Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Sibling Rivalry Is Unleashed as Dad vs. Dog

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Sibling Rivalry Is Unleashed as Dad vs. Dog

Article excerpt

They bicker. They snarl at each other. They're constantly vying for my attention.

My kids?

No. My father. And my dog.

Grumble.

I've had Charly (my coonhound pup) for almost four months now. I've had my father for 61 years.

And I hate that they don't get along, especially since my father was one of the reasons I got the dog in the first place.

I thought Charly could be a companion for him. I thought they would bond. I thought they would color and bake cookies together on rainy afternoons.

Unfortunately, none of this happened.

Charly made some decent, initial attempts, but Dad was unimpressed. If anything, he was annoyed.

Two weeks after getting the dog, I invited Dad to my place for dinner, so they could get acquainted.

About 20 minutes before dinner, he and I sat down on the sofa, side by side, and Charly LEAPT across the room and pushed her way between us.

"ARE YOU CRAZY?" Dad yelled, jumping off the sofa.

"She's a puppy," I told him.

"She's a horse!" he replied.

Even last week, he was still trying to talk me into getting rid of her.

"She's not a normal dog," he said as we spoke on his stoop. "She doesn't want to be inside."

"She's fine inside," I said. "But she likes outside, too. She's a hunting dog."

"Exactly!" he said. "You never know what she's going to do. What if some little kid is running across the street one day and she thinks it's a rabbit?"

I stared at him and a shook my head. "WHAT are you talking about?"

"A small child," he said. "It could happen."

"It could not happen," I insisted. "How many children on this block look like rabbits? I haven't seen any."

The one night I took Charly upstairs to Dad's place, I had a hard time calming her down.

Since then, he's made it clear: No dogs allowed.

He won't even ride in the car with her.

Terrific, right?

She, naturally, has sensed his animal-ish animosity. Two weeks ago, I was outside giving her a bath and she suddenly tensed up.

Grandpa?

Yes! Moment later, the gate opened and he walked into the yard, sneered at her and announced, "The doctor just called. I have a kidney stone."

"Really? Oh. That's too bad."

He became agitated. "Is that all you have to say?"

"Dad, you have a kidney stone. …

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