When my kids were little, we had a deaf dog. She was a Boston Terrier mix, born deaf. There will be other memoirs about her, I promise. I really believe she had brain damage as well. She had a real system of neuroses. One of her neurotic behaviors was she couldn’t bear to have anything touch her that she couldn’t see. She never wore a collar for that reason. One day as she was playing tug-of-war, the rope got draped over her back and she flipped out – running like a mad dog through the house, the whites of her eyes showing.

We had sliding glass doors at the back of the house. One evening when I let the dogs out, I noticed a little green tree frog stuck to the glass. When I carefully opened the door, his feet went out, bracing himself on the glass. When I closed the door, he settled back in, his little feet tucked up under him. I thought, Hey! My daughter would love this! So I called her out.

She stopped by the couch across the room where her father was sitting. “Is it inside or outside?” Once I convinced her it was outside, she cautiously approached. By then the dogs were back at the door wanting in.

“Look!” I said, “This is so cool!”

Then, because I wanted to be sure little Mr. Frog did his leg thing, I pulled quickly on the door. Well, he reacted all right. He fell off. And he fell right on the back of my little neurotic dog.

Three things happened simultaneously: That little dog flew into the house and started running; my daughter went from door to couch and I never saw her feet touch the floor; and my husband, oblivious to all that happened previously, shouted, “There’s a frog in the house!” and jumped off the couch to try to catch it.

The next moments were riotous. The little dog ran in panicked circles around the house, my daughter trembled on the couch, hugging her legs, and my husband chased the frog – his body going up and down with the hopping of the frog. Within just moments, my husband caught the frog and tossed it out the still-opened door, then collapsed on the couch, breathing heavily. My daughter’s whimpering slowed and she dared put her feet back on the floor. And the little dog stopped running and stood trembling and panting in the middle of the floor.

I still stood at the door, my hand on the handle. In the suddenly, albeit not completely, now silent room, I said meekly, “See? Wasn’t that cool?”

I have no adequate words to describe the three glares I got in response.

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