The Visit

DSCN1617My niece Kelsey has been taking care of my dog Detroit when I am at work. One day last week, she suggested that she take Detroit to her house for the day. “Are you sure?” I asked skeptically. She was sure.

Kelsey grew up with dogs and is what I call a “dog person.” She contemplates becoming a veterinarian. She is comfortable with dogs in a way I envy. I did not grow up with dogs and I am terribly insecure about Detroit and if I am doing a good job with her. Mostly, I worry about her interactions with other dogs.

Kelsey’s house is also home to two dogs—Maggie and Lily. I thought Detroit would be fine with Maggie, who is older and gentler, but I worried about Lily. Like Detroit, she is a rescue dog, and like Detroit, she has issues.

My imagination took over and I could see Detroit and Lily snarling and snipping at one another—or worse. Of course, in my version, Lily won all the battles and poor Detroit was battered—or worse.

But, I reminded myself that fear is useless and what is needed is trust (Luke 8:50). I said “yes” to Kelsey’s suggestion.

All that day at work, I had to rein in my imagination. I tried to replace my negative images of dog fights with images of the dogs either playing well together or at least keeping their distance from one another.

At the end of the day, Kelsey said the dogs did okay. She said they did not particularly like one another and they kept their distance.

I am deeply grateful for Kelsey’s help with Detroit this summer.

School starts today and Kelsey’s time with Detroit will be limited. I hope, though, that she will continue to make time for Detroit—and for teaching me more about dogs and about trust.

6 thoughts on “The Visit

  1. Karen

    I would have felt the same way, Madeline. Bella would have been fine, but Peanut…that’s a whole other story…she does not like other dogs or cats, but she has finally calmed down with my cat, Crystal…they may not be best buds, but it is fun to watch their interactions. Crystal just swats at her and then runs away when she’s had enough of Peanuts kisses ( I mean

  2. Madeline Bialecki

    The thing about “dog people” that I don’t have is a trust that the animals (dogs and/or cats) will figure it out. I am so afraid Detroit will get hurt. But, my sister assured me that Lily was afraid of Detroit (like Marty and Linda’s Jake). She (Detroit) is one tough cookie. I need to trust that she will be ok and not project my fears onto her. It is a hard lesson to learn.

  3. 375writersbank


    I have a friend who lives in Harrison township that dog sits. If you want I can check with her to see if she has any openings for a new client.

    Sounds like you are adjusting to Michigan. Hope we can have dinner sometime.

    Jackie Polefka


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