My Daughter’s Dog

I like dogs. I did not say I love dogs but that I like them. I see no need to have them live with me nor for me to share my time with them. I am not a pet person. They tie me down. To go away means care has to be arranged. Walking a dog has no appeal. However, cuddled under my feet is a white bit of fur that is my constant companion. I am his buddy. He is mine. He can’t wait to see me any time. If I leave he pines to the point of illness. He lies as close as possible and attends to my every motion. He is my dog. This was not meant to be.

I did not want a pet. This was not negotiable. In my house with an Irish wife and three daughters my opinion is as spring snow, it lands and melts away as if it never was. The eldest daughter outlined point by point why a dog was critical for our family. The middle daughter sighed that I always ignored her wishes. The youngest aged twelve was relentless.

My wife fled for rural Ireland with limited cell phone coverage. I was involved in collective bargaining and the agreement was no interruptions and no phones. My fatherly caring created the circumstance and the tool of my defeat. The cell phone was a way for my daughters to contact me in emergency, a safety device.

In negotiations I focused on the union’s rationale balancing that with the mandate given by the school board trustees.One Trustee sat at the table with me but he was silent. I had never in five years heard him give an opinion. He was a perfect partner for these negotiations in that he would not mess up the mandate with an off the cuff opinion. We took a break, I turned on my Blackberry. Instantly, a buzz announced a phone call. It was my youngest announcing in the sweetest voice that she had discovered an online site for rescue dogs. These poor little ones were so cute and could she look. I muttered fine but remember we are a pet free house. I told the Trustee, Mr Loquacious about my daughter’s request. He looked at me and suggested that every kid needs a dog.

The negotiations continued until lunch. Again the phone rang. Ms Persistent had found the perfect dog for us, small, house trained and good with children. I muttered no pets. Mr Helpful stated every kid needs a dog. This continued throughout the day. I was glad my daughter was not negotiating opposite me as she would have had the new contract. I once again left the room and the phone rang, I checked to see if she had the place bugged. Worn out, I sighed if she could get her mother to agree then it would be fine. I knew that cell coverage in Dingle Ireland at that time was sporadic at best. Secure in my maneuvering I returned to the bargaining table. A contract was agreed to and we adjourned before meeting to have a celebratory drink. As I entered the room, the cursed Blackberry buzzed and she was back on with the sweetest voice announcing that she had spoken to her mother who was delighted that I had agreed. She was leaving to pick up the dog with her older sister. I turned and grumbled to the Trustee at my being out maneuvered by a twelve year old. He laughed, every kid needs a horse.

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My Daughter's Dog

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Philip is retired and enjoys writing memoirs and stories from his life. Happiest at his cottage, he is an active traveller and looking forward to two trips to Ireland this year and a trip to Israel. He just finished his memoir of his 2012 walk on the Camino.
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