"My Dog Smells Like a Dog . . ."
"Well, what did you expect?" my husband said, when he heard my complaint.
"I don't know. I just didn't think he would. He didn't smell like a dog when he was a puppy."
In reflecting on my surprise, I began to realize how many other erroneous assumptions I had made about our dog. I didn't think that Max would ever pee in the house. I had heard people imply that this would happen in making suggestions for cleaning products, but until the afternoon when my socks seemed to self-moisten and I nearly stumbled over a pile of poop in our family room, I didn't see the relevance of their advice.
I never thought my dog would bark frantically when the door bell rang, nor jump up on every guest who entered-- especially after being the recipient of such greetings for years and wondering how such behaviors were tolerated. At least, now, I understand.
I never thought my dog would try to eat Jesus, either. But sadly, he did. As Jesus waited in His pocket, the prized final ornament to be hung on our advent calendar, Max plucked his body from its walnut shell cradle. All we could do was chase him around the house, pleading, "Drop him! You know not what you do!"
The list of incidents goes on, predictably, each undoing an initial certainty I had either thought or outwardly proclaimed: "My dog wouldn't dig a hole through the carpet," "My dog wouldn't lick food off a person's plate," "My dog would never hump another dog."
One by one, I've been proven wrong: after hot cocoa was spilled on the cheap carpet that came with our house; after finding Max, one evening, happily licking his way down the row of china plates, as he strolled the length of our dining room table. Worst yet, was when I caught him with our bigger-than-life Winnie the Pooh, and realized the truth of my friend's accusations. I covered my eyes and gasped, feeling like I had walked in on an unsuspecting teenager.
I'm not sure why I haven't given up making assumptions, especially given my track record-- but even last week, I found myself, once again, automatically embracing denial. I had made a quick stop into a pet store, and couldn't help but notice a bright puddle of piddle right next to a poodle. I rolled my eyes with judgment as I watched the owner consumed in her sales bin browsing.
"How can you not notice that your dog just peed all over the floor," I thought, "and why would your dog do that in a public place? My dog would never . . . ."
And that's when I decided that I should never bring Max shopping with me-- that, for once, I was going to make a confident proclamation and not be proven wrong.
"My dog would never pee in a store aisle!"
And, as long as I don't absent-mindedly bring him on some dog-food errand, I'm certain that, this time, I'll be right.