63: How to Find a Husband

63: How to Find a Husband

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dog Did What?

How to Find a Husband

I once decided not to date a guy because he wasn’t excited to meet my dog. I mean, this was like not wanting to meet my mother.

~Bonnie Schacter

I always heard that German Shepherds were obedient and protective. What I didn’t know was that they could actually pick out a husband.

Soon after I chose my German Shepherd puppy, I thought I’d made a mistake. My puppy ate through the carpet, right down to the foundation, and then continued to eat the concrete and break off his canine teeth. Thus, I named him Trouble.

Trouble grew into a handsome Shepherd indeed! His black and silver coat gleamed after his baths and his ears stood at attention if he heard a noise. He seemed to understand that it was his job to protect me since I lived alone.

After a troubling divorce, I became accustomed to cuddling up with Trouble. Of course, he took up a good deal of the bed. But he never thought he was too big to plop down on the couch with me to watch a movie. We took long walks together and often shared the same food in the evenings. Steak was his favorite.

A few months after the final papers for my divorce were signed, I started dating again. I met a few gentlemen through work, and my girlfriends were always ready to fix me up with a blind date. Since Trouble had been my only companion, I felt almost giddy when it was time to open the front door to a date.

Little did I know that Trouble had his own agenda. I opened the door to greet Paul, and Trouble trotted close to my heels, almost shoving me to one side. This was a blind date, so I didn’t know what to expect. As I put my hand out to shake his, Trouble leapt between us and stood stiff, growling, his eyes shooting nasty glares at Paul. “I’m so sorry,” I apologized. He took a step further into the house while saying, “Oh that’s okay. I love dogs.” This is when Trouble grabbed hold of his pant leg and almost made Paul do a face plant on my tile floor.

This pattern repeated itself many times over the next year. I even went back to obedience basics with Trouble. I tried everything short of putting a muzzle on him. I locked him in bedrooms only to have to replace doors or at the very least repaint them.

As long as I didn’t have a date, Trouble was a perfect, calm, obedient dog. I started to meet dates outside my home. I became rather attached to one gentleman in particular. Ray was a funny, charming man who dazzled me when he cocked his cowboy hat to one side. He loved to sing and had a great voice. What girl wouldn’t want to have someone serenade her?

The weather turned chilly. I started a fire in the fireplace and planned a quiet romantic evening for Ray’s first visit to the house. I worked on new obedience skills with Trouble—hand signals and commands—in hopes he would behave. The doorbell rang.

“Hi Ray, come on in.” I put my hand out flat toward Trouble and cautioned him to sit and stay. He amazed me by sitting tall and didn’t move a muscle. The evening started smoothly with the tasty meal I had prepared and cordial conversation. Trouble was perfect. He lay quietly by my side at the dinner table and walked alongside as we headed to the living room to enjoy the fireplace. Ray and I sat fairly close together on the couch.

Then Ray put his arm lightly around my shoulders. That’s when we both heard the snarling growl from behind the couch. The next thing we knew, Trouble’s nose was between our heads. His bright white teeth sparkled within his open mouth. He stared at Ray as his nose came under Ray’s arm. Still growling, he pushed Ray’s arm slowly to the side, away from my shoulder. Ray smiled. “I guess he doesn’t want me to do this?” I laughed and apologized for Trouble. We resumed the evening without touching as Trouble’s keen, unblinking eyes watched.

Ray visited often. Trouble continued to growl, sneer or nudge him with warnings not to touch me. Slowly, Ray’s gentle ways convinced Trouble that he meant me no harm. During this courtship I continued to date other men, but every date turned into disaster when I brought him home to meet Trouble. He didn’t just growl, but was always ready to clamp his pearly whites on a leg or arm. Ray seemed to be the only man he tolerated.

Trouble spent more time with Ray than with me during visits. He relished the fact that Ray threw balls for him and played rough games with him. When Ray left, Trouble sat by the door and whined. I didn’t whine when Ray left but I realized I’d like to have him around more often. It occurred to me that Trouble might have found the perfect mate for me. I never imagined my dog would be the one to pick out a new husband.

Ray and I married. Trouble became Ray’s best friend. They were inseparable, which made me believe all the more that Trouble had a keen sense for picking out husbands. We’ve been married twenty-seven years and often look back on our courtship and tell friends about how Trouble brought us together. My advice: if you are looking for a new husband, first get a German Shepherd.

~Alice Klies

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