'Dog': "Why do you keep me caged up only on your property?"
Me: "Because I have to keep you safe and I love you!"
'Dog': "But I want to run and be free and make friends and smell everything!!"
Me: "If you ran free you might get hit by a car, or lost. Your friends can visit you here, they know where you live, and as for some of the things you smell.......well, they just aren't good for you and it's my job to keep you safe!"
'Dog': "But I'm big now.......I am a dog.......I am supposed to run free and smell everything. It's the way God made me!"
Me: "Well, that is true, but you are my dog, and I have to pay to get you out of the pound, and that's if you don't get hit by a car and die, and I wouldn't want to have to explain to God why I was so careless with your life. Thank God I got you both fixed. At least that's one thing I don't have to worry about with you dogs!!"
'Dog': "But..............but.............but.................I'm not living a full life......I'm going to die alone. All the other dogs' mothers' let THEM run free and smell everything!!"
Me: "And I certainly hope their mother's have good reasons because God is pretty hard to fool! Besides, someday you will be grown dog and you will have to make your own decisions. I have to keep you safe long enough for that to happen. It's my job to teach you how to make good ones even if I am not here to hit you upside the head with a wooden spoon and keep you on the right track. It does seem to be taking kind of a long time, but we must persevere. I know in my heart that you are a smart dog and you can figure this out."
As the 'dog' searches for another argument, I casually put some food out. This distracts his sweet little male brain and the conversation is over. Again.
Until next time.
Ok, maybe it wasn't actually with a dog, maybe it was with a boy. Or two. But Jack and I have had this same conversation without the words.( I can tell by his eyes!) Only with Jack, my actual dog, I know that as long as I let him in and give him food he would rather be there than anywhere else. 'Outside' ceases to be a concern to Jack unless he can see it.
Boys, however, are pretty hard to fool.