier and better adjusted for it.

I'm glad for our predictability and routine. It provides a sort of security knowing that Don will come home, that the canine kids will be there, that the human kids will come and go. No, we cannot control unforseen events (tragic or otherwise), but our ordinary days are filled with the security of a routine (not boring) home life.

When I read about neglected dogs or abandoned children, I wish more families could experience stablility, routine, love, and faithfulness--even in little things. We've truly been blessed, and I'm thankful.

'Til next time,

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