ITíS A DOGíS LIFE---
LET HIM GO

     Iíve got some exciting news about our two little pugs---Lucy (the smartest dog in the world) and Rocko (the stupidest dog in the world).
     Actually, the big news is only about Rocko. He doesnít know it yet, because heís the stupidest dog in the world, but heís going away to college!!!
     Weíre so proud. Or at least I am. My wife isnít so keen on the idea, but sheís coming around.
     It all began when I noticed the big poop right behind my chair in the living room. I happened to be talking to my son at the time, who attends the University of San Diego and lives in a house that allows pets.
    "We really want to get a dog," he happened to be saying, right before I noticed the poop.
     "Not a chance," I replied, right before I noticed the poop.
     "Why not?" he asked.
     "Because we donít need any more dogs in this family," I responded, finishing my sentence as I detected a bit of an odor.
     Thatís when I looked behind me and noticed the poop, hours old, left by the stupidest dog in the world.
     "Iíll tell you what," I said, "You want a dog so badly, how about you take Rocko for awhile."
    Long silence. "Youíre kidding, right?"
    I took another look at the poop. Rocko had been walked in the morning, and walked in the afternoon. Heís almost 10 years old. He poops in the house about once every two weeks, just to drive me nuts. And then thereís the peeing on the curtains.
    "Iím serious," I replied, warming to the idea with every sniff of poop.
    "Okay, weíll take Rocko," said my son, who had obviously been away far too long. "We just want a dog, any dog."
     Done. But since the boys were coming home for the summer in a couple of weeks, Rockoís college adventure would have to wait for late August, when the Fall semester begins. That was fine, because it would give me time to convince my wife that it was a splendid idea.
     "Rocko is NOT going to college," she replied when I announced the big news. "He is our responsibility, for better or worse."
     Iím not stupid, like Rocko. I had picked an opportune time to tell her about the plan. She happened to be cleaning a couch pillow that had been left on the floor and was used sometime during the night as Rockoís personal toilet.
    "How can you stand in the way of his education," I said, aghast. "You need to let go. You need to let him spread his wings and experience the world."
    She was scrubbing the pillow, then sniffing it, then scrubbing some more.
    "What about Lucy?" she asked. "Sheíd miss him."
    "Heíll be home for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Summer, just like the boys," I replied. "Lucy will love all the attention sheíll get as an only child."
    Secretly, I was counting on the legendary "Turkey Drop," which happens when high school sweethearts go away to different colleges, feverishly missing each other, and then come home for Thanksgiving and at least one of them realizes their romance wasnít such a big deal after all. Lucy will certainly pull a Turkey Drop. And itís doubtful Rocko will even notice.
    She finished scrubbing the pillow and then went sniffing around Rockoís favorite peeing area to see if any other pieces of furniture had been blemished by the stupidest dog in the world.
    "I donít know," she murmured. "It seems kind of cruel."
     "What do you mean?" I cried. "Heís going to college! You canít deny him this chance."
     She looked over at Rocko, who was on his perch on the top cushion of the couch, soiling it with his natural oils. He was oblivious to our discussion about his future. But then again, heís oblivious to absolutely everything.
     I could tell that my wife was beginning to soften. A couple of more poops and pees in the house (and they will surely come in the next few weeks) and Rocko would be off to college in August.
     And if that doesnít work, Iíll just order the little USD doggie sweatshirt and visor and have Rocko parade around with his school colors. That should do it.
 

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