Nancy Roman

Waiting Patiently For Patience

If you were born any time after 1970, you probably remember the energy crisis of 1979.

The revolution in Iran had curtailed oil production. In retrospect the decline in oil production was quite small, but no one seemed to know that then. The crisis was not due to a true oil shortage, but the Fear of an oil shortage. As often the case in history, fear creates overreaction, and overreaction creates panic.

Gasoline prices went up. Deliveries to the local gas stations were rationed. People panicked, and the whole situation got a lot worse.

We waited in long, long lines at the station. Often we wasted gas waiting for gas. A trip to the pump often meant hours away from home. Kids in the back seat fell asleep. Or worse, they had to go to the bathroom and you risked losing your place in line.


There were some displays of anger and frustration. But for the most part, people were patient. (except for the cutting in line part – you did NOT do that.) There was a kind of camaraderie at the pumps – a feeling we were all in this together.

I remember the ’79 Gas Crisis as I was thinking about Patience this week.

I have spent a lot of time in the past several weeks thinking about Patience.

Because we now have a dog.

Theo has just turned five months old. He’s the cutest dog in the whole world. I state this as a simple objective fact. Why just the other day when we were returning from Puppy Kindergarten, I said to my husband, “Theo is much cuter than than that other dog, Luca.” And my husband said, “Yes, he is.” So there.


Theo – the aftermath of a long walk.

But as adorable as he is, Theo is not yet what anyone would call a good boy. He pulls at the leash, gnaws on the rug, turns over his water bowl, whines at dinnertime, and eats the cats’ food (and occasionally their poop).

But we’re working on it.

That’s where Patience comes in.

Per our trainer, I need to better ignore the bad behavior and reward the good. But it is so hard to ignore a little boy who is tearing up the mail.

And thinking of the energy crisis and the gas lines, I couldn’t help but wish that Patience was a little more like gasoline:

1. During a Patience emergency, it would be so nice if someone would say, “Hey, I have a little extra. I’ll siphon some off for you.”

2. When you have half a tank of gas, your car will still run at 100%. If your Patience is half-depleted, you lose more than 50% your ability to count to ten.

3. During the energy crisis, if you happened by a gas station with a short line (or by some miracle, no line at all) – you stopped whether you needed gas or not. You took advantage of the opportunity to add just a little more to your tank. Likewise, you should be able to avail yourself of the opportunity to store up a reserve of Patience. A Patience Top-Off.

4. A Patience gauge would be nice. A little indicator that comes on when you are almost empty.There is no warning light for Patience. We need a red flashing sign:

“For your safety and the safety of your loved ones,
please step away from the dog.

Just take a nap.
Both of you.”

theo on sofa

And now he can jump on the furniture.






  1. OMG! He is gorgeous! I love dogs but working full time I never had the time for the training part. Now I don’t know if I have the patience. These days there would have to be negotiations with our cats too. He looks good in leather!


    • He IS gorgeous! And I do NOT have the patience. (and the cats aren’t particularly happy either.) But we will all work it out.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes and hopefully we’ll see more pics and blog posts about him.


  2. Sometimes I have extra patience. I would loan you some if I could.


  3. You are correct. He is adorable. Very adorable. Which probably allows him to get away with many many many things.


    • Yes, it’s a very good thing he is adorable. Or I would certainly have killed him by now.


  4. Without even seeing Luca I can tell Theo is cuter! He’s adorable. I am almost 100% sure I don’t have the patience to train a dog. And I remember the gas crisis. I was young and broke and struggled with the cost of gas. I like the idea of an indicator light, would help me and others around me.


    • In today’s dollars, gas was over $3.00 a gallon then. So it really hurt when young and broke – I was in that predicament too. And you’d think someone would invent a patience warning light – sort of like a mood ring.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, what a sweetheart.
    Er, the furniture thing? It happens, but don’t Don’t DON’T let him get on the bed as you’ll lose it (unless you want him to sleep with you). I warned Hubby but he was so smitten by her puppy cuteship, he ignored me, and well, now she sleeps with us every night and has done for over 10 years! She actually made a good draught excluder and hot water bottle in the cottage, but the bed in the boat is only 4 feet wide, and she wants 3’6″ of it. Love her to pieces though. 😀


  6. Is Theo going to be on Santa’s “naughty” list? My daughter has a puppy who will sit when told to (for 3 – 5 seconds) and does pretty much what he wants to the rest of the time! Good luck with Theo. He is very cute!


    • Theo can do sit and lie down and fetch – most – but not all – of the time. Right this moment he is in his crate, since he just had a tantrum. Puppies!


  7. He IS adorable. And can I say that I’m glad MY puppy isn’t that young any more? 😉 . Puppies have to be that cute or we would kill them. And they would deserve it.

    I also notice that, like me, you are blogging less frequently. Because dogs take time. Puppies take more!

    I remember the gas crisis of 1973. That’s when I got my license. My father said it was my fault: “Nobody complained of gas shortages until you started driving…” Sigh.


    • Puppies are so adorable, but I can’t wait for him to grow up. The 73 gas crisis didn’t affect me that much, because I was in college and walked from my dorm to my classes, and didn’t do much else. 1979 was much harder, as I had a very nice but very low-paying job.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Duncan is now 1-1/2 and he still needs to grow up a bit. He’s getting better — but then he gets at least 2 long walks every day.

        I was in CT in 73; DC — doing energy-related work in 79 (without a car). So we had opposite experiences!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. He is adorable!


  9. Time will heal all wounds. Theo will grow up and mellow out. That puppy stage can be maddening, however, and would try anyone’s Patience.


    • Puppies are so hard – thank goodness he will get over it. My 9-year-old niece asked me on Thanksgiving why he jumps and barks so much, and I said, “He’s just a baby and can’t help himself. We are hoping as he gets older, he will have more self-control. Sort of like hoping that you will have some self-control.” And she looked at me and laughed. And said, “Good luck with that!”


  10. Granny Habib

    When I was young we used to say “patience
    is a virtue and I have no virtues …” We
    thought we were so funny … I do remember
    the gas crisis and we were even assigned
    certain days we could buy it …
    Lucky for me I have patience and
    quite a lot of it … Comes in handy
    with 6 kids … All now grown … And I always
    feel when we have to wait say like
    in line or anywhere it gives up time
    to think or talk to people or even
    pray … Love Theo … Is he a Labradoodle ?
    They’re supposed to be great dogs


    • Theo is a Lagotto Romagnolo – an ancient Italian breed that is the ancestor of today’s Standard Poodle and Portuguese and Spanish Water Dogs. There is a definite similarity in look between the Lagotto and the Labradoodle. He will be a medium sized dog – about 35 lbs when full grown.


  11. He is a doll. Patience is hard. I don’t know how you ignore the bad behavior though. It is a two edged sword, always. Reward good, but don’t ignore bad. Having trained several dogs over the years, I never ignored bad behavior


  12. Yep, he looks just fine; even if still a pest! Ours was 5 when we got him and we still had a lot to learn – like the fact he could jump onto the kitchen works surfaces and eat half a pound of butter and a whole orange polenta cake (he crapped flapjacks for a week). But we wouldn’t be without them would we?



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