I’ve always thought of myself as a pretty smart dog, so it’s hard for me to admit that I’ve been fooled. And to make it even worse, I’ve been fooled by the people I love most in this world: my mom and dad!
I know how lucky I was to be adopted into a human family. I spent time in two shelters, and I can tell you that no matter how well a shelter is run, living alone in a cage is VERY hard on us dogs. (And the situation is even worse now, because most shelters are both full and short-staffed.) So on the whole, I count myself lucky.
But like most dogs, I believe that my parents’ number one priority is taking care of me. I want them to stay home, all the time, with me. Dogs are social creatures, and we like having our loved ones around us. Always. So you can imagine my dismay when I realized that Mom and Dad think nothing of leaving me at home alone, sometimes for hours, and sometimes even for days when they go off somewhere they call “vacation.” (Sure, they hire a dog sitter to come over a few times a day, but the rest of the time, they’re off having fun on a beach and yours truly is sitting at home alone.)
And I’ve made my feelings known. I give Dad my best sad face when he leaves in the morning, but he just pats me and says, “I’ve got to go to work now, Finn.” Mom does the same thing when she leaves to go to the shelter, or the grocery store, or any of the other places she finds it necessary to waltz off to without me. I can whine all I want, or do my best to slip out the door with them, but it always ends the same way: they leave me.
But here’s the worst part: I’ve discovered my parents weren’t being honest when they said they had to leave sometimes. These days, people can work from home, and have everything they need, including groceries, delivered directly to their house. They can use the internet for all their entertainment, and even “go to church” while sitting at home in their underwear, staring at the screen. They don’t need to leave the house to see their family and friends, because they can use “FaceTime” on their phones. The truth is, there is absolutely no reason, with the possible exception of an occasional emergency, for my parents to ever set foot off their property again.
Now all I have to do is figure out a way to teach my parents about this basic truth. I know they’ll resist giving up their vacations, but seriously, every day spent with me is just like a vacation, right? And they do love holding their grandchildren, particularly the baby, but I’m not against having the little ones come to our house. I rather like them, honestly, and not just because they leave trails of food in their wake that I can snarf up.
It won’t be easy to convince my parents never to leave home again, but I bet I’ll be successful. Because when you come right down to it, I really am a pretty smart dog!