Chocolate Labrador Retriever

Car Driving Dog

MGB Sports car

https://flic.kr/p/6ykGEa https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/                         (photo by Stephen Rees)

When I was in my twenties, I had a ninety-pound Labrador retriever, Bob, who, on quick trips, rode in the passenger seat of my MGB convertible. With the top down, we went to the post office. The lot was packed, and when a car backed out from a front space, I zipped in, happy that I could watch Bob from inside the building. While I waited in line, I shifted my weight and my heart raced when I saw a man standing next to the driver’s side of my car. Did he hit my car? Did Bob bark at him? Would he try to steal my dog?

I continuously glanced over my shoulder at the man while the clerk waited on me, and I felt relieved when we were done. I gathered my belongings and hurried outside noting the cars lined up out to the street waiting to park. When I approached my car, I saw that Bob was sitting behind the wheel. I suspected that he was attempting to imitate the alpha, but I knew that he couldn’t drive a stick shift. The gray-haired man, with his arms folded over his chest, watched me walk toward them.

I smiled hoping to disarm the man, literally. He said, ” I had to meet the driver of this car.”

” Oops, did I take too long?”

“I had been waiting for a parking spot for over ten minutes.” Was he judging me?

“I saw the back of this person’s head hoping that he would start the car and pull out. I thought that he was rude dawdling on a jammed lot. I blared my horn.” Here it comes, I thought.

“The horn’s blast must have startled your dog. A big brown head snapped around, and he stared at me. I never imagined that I was waiting for an animal to move the car. I had to laugh that I blew my horn at a retriever.”

He extended his weathered hand, and I shook it. We laughed and I thanked him for waiting to tell me the story. I smiled on the way home, but I drove, good try Bob.

Related Posts:

https://dorothyadele.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/dog-bite-report/

https://dorothyadele.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/puppy-training-101-blame-the-husband/

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J and her pet rat

The Unwanted Rat Became a Good Pet

When my husband, my daughter, J, and I stepped in our front door after soccer practice, my neighbor Susie followed  holding bags and a cage in her arms.

She said, “I bought J a rat for her  birthday.”

I said, “Funny.”

She said, “I asked J what she wanted for her birthday, and she told me that she wanted a rat because they make great pets.”

Susie pointed to a cage that contained a gray and white baby rat with a snake-like tail and an anteater nose.  The rat disgusted me.

I told Susie that I thought that she should have asked me first. However, though I was angry, I wouldn’t jeopardize our friendship over a stupid mistake.

The rat stayed and J was ecstatic.  She named her new pet Oreo.

J kept Oreo in an aquarium in her room. His tail and four yellow jagged front teeth repulsed me and I worried that if he escaped, I might have to capture him.

Daily, I entered my daughter’s room, and I forced myself to touch Oreo’s back with my index finger. Within two weeks I held him, though he still revolted me.

My daughter quickly bonded with Oreo and walked him on a leash ensuring that anyone who saw her questioned her parents’ sanity.  She also dressed him in a  silky-short-sleeved-pink top and mesh-tutu-doll outfit and transformed  him into a transvestite ballerina.

One day, Oreo struggled to breathe and seemed in pain, and we took him to a vet. While we were in the waiting room, a woman approached my daughter and asked if she had a kitten in the bag.

My daughter said, “No, it’s a rat!”

The woman’s eyes widened and she loudly sucked in her breath, then she pivoted and hurried to the opposite side of the room.

We saw the vet and he sent us home with antibiotics and soap because Oreo was also losing his hair. Can you imagine the neighborhood gossip if we allowed J to walk a bald rat?

J  treated Oreo by sliding an eyedropper filled with antibiotics into the corner of  his mouth, and he accepted  it.  Though it nauseated me, Oreo also allowed  J to bathe him, and his health improved.

One day, as we cleaned Oreo’s cage, he escaped. I called his name, and he ran from under a cabinet and allowed J to pick him up. He was smarter than I thought and became a good pet.

The day he went to the big cheese, J and I cried while my husband gleefully ran to get the shovel. Though I bonded with the rat, the experience confirmed that a live animal or rodent should never be an  impulse gift.

When, Susie’s daughter’s birthday arrived, I called Susie and said that I had her daughter’s gift. I told her it was an anaconda with a  year’s supply of food.

I put a lot of thought into this, and I never said that a reptile  wasn’t a great gift.