Must Love Dogs

I must love dogs because I have three. I have a male and a female Shih Tzu, my little lap babies. Normally Shih Tzus are yappers by nature but I don’t like yapping so my babies have learned the be quiet in the house and save their yapping for outside. This works for all of us…they get to yap sometimes and I get to have a quiet house. Then there is Hobo. He is of no determinate breed. He’s also the old man of the house. I’ve also taught him the rules of quiet in the house. So I taught him to whisper bark.

Hobo came into my life by way of the streets. Someone put him out on the street to fend for himself. He was doing a good job of it when I came along, as a matter of fact he was doing too good a job as my neighbors were getting ready to call animal control to keep him out of their garbage. I told them I would take him so Hobo came to live with me and my three teenage children. One of the first things I taught him in conjunction with house training was to come to me and whisper bark when he needed to go out. This routine turned into a blessing.

I began to whisper back to Hobo when he would come and “talk” to me. For some reason known only to God my children came to believe that Hobo and I could really talk to each other. This became quite an advantage. You see, I was a single Mom and I was out numbered. I was also at work a great deal of the time. I worried about the kinds of things my kids might get into…drugs, sex, mayhem! When I would come home at night I always made it a point to try to connect with my kids and find out about their day. Like most kids, if they had been up to something they were not always forth coming about it. So I also made it a habit to check in with Hobo. I would say.

“What have the kids been doing, precious?”

Hobo would immediately start whisper barking like he had much to say. I would then say.

“Really, they did what!”

Hobo would then pick up the pace of his conversation and start giving the kids sideways glances.

The cute thing is…it worked. Which ever one of them had been misbehaving would start to squirm and before the conversation had gone on for very long the culprit would usually say.

“Shut up, Hobo, you tattle tale.”

I would look at the guilt on my child’s face and say.

“You want to tell me your side of the story?”

It still makes me smile when I think about it now. Hobo helped me get those kids through the teenage years without them dropping out of school, getting strung out on drugs, or unplanned pregnancies. They are all over the age of twenty one and leading responsible lives. And Hobo? Well he’s laying by my feet the old man of the house.

Published in: on July 7, 2006 at 6:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

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