A Memory Man Production
You also have a dog Rip - at least you buy its food and pay the Vet's bills - but the reality is that Rip is Sam's dog. The two are inseparable, Sam is overall responsible for Rip, he feeds him, grooms him, takes him out for walks and has him trained almost to perfection. Rip has that doggy sixth sense that has him always waiting behind the door to welcome Sam home from school and Sam normally does his homework with Rip at his feet..
You have set a few ground rules; Rip sleeps downstairs, no feeding him titbits at the table and he must always be on the leash when in the street. Sam has an issue with the latter, - he thinks it is unnecessary - Rip always walks perfectly to heel - he insists, dismissing your argument that something could occur to spook him and make him run off. It has become such an intractable issue that you have been forced to make disregarding the rule a spanking offence.
It is Saturday and Sam takes Rip out after breakfast for a good run in the nearby woods, but a couple of hours later you hear the squeal of brakes out in the street and the piteous yelping of an injured dog. You dash outside to find Rip lying in the road with a hysterical Sam kneeling beside him.
You get Rip into the car and to the Vet's. As you sit in the waiting room a tearful Sam snuggles into you, fearfully awaiting the result of the Vet's examination. Thankfully the news isn't too dire; apart from some abrasions Rip's only discernible injury is a broken leg. You authorise him to set it in plaster and while he is doing so Sam admits to you that he was walking Rip to heel when another big loose dog started harassing Rip who dived across to road towards home, straight into the side of a passing car.
"It's all my fault" He starts castigating himself and as his tears flood you realise that natural consequences far outweigh any punishment you could impose for his disobedience; that what Sam needs now is comfort and support and you attempt to console him carefully avoiding any sort of 'told you so' comment.
On your return home you settle Rip in his bed - a sad picture, lying there partly sedated, his head encased in a veterinary collar to stop him biting his injury. Sam plonks himself on the floor alongside him gently stroking him - and stays there. Sam seems to settle a bit after a time but as the sedation wore off and Rip gave an occasional whimper Sam would tearfully apologise to him yet again. Then later when you need to carry Rip out to his toilet patch and support him as he does the necessary Sam loses it all over again.
Your concern shifts from Rip to Sam who is proving inconsolable, tearing himself apart with his remorse. Nothing that you his mother or brothers try can lift his black mood. Your wife cooks his favourite meal but he only picks at it and quickly goes back to tending Rip.
Bed time comes. Prising Sam away from Rip you have to order him upstairs to get ready for bed while his mother prepares his hot bedtime drink. He's quickly down again, his eyes still puffy and red from crying, but you gasp when you see that he's wearing only his pyjama top and carrying the strap. As you take it from him you ask him gently "I were to strap you now Sam, how do you think that would help Rip get better?"
Tears flood out again as he throws himself into your arms and buries his head in your chest. Between sobs you hear "If I'd minded you poor Rip wouldn't be hurting now. Its only fair I should be hurting too ............ And please, Please can Rip sleep in my room tonight?
Your mind goes into a spin.
"There's some logic there, Sam's obviously desperately hoping a hiding will expiate his guilt?
I did promise I'd spank for not using the leash at the roadside; but although I've decided to waive that I still haven't told him.
Should I. Can I, in all honesty reinstate it considering the state he's in?
Would I need to use the strap he's brought me?
How severe must I be to make him believe that he's truly paid the price?
Damn! There must a better way to bring him a closure ..... and enable him to sleep tonight?
But how ..... and what??
And what about Rip overnight?"
Its decision time??