I doggie-sat my granddog last week. I’m still recovering. But I must say I learned something useful.
Hey, I already have a dog. Sorta. You may recall the little 8-pound rescue mutt I adopted a couple years ago, Yaz. Some who’ve met him (okay, most who’ve met him) say he’s not a real dog. I’ll admit Yaz is more like a stuffed animal that moves occasionally. Although he’s only five years old, he sleeps 23 hours a day and I have to entice him with Cheetos (his favorite bribe, just like his human mama) to take him outside for a drag. It’s the only way to pry him out of bed.
That little guy has a bladder like a racehorse. It must fill every cubic centimeter of his body. Yaz would only go potty once a day if I didn’t force him to go twice yet he’s never had an accident in the house. I ain’t complaining about that. Plus, he never barks, bites, or chews anything. He doesn’t have a clue what “fetch” means. Nor does he care.
Okay, so that’s Yaz. That’s the type of invisible pseudo dog I’m used to. You hardly know he’s there.
Enter Ranger, my daughter’s raptor. Ranger IS a racehorse, and I don’t mean his bladder (he has plenty of accidents in the house). He’s a short haired border collie who spends 23 hours a day running. He’s happiest when herding his sheeple (my daughter’s three kids he pushes around like sheep on an Irish sheep farm) and fetching anything you’ll throw for him and many things you don’t.
Ranger will not allow you to sit down for more than ten seconds without shoving a stick, baseball bat, golf club, rope, squeaky toy, or some kind of ball in your lap to throw or play tug-of-war. Ranger. Must. Play. NOW.
If you don’t cooperate, he thinks you’re mad at him and will leap up into your lap and wrap his front paws around your entire torso for a make-up hug. Then he covers every square inch of your face and neck with wet lick-kisses. And his tongue is long enough to wear as a belt.
Make no mistake: these are not pleasant embraces. Once he gets started loving on you, it takes a construction crane to get him off.
But I can live with all that. It’s the rubber chicken I can’t live with.
Ranger’s favorite toy at my house is a stupid rubber chicken we’ve had for decades. It was my son’s hilarious gag gift for all occasions as a child, so we have some sort of unexplainable misdirected sentimental value attached to it. Ranger is quite attached to it too and carries it around in his mouth, squeezing it constantly. The harsh AOOOOGAA sound it emits is enough to make your cavities burn. And Ranger heads right for that obnoxious thing the minute he walks through the door and immediately shoves the slobber-covered nastiness into my lap for me to toss for him.
It’s his primary directive. His main goal in life. He is totally dedicated. Committed. Nothing gets in Ranger’s way on his mission to retrieve that rubber chicken.
AOOOOGAA. AOOOOGAA. AOOOOGAA. After two minutes of that, you want to run screaming down the highway.
I know. You’re thinking right now, “Why doesn’t Deb just get rid of that dadblasted thing?” I don’t know why. I just can’t. Ranger loves it so, and somehow, seeing him so dedicated to achieve his primary directive motivates me to be more resolute about working harder to attain my own goals.
I mean look at him. The crazy dog leaps over furniture, bowls over unsuspecting people, displaces rugs, and crashes face-first into walls in his resolute dash to achieve his goal. He gives it his all. Why don’t I do that?
I figure Papa God is sending me a message: if Ranger is willing to expend that much work, sweat, and energy over a rubber chicken, I should be more willing to do whatever it takes to achieve my goals too. So get on the stick, Deb.
How about you, my friend? Do you have a primary directive to accomplish this week? (If not, I have a slobbery rubber chicken you can borrow.) AOOOOGAA.