Conflict Resolution

I’ve talked a lot about my husband on Everybody Needs a Little Romance. After all, we are a romance-centric blog. I’ve talked about growing together after 32 years of marriage, his wish to retire, the fact that he’s an engineer and has that mentality. But I don’t think I’ve ever addressed that he’s a farm boy. And when it comes to animals, we have a very different philosophy.

For instance, when we were dating I had a Boston terrier named Bandit. Anyone remember Jonny Quest? I had that dog for 15 years, and he was my owner. Yes, you read that right. Everything I did centered around Bandit, and one thing my husband couldn’t get over was that Bandit slept with me on his very own pillow, no less.

“No dog,” he said, “is going to sleep in the bed with me. Our dogs slept in the barn.”

The idea terrified me. Number one, we didn’t have a barn, and my pets growing up were always, always in the house. Therefore, with kids who played sports, and I mean every sport of the season, we never had animals—1) I didn’t want the conflict, 2) we witnessed all of the other parents and neighbors constantly kenneling or seeking someone to take care of their pets so they could attend an event.

Still, the kids grew up as they’re prone to do, and my mother moved close to me. And a couple of years ago, she said, “You know what? I want a dog.”

And so it happened. My mom put in this very expensive doggie door $1100 worth, my daughter took her to the Humane Society and they found the most adorable dog ever and she named him Charley.

Now, my mom needed the companionship, and I was all over that, and although Charley was adorable, there’s one thing he loved to do and that was WALK. I worried because Mom has neuropathy in her feet, and macular degeneration. But it turned out that Charley sensed immediately to not walk under her feet or nag her about walking him. That responsibility turned to . . . you guessed it . . . me. (My daughter conveniently moved out of town.)

Needless to say I grew sooooo attached. (Did you have any doubt?) Another interesting phenomenon happened. Les seemed to like Charley, too. He’s been going with me to walk him, and there have been times when I’ve been out of town or crazy busy that Les has walked Charley by himself. For the record, Charley loves everybody, and he particularly loves Les. It’s almost as though he senses, hey, this guy doesn’t really like me, and I need to bring him around to my way of thinking.

I write stories with happily ever after endings, and you have to know there’s a black moment in every story, right? Well, the other night we had friends over, and someone mentioned that if something happens to my mom (she’s 82), that it’s great that I can take Charley. My husband stopped right then and there, and in front of everybody, said, “We’re not taking that dog.”

My entire night was ruined after that, and later as we lay in bed, he asked, “What’s wrong?”

I said, “If you think I’m putting that dog up for adoption after everything he’s already been through, you’ve got another thing coming and you can go sleep in a barn.”

The DH didn’t say much after that. Our walks still continued. And Charley still seemed to worship the ground he walked on. I continued to watch the two of them closely and naturally, I continued to worry.

Recently we lay in bed, and out of the blue, my husband asked, “If Charley were here right now, where would he be?”

My heart sped up and I hesitated. “Probably right here with us, jumping up and down waiting to go for a walk.”12195881_1078954055457204_4991072152738765441_n

“Can we at least get him a doggy bed?” he asked.

I smiled. “Already purchased.”