Friday, January 29, 2010

Bad Stewardship of the Dog

I was very confident that blogging my failures was a great way to connect with others and keep humble.  Then as I start my confession, I realize it might also be a good way to invite social services or animal control over.  I thought I could ease into this confessing thing, but now I'm not as confident.

Last weekend, we got back from a nice breakfast after a 9AM basketball game and the dog was whining in her kennel.  I had let her out to use the bathroom before we left, and knew she was only whining because she wanted to get out and join us, so I felt no urgency.  As I came into the kitchen and started to settle in, it seemed odd that she didn't quit whining.  I was about to tell the dog to hush, when my older daughter declared from the dining area, "Mom, Naboo is outside!" 

I looked up and told her, "Honey, she's in her kennel."

She repeated, more firmly, "Mom.  The dog is outside!"

I looked past her and saw that the sliding door was still unlocked.  I had left the dog outside before the basketball game.  It was in the 30's and rainy, and my ten pound, chihuahua/terrier had been out in it for three hours.

Let me tell you about Naboo.  We rescued her about a year and a half ago.  She had Kennel Cough, so there was a barrier of caution tape across her kennel.  I think that's the only reason she lasted long enough at the ARL for us to find her.  She has the patience of a saint.  She lets us dress her up (that should be the subject of another confession) and she has tolerated the curiousity and abuse of my younger daughter like a trooper.  My husband did not want a dog, so Naboo is 100% my dog - for good and for bad.

When my daughter did her worst, actually throwing Naboo down the deck stairs (fortunately, I caught her doing it and Naboo was unhurt), we had a quiet talk at bedtime that night.  We talked about how Naboo is much smaller than her and how Naboo can't do things for herself; how she depends on us to care for her.  When we are in charge of another being, it is our job to look out for it and care for it - and most especially never to hurt it.  Needless to say, those reproachful words came back to haunt me last Saturday morning!

I brought Naboo in right away and wrapped her in a towel to help her warm up.  She's curled up on my lap right now, so I think everything is forgiven between us.  I hope to be more careful, but if I were to prioritize the things it's not OK to forget, I would rather it be my lunch than my dog, but I'd also rather it be my dog than my kids, right?

God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." Genesis 1:28 (NIV)

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