Mom and Tag - Olivia Newport

Photo by Larry Mohr

Almost every Sunday while I talk to my mother, her dog, Tag, has something to say. Usually it’s not very nice. He barks because my brother moves half an inch at his desk three rooms away. He barks because my mother is paying attention to me, not to him. That dog is protective of my mother, but the poor thing can’t discern a real threat. Just to be sure, he makes his presence known.

Generally speaking, he’s a friendly dog. If you leave him alone in the house, he may well sleep the whole time, leaving a bodily impression on the cushion on the back of the couch.

But if he wakes up and discovers he’s alone, watch out. He has constant access to a garden area on the lanai where he can take care of business if no one is home to walk him. But sometimes, as Mom says,

“He has a particular spot where he leaves a puddle just to spite me.”

It’s always the same place. Fortunately, she has hard surface flooring, so his spitefulness does no damage. She just wipes it up.

I got to thinking. How often do we leave puddles of spite in someone else’s life, just because we can? It’s not a pretty question. But we all need to ask it.