March 10, 2010


When Gretchen told Ann to take the last homemade brownie for her lunch, she knew she’d regret it later. She was right. About 11:30, when Monty and I were eating brunch, I heard Gretchen say, “Darn it! I should have kept half that brownie for my snack!” But by then it was too late.

I suppose that’s what regrets are, aren’t they — moments when we realize our words or actions are, in essence,  too late or maybe even perhaps too early. Gretchen got me thinking about regrets today and while dogs are not inclined to have them, there are times when we do regret our actions if not always our words.

This then was my interview topic for the day, which started, as I’ve sort of hinted, with Monty. We picked him up on our way home from school and he was in a chipper mood sense the cold weather and the possibility of fun and sun. We went for a wonderful walk up along the ridge whereupon we discussed regrets.

“Hey Monty, do you have any regrets?”

“Just one that I can think of,” he offered, “That I didn’t bite the burglars in the leg when they broke into our house awhile back.”

Yes, that I think counts as a significant regret. But we didn’t dwell on the topic since there were flowers to smell, squirrels to watch, and the enjoyment of our time together.

Oh, and brunch, served to us when we got home from our walk. Monty LOVES looking forward to lunch and today, I was pretty excited about it, too.

While we dined, Gretchen walked Rosie who, from her soulful face you might think is a dog filled with regrets, only had one to share while she and Gretchen strolled through the gardens.

“Rubin wants me to ask if you have any regrets, Rosie?” Gretchen asked.

Rosie is never quick to answer and today she was in a particularly serious mood so after some contemplation she said, “Why yes, yes I do, but only one that feels compelling. I regret that I don’t like cats.”

“How so?” Gretchen probed deeper.

“Well, as you know,” Rosie explained, “When I see a cat I lose all control. It’s as if my mind disengages and I leap and lurch and growl and snarl and snap at anything near me. Sometimes that’s my brother Tyson and sometimes it’s the leash and occasionally I snap at the people I love, but it’s not because I’m mad at them. No, it’s because I am not thinking at all. I’m just reacting and the second I’m done reacting, I feel instantly regretful.”

“It’s okay, Rosie,” Gretchen tried to reassure her, “I bet everyone understands and forgives you your outburst.”

“I sure hope so,” she said. And with that, they played some practice fetch, which brought Rosie out of her serious mood!

Next up was Gemma and I was eager to hear what she might regret, but it took a bit of time to get it out of her. She was too busy checking behind every fence to see if there was a dog she could bark at and pulling on her leash anxious to get wherever she and Gretchen were going.

Where they were going was to Oshi and Perrito’s house and then they all headed over to the tennis courts, which is where Gemma thought of a regret.

“I regret,” she barked, “that day I spun on my back and ripped all the hair off my tail!” As you can see, there’s still a bald patch and while it’s growing back, it’s doing so slowly.

“Regrets?” Oshi asked. “Are we talking about regrets?”

“Yes, we are,” Gretchen said emphatically. “Do you have any?”

“Oh my yes,” Oshi began. “My biggest regret is that I was not born a cat because I think I really am a cat, but for some reason no one believes me.”

“Do you have some trans-species trauma?” Gretchen questioned.

“I most certainly do!” said Oshi and then he proceeded to run happily across the court. (I think he needs to realize that he still acts like a dog most of the time!)

“What about you, Perrito? Any regrets?”

“I haven’t a clue what you all are talking about!” Perrito hummed happily. “I just want to chase Gemma who chases the ball and then steal it from her and grunt at it. What’s there to regret about that?”

He has a point.

Gemma took the boys home and then popped over to our house to check out the action. Monty and I were overwhelmed with her enthusiasm. She spends the first 5 minutes spinning against us and then butting her bottom into our sides trying to get us to play with her. At one point she even tried a new technique on Monty. Good thing he’s patient otherwise she just might have regretted her actions!

I tried to regret her decision to play with my stuffed toy, but she persistently tried to take it from me, even doing an end around in hopes that I wouldn’t see her. Fat chance!

Then we all posed in the sun, which was unexpectedly emerging from behind the chilly clouds.

Monty got the idea to sniff Gemma’s ear, which in turn tickled Gemma, and made me close my eyes with the worry that Monty might regret his actions!

We took Gemma home and then Monty and I went for a long walk down by the lake. We posed distractedly at the edge of the lake where Gretchen got one photo of us being good…

…and one photo of us contemplating our next move…

“Do you see the ducks?” I asked.

“Yeah dude,” said Monty. “Should we charge?”

“No, let’s not do anything we might regret!”

We’re such good dogs! For our reward, we got to play some fetch at the little field, but not too much since Monty is still recovering from a gimpy back leg. Gretchen is too. They both tell me that the older you get, the slower it takes. Gretchen said it’s one thing she regrets about getting older!

I guess I’ll just have to wait and see!

Until tomorrow,


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