By now, you have likely picked up on one of my writing crutches. I might start talking about something completely unrelated to my point, and then bring it back around by the end to a nice point or parable of life. A nugget of gold you can put in your pocket and take to the bank. Trust me when I tell you that you’ll want to stick around for the nugget here. It’s worth the read.
Last Sunday, my phone rang. I was plopped down on the couch, with an adult beverage in my hand and the Chiefs on the television. My son, Brett, was heading back from a weekend of camping and he was on the other end of the line as I picked up.
Immediately, my heart sank. He was alive, because that was his voice, but whatever he was about to say after the audible ellipses was not going to be good.
“So… we found this dog in the middle of the road.”
In the call log on my phone, it said that the phone call lasted nine minutes and 38 seconds. However, I didn’t hear anything after “we found this dog.” My mind had already come to peace with the fact that we now owned a dog. I’m certain that in the remaining nine minutes and change that I asked if there was a collar, and we encouraged them to check for a microchip, and blah, blah, blah. But in the first three seconds, I knew that those efforts would fail. Nobody was looking for this little dog, and it would soon be living in our house.
We already have a dog, mind you. Stella. Stella is a 10 year old schnauzer princess. She was also a rescue and enjoyed being the only dog in her domain for these 10 years. Stella was about to have her world rocked.
Meet Tuco. A two year old chihuahua. Within the first two days of Tuco at our home, we learned that Tuco loves to pee on everything, but that’s not the worst thing. We also learned that Tuco is a morning dog.
Every human and animal that has lived under our roof for the past 20 years has been a sleeper. Brett slept through the night within a couple of weeks of being born. Kara could sleep from Friday at 5:00 until Monday at 8 am. Stella sleeps about 23 hours of the day. Not Tuco. Whatever routine Tuco had, it started early. Tuco decides to wake up about an hour before the sun. Oh, and Tuco is also an outdoor dog. Our family locks ourselves in the home in late August and emerges in mid-April. Not Tuco. Every morning, he wants a walk. Not just a little trip to the tiny fenced in dog park, this dog wants a W A L K.
The shame of it is that this dog, like all too many others, was clearly dumped. We called all of the shelters around where Tuco was found and they were all overflowing. Everyone has a different reason for dumping a dog. Maybe the owner was just unable to care.
Maybe it ran away and they decided to not look. Or maybe they were abusive. Thankfully, Tuco is healthy, a little over-hungry and, sadly, it seems like he is an outdoor morning dog. But we are excited to have this new addition to our family. Sometimes life changes with a simple phone call. Most of the time, it changes for the worse. Even though I now have a chihuahua alarm clock, Tuco has changed it for the better.
Oh… I almost forgot to bring this all back to the life lesson before we end. Go vote next week. Look for people who will change the world for the better, not the ones who would dump a dog in the middle of nowhere.
(Get more life lessons from Chris Kamler on Twitter, where he is known as @TheFakeNed)