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.

No comments: