Me and my dog

Meet the new member of our family, the ferocious Genghis Khan.  We got the dog for our 12 year old son, Aidan, but he’s my dog.  I take him to the office with me everyday, because Aidan begged me.  He couldn’t bear leaving him by himself in his crate.  Genghis stands on guard for me.  He sleeps on my foot the majority of the day.  I take him outside for the bathroom or for a walk.  I even sometimes sleep with him or rather he sleeps with me.  So, yes, he is my dog.

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Funny how that is, because getting a dog as an adult is totally different from having one as a child.  I am more besotted to this dog than my childhood dog.  I guess, I feel more maternal now, having had children.  Maybe… it’s just the amount of time that you spend with him.  People in my office are actually beginning to say, hey, there’s Sarah and her dog.

I wonder if my mother felt the same way with my childhood pet.  But we were in the Philippines.  Dogs are treated differently there.  There are outdoor dogs and indoor dogs.  We also had helpers who took care of them.  So my mother was never hands on with them.

My last dog had a sad ending.  And unfortunately, this was not an unusual situation in the Philppines.  Our dogs were healthy looking and someone has given our dog, a bun full of MSG (mono sodium glutamate).  Someone must have thrown it over the wall of our gated house.  We found our dog dead in the morning with the half eaten bun.  There were two theories why they would poison our poor dog: first, they wanted to rob our house and second, they wanted to eat our dog.  We found out that it was the latter because the morning after we buried him, we found his grave was dug up and he was no longer there.  This sad story, not only tells of the plight of dogs in the Philippines, but also of the desperation of people who had nothing to eat.

My mother never wanted a dog after that.  And having Genghis now as an adult, I realized that she must have had the same relationship with our dog then.  My mother’s heart must have been broken with the death of our dog, like I would feel if something happened to my Genghis.  Even when my grandmother begged her to get one in her last year of life and she was needing companionship, my mother said no.

When you get a dog for your children, it is really you, the parent, who will be constantly caring for him.

The Family Home in a Digital World

As children of the 80s, we remember our parents telling us that we are watching too much television.  But now, we use television as a means to connect with our children.  Nowadays, we are all facing different screens and are no longer even sharing the same movie experience.  My husband would be at his computer, my oldest son would be playing the x box, my younger son would be watching youtube and I would be watching Netflix on television.

The world has changed so drastically even from the time that my first son was born in 2004 and my youngest son who was born in 2011.  In 2004, there were no i-Pads.  Remember, parents out there the portable tv/video player that you strapped on the back of the headrests of your cars to get some peace and quiet.  My youngest son, however, has never known a time when there were no i-Pads.  I’m one of those parents who are not shy to admit that life gets complicated and tiring and hectic, so just to get some peace and quiet, you give your toddler the i-Pad.  My youngest has never known a time when there was no touch screen.

The world is a different place now.  Love it or hate it, we have no choice but to move forward to navigate life in this digital world.  Having been raised in analog, I can tell time easily with an analog clock.  My children have to think about it.  They no longer have to deal with dials and pointers, the information is right there.  Anything they want.  Thus, information is cheap, but the question always remains on what to do with the information.  And that’s what my children’s teacher call as synthesis… putting all things together.

This is our analog life in a digital world.