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DINNER WITH A LADY



I pushed myself backwards in my comfortable lazy-boy recliner, grabbed the remote control and turned on my big screen TV to watch the evening news. About that time, I heard a whining noise coming from the bottom of the laundry room door.

"I don't want to hear it," I yelled at the dog, which was now out of the house forever.

She had used the bathroom on the floor in the living room. On and on continued the low, soft whimper from beneath the door. I jumped up from my chair and headed toward the kitchen to make a sandwich. As I passed by the laundry room, I hit the door with my hand and yelled as loud as I could, "I SAID STOP IT!" I heard the dog quickly turn and run out of the laundry room through the doggie door and into the back yard. I made a triple-decker sandwich with all the trimmings, walked back to my recliner and sat down. About that time, the cable went off. I just sat there staring at the blank television screen waiting for the picture to come back on.

I began to look about the room. I looked at the big screen television and then glanced over to the nice stereo system with all the CDs stacked neatly in a row. On the other side of the room, I saw my computer, two Web TV units, two VCRs with all kinds of videos for the grandchildren and two cell phones and my aquarium full of fish. In the corner sat my auto harp, which I love to play, but really did not need. I looked toward the laundry room and saw a small nose and two paws sticking out from beneath the bottom of the door.

It had been only several years prior that I lost everything in a divorce. My home and my family were now gone, and I felt I had absolutely nothing to live for. I was once again, all alone in the world, just like when I was a child and lived in that horrible Florida orphanage. After the divorce, I walked around the mall for about a week, deeply depressed and in somewhat of a daze. I do not even want to think about what I was contemplating doing to myself. But it was not a very nice thing to do or to even think about.

The television picture flickered for an instant and then it cut off again. I pushed back in my chair, stared at the ceiling and thought about how lucky I am. Then I thought back to when there were no big screen TV, computer, Web TV, phones, VCRs, aquarium or auto harp. The only thing I had left back then, besides the clothes on my back, were those two little paws and nose that were now sticking out from beneath the laundry room door. A red Cocker Spaniel named "Lady." She was the only one who stood beside me and she probably saved my life.

I got up from my chair, turned off the television and walked into the kitchen. I opened the silverware drawer, took out a large knife and cut the large sandwich in half. I walked over to the laundry room, opened the door and said, "It's time this stupid old man had dinner with a Lady." I sat down on the floor of the laundry room, and Lady and I had a sandwich and potato chip dinner together.

No, its not very pleasant cleaning up after a dog now and then. But I think that is a very small price to pay for being around to enjoy my recliner, my computer, my Web TV, my VCRs, my phones, my aquarium, my auto harp, my friends, my new wife, my grandchildren and especially, "my life."



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