Cali recently had a doctor’s appointment. She has a couple of small lumps, and I was thinking about having the vet remove them. So … you know what’s coming … Cali had to skip breakfast.
I apologized profusely. She did that sad face thing, where she just looks at me to let me know how disappointed she is by my behavior — my utter failure to meet her needs.
She moped around, sighing loudly, the whole time I had my coffee and washed dishes. Fewer dishes since, you know, hers was still clean from last night.
Outside, she foraged vainly among the raspberry canes, brown and sad after our early snow. She hoped she might find some overlooked berries to help her stave off her hunger. No luck. No dropped apples from the neighbor’s tree either. Greedy birds had eaten all the seed. Sigh.
We went for our morning walk. She trailed sadly behind me, her low energy the result of being starved by her cruel human.
Suddenly, she spied a miracle: Someone had dropped an entire ice-cream cone on the grass!
She stared, disbelieving. She stretched her nose over to sniff. She drooled.
She then made a critical error. She looked up, up at that cruel human. Who of course said, “No.” Seriously, is that the only word moms know?
The rest of that walk was … just exhausting.
The nice vet said Cali didn’t need surgery. Then she gave Cali a whole handful of cookies. Maybe she wants another golden retriever …
Cali gave me another look. This one said, “I’m shopping for a better mom.”
I took Cali home and gave her breakfast. We walked by the Spot, but the ice cream was gone. Some lucky dog with a nicer human …
I gave her extra treats all day. I took her out for ice cream a couple days later. I kept apologizing.
None of it matters.
We walk past that Spot, where the miracle (almost) occurred, on every walk. Cali stops, sniffs the ground where that magical cone was. She sniffs, gives me the sad face. Looks mournfully at the Spot again, sniffs again, and we walk on.
Some opportunities come once and poof! They’re gone in a second, with the “No” of a mean mom.
Cali is now firmly in the “ask for forgiveness — not permission” camp.
She’s learned her lesson: If you see a miracle, eat it right away.
Plenty of time to bat your blonde eyelashes at the angry human, look remorseful, and apologize afterward.