The kids went out to play with some new neighbors the other day, shooting hoops out front. I’ve reluctantly had to back out of those sorts of games. As much as I like to shoot with them, the kids need to play without Dad around… or so I’m told.

This being Florida, it wasn’t long before the whole group of them was ready to come inside for some air conditioning. I opened the front door for them, struggling to hold the dogs back from running to investigate the new people.

The youngest of the kids hesitated, casting a nervous glance at the dogs.

“He’s allergic,” my oldest son said quickly, stepping in front of him.

“Got it.” I grabbed the dogs’ collars and manhandled them into my bedroom. When I came back out, the kids were getting drinks in the kitchen. “All good?”


I dropped into a chair and wrote while they played on the Wii, then went back outside for some more basketball.

I keep wondering, though, if there really was an allergy. Admitting that dogs make you nervous can be embarrassing for an elementary-schooler, even if those dogs are a pair of big enthusiastic labs. I think my son may have just been helping a new friend through an awkward moment.

…and that would be truly wonderful.

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