Monday, October 31, 2005

dog days of summer

Sage was a dog who belonged to a couple my dad worked with. He was the size of a small pony, but he was very friendly. When I was in Jr High, they used to hire me to feed him (the dog, not my dad) when they went out of town. Sage ate a large bowl of dog food and two heartworm pills every day. Sometimes he also had other medicine I had to squirt onto his food. I was very conscientious.

Except one time, when I was supposed to feed him for the weekend, and forgot all about it.

Where I was when I realized it: biology class, Monday afternoon
Sinking feeling in pit of stomach: yes

After school, I raced to their house and quickly fed Sage. Then I pondered what to do. If I didn't say anything, they'd never know - they'd feed him again when they got home that evening, and he'd probably eat it all, since he was bound to be really hungry. I briefly wondered if getting double heartworm pills that day might kill him, but I dismissed that as paranoia.

The problem was the money. I really didn't have a problem keeping the information from them that he'd gone Sat & Sun without food -- after all, what's done was done, Sage was fine, and they'd be happier not knowing. But I couldn't handle the idea of taking the money -- that seemed over the line for me.

So I left them a note explaining that I'd forgotten, and that Sage had already been fed once that day, and that I didn't expect to be paid.

Amount they paid me: zero
Number of words they spoke to me about the incident: zero
Number of times they mentioned the incident to me: zero
Number of times they asked me to feed Sage again: zero
Number of times I thought about it upon seeing either of them during the subsequent 25 years: all of them.

4 Comments:

At Tue Nov 01, 12:20:00 AM PST, Blogger Erik said...

that's funny. :)

at least you didn't dwell on it...

 
At Tue Nov 01, 10:03:00 AM PST, Blogger unca said...

Yup, stuff like this stays with you. I would have done exactly the same thing (I hope) and pondered it forever.

 
At Tue Nov 01, 09:40:00 PM PST, Blogger jay are said...

Honesty is SUCH the best policy!
Seriously, tho, I'm impressed (and not surprised) that you couldn't NOT say what had happened, no matter the outcome. The thing is, tho, if you hadn't said anything and taken the money, you'd have thought about it every single time you saw them. Just like you thought of the incident (sans money) every time you saw them. Do you see where I'm going with this? One way, you're richer. One way, you're not. Either way, you never forget about it.
I'm glad you picked the one you did, tho. Probably that money would be long gone by now anyway, so really it doesn't matter about that.

 
At Wed Nov 02, 05:46:00 PM PST, Blogger blogball said...

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

Martin Luther King Jr.

 

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