Today a little-mutt-from-hell went from 0 to 60 in five seconds. A Guinness World Record. Saw it with my own eyes. The beast ran so fast that I froze. And that’s when he launched towards our 2-year-old son Sebastián and knocked him on the floor.
Booger looked at the most delicious human being he’s ever seen and was compelled to jump on him. And no, I’m not trying to insult the
demon animal by calling him a booger. His owner did that. Gave him the name Booger at birth. And I guess he’s been acting up ever since.
Sebastián went down on the floor hard, and smiled. He loves dogs! He’s always been comfortable around them. So I didn’t want to over-react (which I am known for doing) because I did not want this moment to ruin Sebastián’s relationship with normal dogs. But Booger then went for Alejandro, our first-born. And Alejandro smacked him without thinking, so Booger reconsidered his strategy, and went back to fresh meat. He ran to the-little-man-on-the-floor and pushed him again. And the fun giggles of Sebastián turned into Mariah Carey screams.
And that’s when I interfered. Acting cool because I did not want the Booger or the kids to freak out. But the Daddy in me was on the edge, close to little-mutt-from-hell murder.
Then, I remembered God. And I chose grace.
The owner (who went from 0 to 7 in thirty slow seconds) finally arrived to control his dog and beg forgiveness. I looked at him straight in the eyes and said: “I… Forgive You” Then, while holding Sebastián, I asked Alejandro to join us. I took a deep breath, smiled at the dog and his owner and encouraged the boys to approach them with confidence. I wanted my sons to know that they were safe. I wanted them to feel safe. Yes, things got out of hand quickly. But I took the opportunity to teach them that it is possible to return to joy just as quickly.
This evil attack from the pit of hell happened at the end of our outing. On my weekly “Mr. Mom Day” I had taken the boys out for fresh air and forest explorations. We had just walked a couple of miles into the woods and had a great time killing ants, jumping on rocks and tasting leaves. We were at the end of our journey when we walked into Mordor and bumped into Sauron. And my 2 little hobbits almost lost their lives before returning to the Shire.
The boys were obviously not killed. And in retrospect, I can see how Booger just got excited to play with 2 new friends. He’s not as bad as I described him. He was “cute”. Most dogs are awesome really. Truly love them. (But Booger hurt my kid. So really, he’s evil in the flesh) (Stinky. Wet. Dog. Flesh)
Yet in 2 crazy minutes my boys saw me in a different light. Being strong but kind. A dad, and a good neighbour. I took care of them while showing them a better way. So we ended up patting Booger and accepting the owner’s apology. And returned home with a good story and Disney-movie-type singing.
I have to say, I’m proud of myself. I showed restraint, I manifested peace and I encouraged forgiveness. It’s a win for me. In the past, my reaction would have been anger and bitterness, fuming and complaints. But Jesus is teaching me a better way. I like what I see. And I can tell my boys and wife feel the same.
Even though I forgot to brush their teeth and change their diapers and put the laundry on, I feel good about my parenting today. The drama was contained. And we returned to joy again.
Hopefully, there we will stay.
Mr. Mom and the Booger Dog
The best book for Dads with Boys: Bringing Up Boys