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It’s a little too late to do the right thing now

The phone rang.

It was David, Al’s brother.

“I have a dog for Al.”

Al doesn’t need another dog.

“This dog is something else. Al will never own a smarter, well-trained, hunting dog like this one.”

I’m getting an unlisted number.

Know what Al will say?

“He’s going to love this one. These puppies are all beautiful.”

That’s what you say about all your women. OK, tell me the whole story.

“Cabella, my Drahthaar hunting dog has been at training school. The trainer loves Cabella. The trainer owns a black Lab who has national awards and trophies and it can do almost anything. Anyway, the trainer called to say she was sorry, but her black Lab apparently loves Cabella, too.”

After I heard his long spiel about how wonderful this dog is, he said, “Have Al call me.”

I said, “Al doesn’t need another dog, his yellow Lab is perfect, and one dog is enough.”

After Al talked to his brother, I asked him if he really wanted another dog or if he just couldn’t say no to his brother? I reminded him that ShyAnne is a perfect dog, she is mellow, she doesn’t bark, lick, jump. He enjoys her, and I even enjoy her.

“Of course I want this new dog. It will be the best hunting dog I ever owned.”

Al, I’ve heard this story before. When was the last time you went bird hunting?

“Well, in case I ever wanted to go, I’ll have this wonderful hunting dog.”

I’m not buying his reasoning. It’s a little too late to do the right thing now. Al is sold on another dog and it will be here in about six weeks..

This reminds me of another time, when his brother bought us a Drahthaar. This dog was a prize. She also went to training school, and Al believed she was the best hunting dog he ever owned.

Her name was Getta, a German fraulein. This little fraulein almost caused a divorce.

I wrote a story on “The Other Woman,” who almost tore up my marriage. This other woman was Al’s prize hunting dog who ate several of my friend’s little dogs. I warned my friends not to bring their pet to our house and I warned Al, also. They did, and she did. I lost a couple of friends over Getta.

Getta lived 14 years.

I gave Al the ultimatum, if Getta doesn’t go, I was going.

Al said, “Don’t be silly, Getta isn’t going anywhere.”

So, Getta didn’t go and I didn’t go, either. She was a nightmare, by God’s grace, I outlived her. Al cried like a baby when she passed. Everyone thought I was insensitive to poor Al when he cried and cried over the loss of his hunting dog. I told them, “Are you kidding, Al is crying but I am doing the happy dance.”

I started thinking about how many times we were given animals that I didn’t ask for and didn’t want, but I ended up feeding them.

When our kids were small, my brother was always buying them animals. He bought our son a skunk; T-bone was his name. He was de-odorized, and sent to us on a plane. Then there was Taffy, the goat, who stood at the door with his droppings.

My friend, Carol Kimsey, came for a visit and Taffy jumped on her car and wouldn’t get down. Another time, Taffy jumped into her car and ate her Bible. It was almost impossible to get rid of Taffy. We finally found a goat farm to send her to.

Then, there were the pheasants and peacocks that my brother bought for Al. We started getting a run on mice. We finally got rid of the birds and mice and I warned my brother never to do that again.

The stories go on and on. Everyone is happy giving and getting animals ... except for one person.

Let me just say, “When Mama isn’t happy, nobody is happy. Mama doesn’t let anyone forget and she will not forget this new addition either.”

Final brushstroke: It’s a little too late to do the right thing now. Don’t tell Al you have a hunting dog for him unless you want Mama mad.

Artist’s quote

“When the archer misses the mark, he turns and looks for the fault within himself. Failure to hit the bull’s eye is never the fault of the target. To improve your aim — improve yourself.” — Gilbert Arland, writer.

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