Recognizing Mom

Ryder Haddock received an unexpected blessing in the mail a couple of months ago—his letter from the State of Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency informing him that he has been approved for $360 per week in unemployment benefits. It was unexpected in part because he didn’t apply for the benefits. He didn’t apply for benefits because, while he doesn’t have a job, Ryder isn’t technically “unemployed” as he isn’t looking for work. Why would he? His room and board, medical care, utilities, all of his needs are all provided by his longtime “companion,” an attorney named Michael. So Ryder definitely doesn’t need our tax money to support him. All he has to do all day is lie around, eat, keep an eye out for possible intruders, and wag his tail when Michael comes home from a hard day at the office…. 

Yep, the government went out of its way to offer an unemployment check to a German Shepherd. As if there aren’t enough humans actively trying to defraud the government out of our tax money, now the government is voluntarily trying to send money to a pooch (and a lawyer’s pooch, at that). 

Some get what they don’t deserve, and others never get even close to all that they really do deserve. Like moms—the list of stuff they do for us is a mile long, and at best they get a grunted “thanks” as we head on to our next thing. I watched my wife put together a birthday box for our daughter who’s in college, as well as Easter baskets for both kids—“kids” who are 20 and 18. As a dad I love them but wouldn’t have thought of that. But it’s what moms do without thinking—it’s just their nature. My mom did those kinds of things for me, and still makes things for both me and my family that take not just hours but weeks of her time—all because she loves us. It’s just what moms do. They sacrifice for us and put our needs first, even when it’s barely acknowledged. They get their one day of recognition per year, but that’s about it. 

If you have trouble remembering to show your mom (or your kids’ mom) how much you appreciate her throughout the year, find a way to remind yourself. Set reminders on your phone or computer, leave yourself notes, whatever you have to do to make sure she knows day in and day out how much you appreciate all she does—because she deserves it. 

Computers can do a lot of good—like reminding us of things we need to remember—though they sometimes make mistakes. It turns out that Ryder the German Shepherd won’t be getting any more government assistance, as the UIA admitted that its computer sent the notice to Ryder, but it was later flagged as suspicious, and they discovered the mistake. I wonder what tipped them off—the drool on the returned check or the fact that it was signed with a paw print! 

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