Never Say Never Again…

Once upon a time, when my world revolved around babies, burps, and various other  bodily functions of little people, the world thought it was a good idea to make harnesses and leashes for children.

We would see parents walking in the park, the mall, and the airport with their child tethered to them…wearing a harness…on a leash…like a dog. I was appalled. I determined then and there that I would NEVER do that to my child. I had taught Eric to sit and not stand in his highchair, to stay by my side when we were out, to lay down when he was in his crib. I was 22. I knew how to raise a child.

What was wrong with these people? Harnesses and leashes on a child? It was barbaric.

It was right around this time that the Lord, the Creator of humor, in all of His wisdom, saw fit to bless us with Rachel. You know her…and if you don’t, well here she is…that little face really does say it all.


Rachel was one of those children. You can read about her stories here and here.

At ten months old she made a pile of her stuffed animals and managed to climb out of her crib, landing on her head on the rug in her room. It gave her a good bump on the noggin’ and fortunately, she never did that again.

At one year old, she wormed her way out of her stroller buckles and when she wasn’t finding a way out of them, she found a way to shred them.

At fourteen months old, while I was doing laundry and thought Rachel was securely strapped in her highchair, she somehow climbed out of her highchair. I found her standing on the tray reaching for the ceiling light.

At fifteen months old Rachel was sporting a very lovely pink harness. She wore it in her stroller when we were out and in her highchair when we were home. I was grateful that she’d learned her lesson with the crib, but it was still a consideration. I couldn’t bring myself to buy the leash, but I definitely thought about it.  I learned my lesson or so I thought…

For the past twenty-five years or so, we have consistently owned at least one dog. I love dogs. I love pretty much everything about them, which is why I think pronged collars are revolting torture devices.

Who thinks of this stuff? I would NEVER use one of these on ANY of my dogs! They are cruel.

And, I never did. Fast forward thirty years…enter a puppy named Phoebe. Phoebe is adorable. A purebred Yellow Lab mother and a Treeing Walker Coonhound father with no self-control and good jumping legs. The fence was no problem.

As I said, Phoebe is adorable. This is how she started out. Cute, right? She’s sitting next to Stinky Stell, our almost-a-dog, chihuahua.


When Phoebe was nine weeks old, we were told she’d probably be between 60 and 70 lbs. I was elated, my poor husband tired of the big-dog-breeds, was not. Cliff is not necessarily an animal lover. He’s more of an animal ‘liker’. Unfortunately for him, he’s a Roxanne lover and so he indulges my need for dogs.

At six months, the vet informed us that Phoebe was probably the runt of her litter and, most likely, would top out at 40 lbs. She’s two now and weighs 40.8 lbs. Cliff is elated and, honestly, I’m happy for him.

There’s not much bad I can say about my Phebes. She’s a good girl, though not always the smartest. Still, she’s happy most of the time and does things like this to keep us laughing.


But, once again, the Lord in all of His wisdom, has seen fit to teach me to think before I speak. You see, Phoebe is apparently under the impression that she’s a sled dog. My brother, while walking with us, once declared that she acted like she was on crack.

I prefer to think that she is just overwhelmed by all of the smells around her and finds it difficult to control herself. Though she is pretty good at listening most of the time; if her nose goes down and she picks up a scent, her brain shuts off. I’ve decided, Phoebe is just a big smeller.

So…to keep my shoulders from being dislocated for, though she be but small, she is strong; Phoebe now wears a very lovely pronged collar. I think I’ve finally learned my lesson, I will NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN and, if I do, it’s really not that big a deal.



About Not That Big a Deal

Roxanne has a gift for writing and making people laugh. She enjoys sharing both with as many as she can.
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