That Doggie in the Window

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 (Kevin Fisher-Paulson)

Mitzi's real name is Maisy. She is a rescue dog, mainly Schnauzer, living in the Crocker Amazon with a very kind woman who my sons call Aunt JJ. Aunt JJ looks a lot like Mitzi Gaynor. She also has a rescue dog name Murphy and a rescue cat named Mopsy.

Mitzi, the dog that is, likes to sleep in the window.

My boys go to two different schools now, at opposite ends of San Francisco, and so the drive home in our little Prius is spent with the boys trying to convince me that I like hip-hop and me trying to convince them that they like National Public Radio. But we always drive west on Baltimore Street, two blocks out of the way and play the game, "Is Mitzi in the window?"

This is a very simple game: guess whether she is in or out of Aunt JJ's window.

Aidan always guesses "in." Zane always guesses "out." My husband always says, "I am waiting to be inspired." And then, just before we turn the final corner, he says "out."


Took me a while to realize that these guesses were statements of faith. Aidan says "in" because he believes that Mitzi, like God, like love, like his Daddies, would always be in the window, waiting for him.

Zane will always say "out" because he believes that although Mitzi loves her home, she loves adventure more, and is always looking for one more car to chase, one more cat to conquer.

Papa says "I am waiting to be inspired" because he believes that dancing and parenting are leaps of faith, and that out there in the universe some force is waiting to inspire or breathe life into his spirit.

And me? I go back and forth: In or out?  In or out?  And even though I cannot tell Mitzi from Maisy or Mopsy, I usually end up saying "in" just to even out the vote. In that way, two of us are right, two of us are wrong, but all of us are together.

Just like life.

With a Perspective, this is Kevin Fisher-Paulson.

Kevin Fisher-Paulson is a captain with the San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs Department.