There it is. The moment that changed everything. How could I have known?
Sometimes, late at night, when I'm tired, I'll fire up Picasa and just start scrolling through old photos until I reach a sort of zen state. I'll look at pictures of me and the missus before the kids came along and wonder, "Who is that thin fresh-faced couple?" Or I'll look at pictures of the kids when they were in diapers throwing hissy-fits about eating their vegetables and be glad that at least now they use the toilet after throwing hissy-fits about eating their vegetables.
Sometimes I'll zoom through the pictures real fast until they're a blur of memories. And then I spot something I'd forgotten, and suddenly everything makes sense. This picture of my 2-year-old son with a cute little puppy... How did I forget that? If this was a video, you would see the dog finish his puppy kiss, then my son would turn to the camera with a look on his face of complete horror, like Lucy after she's been kissed by Snoopy, and then you would hear the most awful wailing and screeching.
This was the very moment when my son became a dog hater. Five years running now, he still reacts with utter disdain when he spots a dog. "Cats rule, dogs drool" he likes to say. Every dog is dumb and useless to him. He'll spot a dog in a yard off the highway and say, "Daddy, look at that stupid dog!" Or when he sees dog poop on the sidewalk he'll shout, "Ah, look at what some dumb dog did. They're not even smart enough to use a litterbox!" I remind him that some dogs are nice and friendly, but he won't have any of it. All because of a little puppy kiss he received when he was two!