Play Outside: The Remote Control

13 Jun

Unconditional love. Parents say to their children, “I love you no matter what.”  Then later clarify, typically following a bout of bad behavior, “I love you, I don’t love your behavior.”  At one point or another during childhood (and lets face it…adulthood), everyone tests the spectrum of that statement.

You may have been caught clutching the Sharpie amidst your reenactment of Harold and The Purple Crayon, testing the limits of the mysterious porcelain fixture that consumes dead goldfish and whatever else you could toss down there, or tossing a few of those “big kid” words you gathered from eavesdropping on late-night television.

It may be a distant memory now, and whether you tested your ninja skills on the metal blinds or thought your little sister looked better with bangs, we all can remember that one moment when your handful of years flashed before your eyes and left us with the thought…will they still love me?  To a five-year-old this is a legitimate fear; and, if you were like me, classified as having a “wonderful” or “overactive” imagination-depending on what kind of adult you are, this fear involved an artful conglomeration of every fairytale involving wayward child, mixed with a Radio Flyer and setting up camp in the twisty slide at the playground.

If you have been reading my posts about Hank, and knowing that we haven’t passed him off on some unsuspecting dog-lover, it’s obvious that we love him unconditionally.  And up until this incident, most of his mischief has been easily forgivable and typically laughable.  Knock on wood.  

You see, when Michael picked Hank out of a litter of eleven, they developed some kind of secret code…

…that they still use all the time.


And despite Hank’s love of destruction, we still love him no matter what.  But if Hank could talk, he might recall the moment Michael came through the front door, as when his stretch of memories flashed before his eyes.


This was a rather intricate demolition.

More specifically this is the remote for the BluRay player.  We don’t have cable, so Netflix, watching movies and streaming from is solely the purpose of having a TV.  I came  home to find Michael, a devoted movie lover, camped on the floor next to the fallen entertainment soldier and researching a replacement remote…and furious that Sony did not offer an overnight shipping option.

Hank, who had already been scolded, was sulking in his bed.

He may have been sulking for the “bad dog” talk, but I’m pretty confident that this particular prey was not without premeditation.  The remote sits on the coffee table or above the TV, within a paws reach, as it has for Hank’s entire life.  But on this day he decided the remote was just too smug: lounging there on the table, casually awaiting when Michael would come home and it would lure his attention with it’s glowing blue buttons.  Aided by the comfy couch and squishy pillows, a long day at work and narrow window of daylight; the fleeting hours of playtime outside could be lost if the right cocktail of comfiness won out.

Hank, with images of swimming holes, hiking trails and the dog park, decided to destroy the plastic lynchpin of his nemesis.  And as an added bonus, rubber buttons and electronic motherboards make for a very interactive toy.

But, like you were forgiven for playing DaVinci with your Mother’s lipstick, or when crystal was tagged “out” during a harmless game of indoor dodgeball…Hank was forgiven for destroying the remote.  Hank and Michael: unconditionally in love, and back to normal in no time…

Human Translation:  Play outside.  Computers, iPads, smartphones, Netflix and more, are all fun toys that keep us inside on the couch.   And although we are good at getting outdoors to hike, swim and play…sometimes after a long day at work a little fresh air may take a little more motivation, but bring a bigger payoff.  We are lucky to be surrounded by so many fun outdoor activities, getting outside and enjoying them can be just as relaxing as lounging around with movies.

As for Hank, his list of favorite things makes it so difficult to pinpoint one favorite: eating food containing “sweet potato & fish,” being petted by four hands at once, playing with Alta, sleeping in a fleece nest, treats, toys and everything in between…but something tells me if he had the capacity for logic & reasoning, Hank’s favorite thing would look like this:















3 Responses to “Play Outside: The Remote Control”

  1. Jeri Craig June 14, 2011 at 4:02 AM #

    My day has begun with tears streaming down my cheeks laughter!

  2. Frank Couzens III June 14, 2011 at 1:24 PM #

    I am soooo proud of you! Whitney call me to insure that I did not do one additional activity without reading the latest! I love the passion and yes the walk through memory lane.

  3. Stuff Hank Eats June 14, 2011 at 4:53 PM #

    Thank you!

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