The Substance of Faith

The Substance of Faith

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Rocky Relationships

I’m trying to figure out my relationship to Rocky, our dog.

My confusion started when my wife accused, ” You don’t love Rocky, do you?”

“Of course,” I answered, “but he is just a dog.”

Uh-ohh. I made two mistakes in the last five words. Just. A dog.

“No he’s not,” she huffed.  “He’s family!”

I should have seen this coming.  My first hints were strangers who rode around with bumper stickers that say, “I love my grand-dog.”  Or,  “My Beagle  is smarter than your honor student. ”  Seriously? A Dachshund, maybe, but not a Beagle.

The dog-as-family movement came to our house  when our niece decided that, since Rocky was originally my father-in-law’s dog, Rocky was her uncle. Uncle Rocky.  My daughters picked up the idea and soon all the cousins spoke of Rocky as their uncle.  If you take time to think through the consequences, Rocky was now my brother-in-law.  Someone help me.

In case you missed my first column on Rocky – he came to live with us after my father-in-law passed away.  Rocky’s move to our house started a new chapter in my relationship with him. Thus, my relationship crisis hit a new level when my wife sent me to pick him up at Dippity-Do-Da-Dogs after a grooming session.  “I’m here to pick up Rocky,” I announced.

The nice woman behind the counter said, “We have two Rocky’s today. Which one?”

“The Yorkie mix who thinks he’s human.”

“Ohhhhh,” said the woman behind the counter. “You mean Rocky Snider.”

Excuse me?  I didn’t know my dog had a last name.  My last name?

I didn’t say these words, but they  were going through my mind.  The woman either noticed the surprise on my face or the 30 second delay in  responding  as I processed the information.  Anticipating my resistance, she added, “All our customers have last names.  What else would his name be?”

I’m paying the bill.  I am the customer and I already have a last name.  That’s not what she meant.  As if she could read my mind, she looked at me with a mixture of scorn and pity for refusing to acknowledge my- dare I say it – son.

All the way home Rocky sat in the passenger seat with his back to me.  He was mad and giving me the silent treatment.   I’m not sure his anger was provoked by my wife sending him to the groomer or my failure to acknowledge the new relationship.  Somehow, I have adopted my no good brother in law who sits around all day yelling at the TV (see my first column).  I pay for his food, haircuts, and medical bills.  He decides what we watch on TV.  I walk behind him with the plastic bag.  Could this be any worse?

Yes, it could.  My daughter recently pointed out that Rocky was my grand-daughter’s uncle and great uncle.  Think it through.  You’ll get it.  I heard this sort of thing is illegal in 40 states.  I just hope Georgia is one of them.




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Funny stuff! Reminded me of Randy Quaid on Lampoon Christmas. Could be fodder for Ayn Rand…

Chip Bishop

July 16, 2013

Glad I could make you laugh today. Lots of people are telling me how human their pets are.



July 16, 2013