Patty LaRoche: Going to the Dogs

Their world has gone to the dogs. Correction: dog. Mollie hit the mongrel jackpot when she was adopted by parents who are giving her every opportunity to succeed in the canine world. Mollie is a rescue dog, which makes her parents sort of foster heroes because they chose a reject instead of purchasing a full-blood. Their home is a shrine to their baby, and even though she is only three years old, scrapbooks fill the fireplace shelves. Should you ask, a slide show is available in the family room. Okay, perhaps that is an exaggeration.

Then again, maybe not.

My friend Debbie is Mollie’s “grandmother.” She visited Dave and me over Memorial Day weekend, and we all cracked up when she pulled out the most recent photos of Mollie. We began with swim lessons. Yes, you read right. I questioned if Mollie’s parents paid extra for poochy to learn the back stroke and the butterfly. Seriously! What ever happened to tossing a dog off a dock to teach him to doggy paddle? If it was good enough for my kids…

The next snapshots were at Mollie’s day care center’s graduation. (See photo.) This is no normal pup school. The interview process assures an appropriate fit. Not just anyone is accepted, nor would just any faculty be right for Mollie. (Thank goodness Sunbeam Pre-School wasn’t as selective.)

Debbie shared that she was flabbergasted after receiving a graduation announcement listing a gift registry at Petco. As if that weren’t enough, at the ceremony Mollie was awarded a separate certificate for finishing her pre-school education as “a good citizen.” Since Mollie is the only “child” of Debbie’s only child, “Grandma” coughed up $50 to purchase doggie dental floss.

Mollie is fed better than I fed our children. Her diet is controlled with nutrients I can’t even pronounce. No ballpark hotdogs or frozen pizza or leftover pb&j’s for this mutt, and

Heaven forbid if her parents ever received a phone call from Sonic telling them that “yet again” their dog was mooching off of their patrons. Mollie’s diet is organic. Our pooch never saw a

preservative he didn’t like. Then again, neither did our kids.

I must be honest here. I’m not a dog lover. I’m a dog liker, but there is a difference. I have two girlfriends—let’s call them Marti and Sally because…well, that’s their names—who have saved more animals than the Humane Society. Not me. I will stop my car to help a turtle cross the road, but I have no desire to sleep with a dog or pick up their messes or buy a stroller so my pet can vacation with me.

That being said, I do believe God created animals to be protected and cared for. We know there was a bond between Adam and the creatures because Adam was told to name the animals…not the trees or plants. Proverbs 12:10 states, “Whoever is righteous cares for the life of his animals.” However, God declares in Genesis 1:26-30 that humans have the responsibility to rule over the nonhuman creation. There is a balance in there somewhere.

I’m just not sure swim lessons were what He had in mind.

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