It was a Sonny day

I fear my husband loves his dog more than me.

He’s a bouncing, nearly 100 pound Golden Retriever, going on age 4.

His name is Sonny (the dog, not my husband) and he’s been to obedience training. He was not valedictorian of his class, and has not outgrown the jumpy “puppy” stage.

His constant ramming into my leg is a bother, for my arthritis and my dead hip.

I have to step over his oversized dog bed pillow in my small kitchen to do almost anything, and his toys, ratty and torn, are all over the place.

I cannot stand the sound he makes when he eats!

And he slobbers all over the place when he takes a drink from his water bowl.

My husband’s conversations often center around what Sonny has done that day, never mind he should ask about my day.

This big dog should be an outdoor dog, but he’s not. So he sleeps in the kitchen and is blocked from coming into the rest of the house by a large piece of peg board lodged between two pieces of furniture to keep it in place.

Being that the board has holes, Sonny has learned that if he rakes his foot across it, his nails will eventually stick in one of the holes and he then can slide the board over enough to squeeze his massive body through to the rest of the house.

There is little that I have appreciated about this dog from the beginning. But….

Sonny has redeemed himself.

I have two little dogs who don’t weigh 8 pounds each. Poor little Bugsy, a Yorkie cross, is 13 and is blind now. His other senses don’t seem to be working well either.

When he goes out to do his business he sometimes cannot find his way back to the door. I had to rescue him several times in the past month and then one day I thought about Sonny.

We usually keep Sonny in the house while Bugsy and Darla (the other tiny dog) go out because he is too rough with them.

Anyway, one day I decided to send Sonny out to retrieve Bugsy and lo and behold, there the two of them were, sitting on the back steps waiting for me to open the door.

It happened again today, Bugsy was no where to be seen, and I was hurriedly getting dressed to go out and find the little dog when I thought about Sonny again. Sonny gleefully accepted the challenge. He bounded out the door and stood in his goofy “pointer” position looking this way and that. I went inside to resume dressing.

Did my plan work? Sure enough, in about 5 minutes the two of them were at the back door. One was scratching it to let me know they were both anxious to come in. On this occasion they were cooperating, all other times there is no love lost between the two.

Here’s the thing…I still have issues with Sonny in the kitchen with his giant pillow bed and his many, many toys that I have to step over all the time, his slobbering, his loud crunching, etc. But I guess I’ll have to overlook it all as long as he helps me retrieve little Bugsy.

Oh, and because Sonny knows how to open the door that keeps him in the kitchen, he’ll sneak in at night and come sleep by me and every once in a while I get a cold nose in the face.

-MaryHelen Swanson

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