Much like raising children, there's nothing in the world like the unconditional love that you get from a pet. All you have to do is feed it, water it, pay for its doctor visits, house it and let it sleep in your bed it will love you forever. How could it not? Because of you, that lucky little guy will never have to figure out how to carry money without pockets or thumbs.
On top of all this, one would think that feeding a dog 'people food' like chicken lo mein, beef ribs and lasagna instead of just basic, dry kibble would secure you a place not just in Heaven but in your dog's heart as well. In fact, he'd likely be ready to go to the ends of the earth for you, bite a smelly, dirty person for you, even lie for you if it came down to that.
Apparently, you'd be wrong.
The life I've described is not a theoretical one, but apparently the very life Flash lived before he came to us. And when the poop came down, Flash didn't lie for his amazing owners who had treated him as if he were one of them.
After being told by the vet that Flash was overweight and had a terrible diet, and that his mom and dad needed to stop feeding him from their table, they agreed they would. The next time he went for a visit, the vet scolded Flash's mom yet again, as the pooch either didn't look good or hadn't lost weight: something told him that Flash was still on a strict people-food diet.
His mom proceeded to look the doctor in the eye and tell him with the straightest face that, "oh no, we don't feed him lasagna any more. We know we're not supposed to."
In the next moment, something happened. Maybe Flash decided it was now or never if he was ever going to get help obtaining the svelte figure he wanted. Or perhaps he felt that lying, especially to a doctor, was just plain wrong. We will never know the impetus, only the resulting action.
While his mom's words were still hanging in the air, Flash puked up a stomach-full of undigested lasagna right there on the vet's floor.
I came by this story honestly, from a neighbor and dear friend of Flash's former mom, and the mom was the one who had told it to the neighbor.
Of course, I had to laugh as I imagined how many shades of red the mom must have turned at that moment. And I also imagine that she said not a word to the vet, nor he to her. What could be said? Flash had ended the conversation.
I love the story, and the lesson that--as with parenting children--we should always be very careful about what we say and do, especially when it comes to little white lies. Honesty will win in the end, and whether it's out of the mouths of babes or the stomachs of dogs, when we lie, the innocents we care for will be the ones to give us away. Even if they can't speak.