The battle lines have been drawn… about three feet high


Once I graduated from college, I began the slow process of settling into the real world. I watched as friends had children, and made jokes about ways to measure how quickly they grew. When the babies started to crawl, things needed to be picked up off of the floor. When they started to pull themselves up, tablecloths were removed and valuables raised above coffee-table height. It was a retreat of preservation, with possessions being elevated as the children grew.


I now have two children of my own. Each has four legs and stands about two feet tall. Lady and Travis… my trusted companions and Labradors. Tigg says I’m a bit too understanding and forgiving when it comes to their transgressions. But don’t all parents want to laugh at times when they should be yelling?

I recall watching with a tear in my eye the first times they went up a flight of stairs on their own. Now I wish they’d just stay downstairs. Over the years, one if not both of them have stolen brownies off counters, forced me off the bed, chewed on any number of books, and destroyed Tigg’s shoes (but not mine… good dogs). And some events will only make dog owners smile…

We placed our couch beneath the bay window of the house we lived in a few years ago. Travis loved to jump on the couch, put his paws over the back, and stare out the window at the driveway and the street. Quite the sight when leaving for the day or arriving back home.

One weekend we went away for a friend’s wedding. The boys found the sofa torn apart. What we know is that there was a chew stick on the floor behind the couch. What we think is that Travis dropped it and tried to dig through the cushion to get it. What we don’t know for absolute certain is exactly which dog to blame. We don’t believe Lady is too innocent in the matter. She looked a bit too happy to let us blame him. Owners of multiple dogs know the “you’re blaming the wrong one, which is fine with me” expression.

When guilty, three things generally happen. First, like the couch, there appears a possible explanation. Second, they break out those darn “I’m sorry and I love you” eyes as I’m about to get mad at them. And third, no matter how much I yell, they still meet me at the door, tails taking out anything nearby, happy to see I’ve come home. I could simply walk to the mailbox and back and find myself with the “we’re so glad to see you, we thought you’d never get home” royal treatment.


Recently we installed an island in our kitchen. We bought the cabinets and counter separately, and assembled them on our own. The first night of use had us placing some food on it. Across from us two paws suddenly appeared, perched on the edge.

Then a nose.

Finally, a face.

The battle for space has moved to 38 inches off the floor. The battle continues. And my friends are laughing about me.


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