Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Phone Rang

In these days of caller ID, I suppose a lot of phone calls go unanswered, allowing a machine or digital voicemail to do the work instead. IF it's really important, then we can take the time to make that return call. I am not any different than most of you. If I don't recognize the number, I tend not to answer the call. I wonder how many missed opportunities have come my way....

The phone rang on Thursday afternoon. I didn't recognize the name or the number. I nearly didn't answer it. In fact, I set the phone back down after reading caller ID. But on thinking twice, I picked it up.

"Hello?" I said. No reply. Silence tends to make me hang up quickly and I almost did this time.. but instead...

"Hello?" again.

"Um... Hi." Said a quiet, tentative voice on the other end. "I, um, well, um, I am out at the river and... well, um... I found your dog's collar." She really struggled to say that. She sounded afraid. Worried.

I said nothing for a moment. But I quickly realized what was happening here... I had taken the dogs out to the river the weekend before and just as we were leaving I realized that Kaeden had lost his collar. He had spent so much time in the water I assumed it had come off there and was gone forever.

The caller had found the collar by the river.... I realized that she assumed that the worst had happened to my dog, and that she was giving me the bad news.

I figured out her fear and her worry and my response was quickly, "I have the dog!" And I heard an audible sigh of overwhelming relief. I proceeded to thank her profusely and we made arrangements for me to be able to pick up the collar. She then went on to say that she was so glad that I hadn't lost my dog or that something bad had happened to him because she had just had to put her very sick kitty to sleep and didn't want someone else to be feeling as bad as she was feeling.

While I could not make the hurt from her losing her kitty go away, at least I didn't compound her sadness by ignoring her call in the first place and letting her think that someone else had lost a pet as precious to them as her cat was to her.

And I am grateful that there was someone out there that took initiative to make that phone call, even suspecting the worst, instead of just ignoring the collar and going on with her day.

And so I give her my thanks. On the surface, for the collar and the fact I don't have to get a new one and new tags and all the hassle that saved me. But also for adding a little faith that people can be good and think of others... nice to know.

Not my words, but worth repeating

Author Gene Hill wrote the below quote that I tripped over today. It says so many things I have ever thought about all my dogs. I wanted to share this with you....

"He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.)

When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself.
He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant.

His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever — in case I need him. And I expect I will — as I always have. He is just my dog."

Gene Hill

I read this and looked at my dogs... two of which are as close to me as they can be as I write this, the other predicting my next move by laying on my bed in the other room. They all believe in me... believe the best of me, expect nothing less of me, but judge me not if I am not perfect. What an awesome gift I have been given.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Eve of Something Big

If I were on the East Coast or Midwest or a Mountain time zone, I'd be 40 by now. If I were in Hawaii, I have a bit more time. But I have a few more minutes yet....

It seems a bit surreal. I am in such a different space turning 40 than I was turning 30. I remember 30 well, although considering the amount of alcohol involved, I suppose I shouldn't, but I do. It was a fun, happy, care free moment in a time surrounded by a tumultuous emotional roller coaster I wasn't sure I would survive. It was a hallmark year for me as that was the time that I finally discovered I could stand up for myself, by myself, on my own two feet and I didn't NEED anyone... anyone except myself. It was distinctly a time of self discovery and self reliance and purposeful change.

Did I think I'd be here at 40? In a marriage with a wonderful woman, searching for the right house to buy, still working search dogs, and discovering new people to bring into my life? To be honest, I am not sure I even imagined 40 for me. Although I have to admit, I don't think I imagined 30 either.

I have to say I am glad to be where I am at this point. I have some really awesome friends that have grown into family. I have a job with co workers who make me laugh and allow the work place to be an enjoyable place to go daily. I have a wife who is solid as a rock and provides solace, safety and friendship without question. I have dogs that would bend over backwards to make me happy and proud of them.... I think I could go on....

I guess that means that I have a lot. I don't think I can complain at all about any of that. I suppose 40 is just another number... another year, that, taken on face value, has no more meaning than what I give it.

So we'll take a little trip and go to the caverns and the museum and allow someone else to pick up after us and feed us.... and just take advantage of a number to allow us to have some much needed together time....

Sounds like a plan...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Constant Amusement!

Kaeden is always such a joy. No, that really isn't a person hanging from the tree... it is a life size manikin we use in training. It provides a good visual when we do cadaver training since we can't seem to get real bodies to train with.

Kaeden loves what he does. We are true 'hunting' partners now. Time and maturity has forged the bond and the trust that is necessary to create a good working relationship. And he never fails to amuse me.

The second picture is why he is affectionately known as a Hungarian Tree Climbing Desert Dog (yes... I know there are no deserts in Hungary....)

Thursday, March 20, 2008


OH WHAT A GAME THIS HOME BUYING EXPERIENCE IS! We got to look at some really NICE homes that by the time we walked through the door, multiple offers had already occurred. And we got to see some really DISGUSTING places that no amount of markdowns would entice us to buy them (UNREAL what some people allow their animals to do inside their home - and NEVER clean up.... I felt like I needed a shower after that house....)

Perhaps our home buying experience is supposed to be a lesson in patience. It is certainly becoming that. What an interesting game buying a home is.... You want to sell your house for $10. I offer you $7. You say that's not enough, so you say you'll take $9. I say no..... that's more than I want to pay. I'll give you $8. You say... close... how about $8.50. So I say.... ah.... lets go with $8.35. And you agree.... That's if it's SIMPLE. aack. What we have experienced so far is.... the asking price is $10. We give our offer of $7 and you have to answer us in 48 hours. So, in 48 hours you say that there are 3 or 5 or a bunch of offers..... and that you are telling all interested buyers to give it your BEST offer by 5 pm the next day, and then you'll decide the day AFTER that! So you just bought yourself more time for someone else to give you more money...... OR you have just put the screws a little tighter into your one offer (us....) by inferring that others are vying for the property too.... how much more are we willing to give..... and then you'll THINK about it.

As for where we stand.... we are waiting. Tues turned into Friday for us for an answer.... and probably Friday at 5.....

If we get it, we'll have a 3/2 on more than a 1/2 acre (and the dogs are crossing their toes... that's a lot of toes!!). If not..... back to the drawing board again...

But there is no hurry. The RIGHT house and the RIGHT deal will happen.

It will just take patience.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


My oh my he is a handsome dog! Perhaps I am prejudice.... but...

It is so hard to believe that it has been nearly 3 years that I have had Kaeden. Time has just flown by. He has matured well into his work. Get him on a boat now and he is intent on finding what he is looking for. He doesn't seem to have a time element that he tires out on the boat like I have found with other dogs, so that makes me happy.

Today was a good day on the boat. It is ever an adventure, learning what the dog does on the water. I went out with no expectations. Actually, expecting nothing and was surprised when I started get alerts from him. Good dog.

And speaking of expectations.... not holding my breath but we are putting in another offer on a house in the am. Should know by Tuesday what the verdict is. Putting positive vibes out to the universe ... but it will happen if it is supposed to happen. Kind of like life in general.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


The enormous black cloud that seemed to follow me home gave me a clue that something immense was pending. Todays sudden, albeit expected, massive downpour actually made me stop. I stopped doing anything (much to my dogs' dismay as they felt it was dinner time!) and just watched the rain come down. It felt like the very first time I had ever paused to notice to rain drops slamming into the ground. I watched the street and saw the colossal splash each mammoth drop made and it felt so tremendous. I actually got my camera out, laid down on the floor in my doorway and began taking pictures of the rain hitting the ground. I even spent time watching the rainfall through the macro lens of my camera just for the enhanced view. Suddenly, I was so much smaller than the huge rain drops falling from the sky. It was humbling.

A close friend once wrote a poem about raindrops. It was about raindrops on a windshield. If you concentrate on the drops, the rest of the world becomes a blur and you cannot see where you are going. Only when you focus beyond the drops can you move on. Kind of a philosophy for life. If you focus only on what is directly in front of you, you will miss everything else around you.

But sometimes you need to focus in on the small raindrop to really be able to FEEL the big picture and get an idea of your role in it.