Early in my career, I attended a management seminar that helped me control my own emotional responses during stressful
situations. One strategy I have implemented often is to monitor the tone of my voice so that I don't come across as too intense
or sharp. In order to do this, our instructor told us to imagine the tone we use when asking someone to "please pass
the butter." This advice registered with me, because this tone was firm, clear and professional without adding unnecessary,
conflictual or emotional undertones.
I never would have dreamed this advice would come in handy with my license-in-hand,
ready-to-drive-at-every-possible-moment son. Tonight, while driving through the patchy snow-packed city roads, I heard myself
say calmly and quite blandly, "Honey, if you don't start to break soon, you will crash into the car in front of us."
to management training, I may actually survive my teenage son's learning permit stage.
Yesterday, Gordon, the smallest of our two dogs, escaped from our backyard. Twice.
Picture if you will a mutt that
looks like Disney's The Tramp crossed with the Wizard of Oz's Toto and you have our seven-pound, rust-colored, highly-spirited
Because Gordon is smaller than most rabbits, he is like the Houdini of dogs, and his artistry at escaping numerous
challenges is quite admirable. We still have no idea where he escaped from our yard yesterday; this would explain the hodgepodge
of rocks, bricks and chicken wire scattered all around our fence.
When I think of this tiny, scrappy and fearless dog
enjoying his times of freedom yesterday, I cannot help but smile. While many details will never be known (I mean, did he get
to chase a rabbit or not?), I do know he got to meet a very nice lady who kindly brought him home after the first escape.
I'm sure it was a thrill for him to drive around in the police car, although my guess is the fun was hampered when he realized
the joy-ride ended at the vet's office.
Either way, the day ended with Gordon happily snuggled into his mommy's
lap, pooped after a day filled with such adventure. And his mommy was happy to have him home.