I didn't see it at first. I think Kara saw it and then pointed it out to me somewhat reluctantly.
The fence. More specifically, the HOLE in the fence.
Want some more context? This is the 4TH HOLE in said fence. A hole with bite marks that match our 5 year old chocolate lab Ally's teeth.
She has separation anxiety. After you laugh, I'll tell you that I'm not kidding. She can't handle being alone. When she was a puppy, we would leave her in the kennel for a 20 minute ride to the grocery store and back. We'd find her soaked in her kennel, not from pee, but from salivating over the stress of being alone.
Back to the story.
Upon seeing the 4th ruined fence, and the 4th fence repair project, I threw my hands in the air and said, "I'm done with that dog!" Notice the exclamation point ending that last sentence. That means that I said it with emotion, with heart. I meant it. Ally was done.
I proceeded to march to the backyard, pick up my dog by the collar (she's 60 lbs. - don't worry, I work out) and drag her to the hole in the fence as if she'd remember her dirty deed. Through gritted teeth, I yelled "NO!". Another exclamation point. More emotion.
My wife separated us and we went to our corners.
After I cooled down a bit, Kara and I had a conversation about whether or not we were going to keep Ally. She'd been our family dog before Caleb was born. I assisted her giving birth twice. How could we ever think about giving her away?
Actually it was quite easy for me.
We decided to sleep on the decision, and discuss it again in the morning. To distract ourselves, we decided to rent a movie. Kara picked it out. It's one that she's wanted to see since Mother's Day.
The movie..."Marley and Me".
Not knowing what the movie was about, I fully immersed myself into it.
If you've never seen the movie, it's about a husband and wife who buy a dog that is a terror. It tears up everything in their house, barks at thunderstorms, and by the looks of it's feces he eats too many mangoes. At one point, the husband and wife have a discussion about whether or not to get rid of the dog (they have 3 kids under the age of 5) and they decide not to. Fast forward to the end of the movie.
Before the dog dies of old age, the daughter pulls out her stuffed animal and says "You can have Lamby, but don't chew up the other ear". The stuffed animal ends up being put between the dog's front paws as the vet puts it to sleep.
Our daughter Sam has a favorite stuffed animal. It's name: Lamby. Eerie isn't it. You should have chicken skin by now.
The movie ends. And Kara and I are both wiping tears from our eyes. I say "Great choice", and walk around the bed to where Ally sleeps. I get down on my knees and hug my dog (who just chewed through my cedar fence, remember). I'm sure Ally was totally confused as to why her master, who only hours ago was ready to bury her alive, is now a blubbering fool clinging to her brown body.
My wife asks me later if I cried during the movie.
My reply. "Yeah. I do have a heart, you know".