Everyone in my family is retarded over our dog, Clint. He’s affable and handsome, even if a little neurotic. And no one is more retarded over Clint, or more neurotic about him, than my dad. Once, I took Clint for a hike and he half-jokingly warned my friends using a kitchen knife to bring him back safely. As for me, his daughter, well, he figured I could fend for myself.
Of course, I love Clint, too. I was happy to celebrate his birthday at the party my dad arranged for him and I don’t mind saying hello to the Clinter when my dad puts me on the phone with him.
So yesterday I called my dad up, and he was out with Clint. I asked how the dog was, and my dad said, quite seriously, “You know, he’s really very special,” an insight I hear, and mock, every time I go home.
And what struck me is that no amount of ridicule from his children, wife or friends could make my dad love Clint any less, or at least be any less vocal about it. He loves that dog with all his heart and isn’t afraid to say it. Clint is that special.