Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Paul Richardson: Hey man, I know where they hide the key

Dogs have always been a part of my life. My sister was a cat-person, but while I like cats, and I won’t make any offending comments with that statement, I am and always will be a dog-person.

The preference is to raise a dog from a puppy. But we have been known to adopt full grown dogs and even accept some that just wandered into our lives.

An adopted dog can come with a little bit of history that provides one with at least a sense of what to expect. Dogs that just wander in or are thrust upon the household can raise a level of anticipation that is normally experienced while watching a Hitchcock film or an episode of the Twilight Zone. The outcome may not be bad, but getting there is like walking on uneven ground, blindfolded in the dark. Being a dog-person, I always expect the best out of the animal believing that if I provide food, lodging and companionship, then in return the dog will develop a sense of loyalty and assimilate into the family. Not always the case!

Living in the county we always keep a dog to provide as an alarm service and in the rare chance that it is needed, security. So, we like a vocal dog. One that will bark in the event that someone enters the property. This is not always convenient as the alarm sounds when deer, rabbits, possums or a variety of other visitors arrive. A full moon will always result in a sleepless night for the good wife. This is a good sign indicating that someone does hear the alarm when sounded.

It is those dogs that wander into your homelife that raise the greatest concern. Like a good conman, they give you all the signs needed to break down the barriers that might keep them out. There are the puppy-dog eyes and then the polite sit and cock your head to one side pose. This might be accompanied by a playful romp in the yard with your children. They know that once the kids are won over, the parents fall like dominoes.

The next thing you know, you are buying dog food, dog toys, and preparing living quarters based off of designs as seen on tv. Once this is completed, that playful romp with the kids is replaced by long naps and a general attitude that the actions on that day were simply for demonstration purposes only.

Within a couple of weeks, after a trip to the store or when returning home from, for instance, church, the home front looks like some errant teenager has just thrown a party for the local frat house. It is then that you realize that this newest family member may not be the security service contracted for. With a cigarette hanging from their lip while leaning against the corner of the house, they’re saying, “Hey man, I know where they hide the key.”

(Paul Richardson's column, The Horse I Rode In On, is published weekly in the Neosho Daily News, the Seneca News-Dispatch and on the Turner Report.)

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