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Chapter 32


Yogi Berra once said, “It’s Déjà vu all over again.” That means that the same things keep happening over and over again. I was scrolling through the Arin’s Good Girl Dog Treats website, looking  through my past blogs. In the last Father’s Day Blog, I wrote about Gabe having to go to the vet because he ate a piece of tin foil.

Well, he’s done it again. This time though, Gabe swallowed one of my cycling gloves in one gulp. It was early in the morning and I was in the car waiting to leave to meet a group of friends to do some training for my upcoming Cycle to the Sea charity ride (More Information Below). Since I had some time, I invited Gabe to jump in the car and sit in my lap for some petting. I took my cycling gloves off beforehand, so they would not be coated with Chessie hairs for the rest of the day. After several minutes of petting Gabe, I told him it was time to go and made him get out of the car. This made Gabe mad. He did not think he had been petted long enough, so he grabbed one of my gloves and swallowed it whole. This happened about 7:30 in the morning so the vet was not open. As a result, my mom took me cycling and after I started, called the vet to see what to do.

The verdict was Gabe had to go to the vet, but unlike last year, I did not get to go with him. As I was riding and the miles kept passing by, I could not help but worry about Gabe. Could the glove be digested or would he have to have surgery? Could I afford surgery? I did not know but doing something physical like handcycling at least kept my mind focused on other things. I imagine this is how an actual father feels when their child is sick and they are powerless to do anything about it.

After 15 miles, halfway through the ride, I took a break to call and check on Gabe. He was fine. The vet had given him medicine to help Gabe regurgitate the glove. He also threw up an undigested banana peel with the sticker still on it that we did not know that he had eaten. Every time I think Gabe has started to grow up, he does something like this.  I wish he would stick to eating his sensitive stomach dog food and of course Arin’s Good Girl Dog Treats. Those are a healthy snack. Cycling gloves are not.

Lest you think that Gabe is a total lost cause, he is not. For the most part, he is much more well-behaved than he was. Gabe has setbacks. We all do. Even when we mature, we still make mistakes and take a step backward sometimes. With Gabe, it’s always two steps forward and one step back, but he is always making progress. A father’s job is to love their children in spite of their flaws and that’s how I feel about Gabe. I did not ask for or want a perfect dog but over the past two and a half years, I have come to realize that Gabe is the perfect dog for me. I am not the perfect “Dog Dad” and like Gabe, I still have a lot to learn, but based on the way Gabe shows me affection each day, I must be doing something right and that’s all both of us can ask for as we experience this adventure called life together.


Cycle to the Sea is an annual handcycle ride from Charlotte, NC to Myrtle Beach, SC. During the 3-day, 180-mile adventure, disabled cyclists come together with able-bodied cyclists to prove to others and themselves that no obstacle is too big to overcome. Along the way, we build bonds and relationships that last a lifetime. In fact, CTTS is where I first met Arin, Talia and the original Good Girl Posie nearly 15 years ago.

Cycle to the Sea is the main fundraiser each year for the Adaptive Sports and Adventures Program (ASAP). Like Arin's Good Girl Dog Treats, ASAP focuses on the inclusion of the disabled in activities while giving participants a sense of purpose, accomplishment and belonging. ASAP and Arin’s Good Girl Dog Treats highlight your abilities instead of focusing on disabilities. If you would like to donate to the upcoming ride (October 17-19th) click this Link: Jacob Conley's fundraising page for Atrium Health Foundation


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