The Travails Of Grandparenthood

Let me set the stage a little. We moved. We moved to a piece of countryside with three families living inside a fenced-in piece of land. My german shepherd dog is tethered to a tree via a cable sturdy enough not to snap due to her strength. My dog is tethered because we don’t want her to leave the area and she hasn’t been trained to stay within confines. Okay, that’s good enough.

My daughter left town for the week-end, leaving me with my grandson. No problem. I’ve handled the situation before.

My daughter’s BFF, a single mother of a 4-year-old girl, called me up asking if I’d babysit her daughter while she spent the evening out enjoying the company of other adults. No problem. I’ve handled an evening with a 4-year-old and a toddler before. Piece o’ cake, piece o’ pie. I can handle managed chaos for a few hours.

Well, the girl wanted to play outside for a while. No problemo. We go out front, where my dog is tethered to a tree beside the fence, so the kids can have some outdoor fun.


But Mister Murphy comes to the front yard, toting his Law.

The neighbor’s four dogs rush the fence and start running up and down the fence, barking like there’s no tomorrow.

My dog, tethered by a sturdy cable to the tree, joins in, running up and down the fence, barking like there’s no tomorrow.

Joshua runs into my dog’s area (the area my dog can reach while tethered by a cable to the tree).

The four-year-old girl gets in front of me, trying to strike up a conversation with me. (It’s all a planned distraction, I’m sure.)

Having no ability to get to my grandson while my dog, tethered by a 20-foot cable, is running wildly up and down a piece of fenceline, I decided to yell at my dog to try to still her.

Hearing my yell, my dog stopped running up and down the fence line and instead chose to run toward me (while I was well out of range).

Joshua, my 17-month-old grandson, was well within my dog’s area.

As my dog ran toward me with no hope of ever coming close to reaching me, the cable reached up and snagged Joshua, sending him flying face first into the very hard ground.

Now Joshua has road-rash on his face and I have a story to tell. And my daughter, Joshua’s mother, hasn’t heard the story or seen the road-rash.

Anyone want to tell my daughter the story while I take a month-long vacation?

One Comment

  1. Your daughter is a soldier, a sergeant in the United States Army, and a veteran of the war in Iraq. I think she’ll be able to handle the fact that her son has a scrape on his face. No kid survives childhood without some scrapes and cuts and bumps and bruises, and any kid who has been protected from all of those things (successfully) by his parents will be woefully unprepared for adulthood.

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