I realize that I did not take the politically correct position in this matter. Still, I thought if I confessed to my community at large my transgression, I might receive some vindication or at least peace by stating publicly that I am aware of my limitations (paraphrased from "Dirty Harry").

To begin my confession, I must admit that I know that pet “ownership” is considered an antiquated posture at best, and a moral depravity at worst. I know we should see pets as equals in the vast scheme of existence. But, down deep in my inner man, I was exposed as a relic in this elevated posture.

This is my confession for all to judge: Several months ago, I volunteered to take my wife’s five pound puppy to the veterinarian for shots. It was an act of mercy for my wife who was under the weather but wanted timely care for her dog named Stetson.

Although Stetson is small in size, he is filled with attitude and resents being in proximity with other animals. To circumvent issues, I simply held him while waiting our turn in the waiting room. A very nice lady with her dog, approximately 25 pounds, smiled as we waited while Stetson snarled at the surroundings.

Shortly, another pet and “owner” entered the office. He was a middle-aged man with a ball cap, wearing a thick “Dickie” jacket. He was broad shouldered and his face evidenced an outdoor work lifestyle. His pet, an 80-pound bulldog, had the night before been in an altercation with a raccoon. He stated the dog was blind and he wanted him checked over to be sure there was no unknown injury. The raccoon had apparently lost the fight and the man was willing to bring in the remains if necessary.

At this point, my ego betrayed my commitment to the higher calling of political correctness. I looked at the man, looked at his massive dog, replayed the story he had related, looked at the woman and her dog, then I looked at Stetson sitting on my forearm.

“This is not my dog,” I stated emphatically. “This is my wife’s dog,” I iterated in a lower tone. The woman seemed to smile, and the man indicated nothing was amiss, no judgments assigned. But again, I heard myself audibly state, “This is not my dog.”

I related this story to my golf cronies. They still tease me whenever they see me walking with Stetson by yelling down the street, “Is that your dog?” I ignore the comments. I walk with a higher perspective. Political correctness has taught me pets are not to be owned.

Willy Rogers, Bear Valley Springs