I have been married twenty-five years, almost half my life. My husband and I are at the
mid-life crisis point, the place where people slam into their mortality, and discontent, and a slew of other
things that make them buy fire engine red convertibles, and leave marriages.
I announced to my husband that
this was not an option for him. “We can’t get divorced, no matter what,” I said
out of the blue.
This fact hit me as we were
walking around a little lake together with our dogs, Bubba and Victor. My
husband had to head back early to our house, and I was taking another loop.
I started up the hill, calling
the dogs to come with me. They both just stood at the edge of the lake, looking
at me, then turning toward my husband. Clearly befuddled, neither moved an inch
in either direction.
“Don’t look back at them! Keep
walking!” I shouted to my husband. “COMEBUBBACOME!” I bellowed, clapping my
hands for emphasis.
The dogs grew more and more
agitated, galloping five feet toward me, then five feet toward him. High-pitched,
fretful yapping carryied over the water.
“I’ll take them back with me,” my
husband yelled as he called them to come to him.
Their anxiety quickly escalated into
an all-out cacophony of anguish, and both the hound-mix and the Chihuahua-blend
ran full throttle in both directions at the same time, obviously trying to reconcile
the demons that had just announced themselves in their brains.
Irritated, I backtracked down to
the lake and put them both on their leashes, muttering about their poor
training and disobedience and high maintenance. I dragged them the direction I
was walking, but they embedded their haunches on the road, straining against my
“Oh, please!!” I snapped. “This
is ridiculous! You will see him in twenty minutes!” Distraught, they only
yowled their pathetic, piercing cries.
“HOLD UP!” I yelled to my husband
across the water. “This isn’t working!” I unleashed the traumatized animals,
and they took off full throttle toward him. Suddenly they both screeched to a
halt, then ran at mach speed back toward me, all the while moaning and
whimpering and yelping.
“WE HAVE TO STAY MARRIED!” I shouted. “Can you
imagine the dogs if we were to get divorced? The kids would be fine, but the
dogs would be disasters,” I said.
The dogs trotted along beside us,
tossing their heads up as they looked up at us. Docile and subdued, they smiled
their doggie smiles as they lumbered and prissed up the hill, respectively.
“I thought you wanted to go an
extra loop,” my husband said.
“No, I’ll just come home with
“It’s better if we stay
together,” he said.
“Yes,” I answered, understanding
my dogs’ reaction more than I let on.