To The Dogs

My kids profess to be dog people. I am not. My rule is that nothing comes into my house that can’t--with proper training--clean up after itself.

Whenever I’m forced to repeat this rule (and with four girls who believe a dog or dogs would complement our house nicely, it’s a lot), my wife simply rolls her eyes. The unspoken message is that if I were to strictly enforce this cleanliness rule, I would not be welcome in my own home, nor, I suspect, would my offspring.

Regardless, I have stuck to my guns--even beating back the recent offensive launched by my younger brother who got his first child and a dog within a span of 24 hours, forever disproving the rumor that “everybody” in my family was allergic to dogs. I never did like that kid.

If I were to follow the footsteps of my brother, I imagine that I would enjoy taking daily walks with my dog. I’m sure I would also quickly become a connoisseur of the local dog parks and would take a keen interest in visiting places like Boise, Idaho, where they’re introducing a pilot program allowing dogs to roam, off-leash during designated morning and evening hours in specific parks (see “Free To Roam,” page 12).

And, because I enjoy turning everything into a competition (I typed this sentence in less than 4 seconds), I can envision setting up a dog-agility course like the one detailed on page 20 (see “Dog-Agility Course for Beginners”) in my backyard. It would have to replace my ice rink, batting cage and zip line, but if you’re going to train for the dog-agility course circuit, you have to make some sacrifices.

Of course, I wouldn’t be a beginner for long, which is a problem. The quick road to dog-agility course fame and fortune would take me away from my family and, ultimately, leave me living alone in a mansion on the coast of California with nothing but a big bank account to keep me company.

So, that’s reason number three why my family can’t have a dog. We can’t handle the fame.

Really, it’s too bad. I was starting to warm up to the idea.

Till next month…

Rodney J. Auth