Lick the Screen

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Sunday was going to be the best day EVER! We have two dogs (four-legged kids since the two-legged ones are all grown) that are with us 24/7 thanks to working from home and having a quiet social life. Seamus is 2 ½ years old and his brother Cormac is a 5-month-old puppy. We needed to get out and do something and, not trusting them to be alone yet, we hired a neighbor to watch them while we went on a long bike ride and a lunch date.  

I went to bed Saturday night excited for our Sunday Plan!

It’s 1 am and I hear pacing, then pawing at my arm. Seamus has to go the bathroom. I get up and let him out. He tears around the side of the house. I go to the bathroom. He trots in with a jig in his step. I close the front door, lock it, head back to bed. Cormac realizes we must’ve gone on an adventure without him. Now, he needs to go. Seamus jumps back in bed. Cormac and I go outside so he can do his business. We come in, close and lock the door, and head back to bed.  

Deep into REM sleep, Seamus is pawing at me again. I scratch him, fall asleep, paws my hand. Scratch, sleep, paw. He jumps off the bed and starts pacing. Maybe there’s an animal outside? I get up – and realize it’s 2:30am. He tears outside and barely rounds the corner when I hear an explosion come out of his 24-pound body that would have shaken me in my shoes, if I’d had any on). He disappears around the side of the house and I wait. I quietly call. He isn’t coming. I start down the sidewalk clad in a blanket and find him stalking the bushes.  

4:30am. Unbelievable. He starts again and now I’m just tired and cranky. No way he has to poop again. Must be an animal he’s determined to track down. I take him out on a leash this time and he goes out in the yard and just stares.

Now, I’m grumbling at him because of my lack of sleep and realized it’s almost 5 am. 

The coffee maker goes off in 30 minutes. ARRGH! I put him in the bedroom, shut the door and will slowly wake up with coffee and have my quiet time.  

There is still a bike ride and date happening.  

I just finish my devotions and hear screaming coming from the bedroom. Seamus had been trying to wake up my wife. No luck. He started pacing back and forth. Whining. She awoke to the sound of a loud bodily emission followed by a terrible smell. The door opens, two dogs fly out and all three head outside. I put my coffee down and head in to clean up. 

43 minutes to departure.   

I get dressed for a cold bike ride with layers and go to the garage to put on the bike rack.  First time putting it on the truck – exciting! Bike racks falls on my shoulder and head. Rack is 2”. Hitch is 2 ½”. I am not deterred! We’ll put them in the back and strap them down.  Bike tires are flat. I’ll fill them before loading them up. First time we’ve had to put air into these tires and who knew there are different stems on these bikes that do not fit with our bike pump?!?  

No bike rack, no air.  And now the pet sitter is here.  

I tell my wife it’s time to go and she is driving. She brightly comments on how it doesn’t even feel like we’ve got a bike rack on the back of the truck. I just look at her and say nothing. As we pull out onto the road, I tell her there is no bike rack, there are no bikes, and she can go anywhere she wants.

She is silent for a few miles and says “Waffles. We need waffles.” 

She was right!  We had breakfast outside a great café, ran errands (got a hitch adapter for next trip!) and arrived home at noon greeted by two happy puppies. We let the dogs outside and when we call them back in, Cormac can’t figure out how to push the doggy door open. So, instead of getting mad, he just sat down, looked at us and licked the dirt off of the screen. We looked at each other, laughed, let him in and celebrated not losing the day to frustration and aggravation.  

Sometimes, life just goes sideways for no apparent reason. When you hit a roadblock, lick the screen!


robin gough-obrienRobin strives to add value in every relationship, see God’s purpose in every activity, and embrace each moment of her days with joy and delight. With four adult children, her days are now spent creating a home for her wife and two dogs, working full time, and playing an active role on the board of the Sylvia Thomas Center for Adoptive and Foster Families.  

“Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.”

 – John Wesley

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