It rained really hard last night and then again this morning. I had given up on the sun....I did the horse chores, fed my mom breakfast, did her laundry.. fed her lunch.....was not really motivated to get out and do much.....but around 1:30 I needed to drive out and pay the hayman......so off I ventured and VOILA.......the sun came out.....it was great! What a treat! We got several hours of sun and then the wind came....but the wind is blowing the clouds off and the sky is blue right now. I can really take some more of this. Feels like a wet blanket has been lifted off my head.
Good to see the hay man......he is always so good to me...we visited for a while and then I drove back home to do some outside chores.
I took Grace's blanket off so she could soak in some rays and she napped for a while while I cleaned late this afternoon.
I was driving and thinking this afternoon.....always thinking, taking notes for later......planning my week.....who, what, when.
I don't know why but I remembered a particular instance from years back..something that always warms my heart and I thought I would share it with you this evening. It is not horse related, but dog related.....
I work in the wholesale industry.....we sell "electrical stuff" out of a warehouse and we have vendors who call on us to show us new items or take care of defective materials......you know...the typical outside salesperson. In our industry, people make the rounds and some you like, some you don't, some are obnoxious, some are know it alls......others you come to value........while others you know are never going to make it.....some work for years in the industry very successfully and others have gone from job to job......it seems like we know everyone and everyone knows us.
One hot summer, I was downstairs in the show room with my employees, when I saw "Bob" pull in. Hmm. Bob......I dreaded him coming in because he had had at least twenty jobs in six years....never very successful, never very confident, quiet...no dyanamo for sure......but not a bad guy...maybe he never got the right break...I don't know. Bob is an older guy....no wife, no kids......no hobbies to speak of.
Bob was driving a beat up car and I noticed he left the windows down.
"Probably doesn't have air conditioning"..I thought and I wondered what he was peddling this time.
It was unseasonably warm that day. Bob comes in and he is dressed in a new suit and I must admit that he seems to have a little more confidence in the way he holds himself.
I say.."Hi Bob".....
He says "Hi, might you have some water?"
I said, "sure......there are cups at the water cooler...help yourself."
Bob returned to his car and brought in a bowl.
Bob saw the puzzled look on my face and he said, "I have a dog in the car."
"You have a dog in the car?" I said. Okay.. he had my attention.
"Yep and he is thirsty", said Bob.
If you know me...you know that I love dogs. I cannot stand dogs to be left in cars in hot weather. To give Bob credit....the car was in the shade of our awning and the windows were down.....but still......we had air conditioning and very few customers at this time of the day.
"Uh, Bob....it is too hot out there, please bring him in."
"You don't mind?"
"No, I don't...bring him in", I said.
Bob shortly returned with an old, scarred up Pit Bull.......limping, missing half an ear....but a gentle demeanor and walking almost silently next to Bob.
We filled his bowl and the old dog drank and then sat down next to Bob and leaned into his very starched pants.
I noticed the dog had on a brand new collar and the collar was attached to a brand new leash.
"Where did you get him?" I asked.
Eagerly and energetically Bob replied ,"Well, three weeks ago he jumped in my backyard.......right over my wood fence..I put him back on the street side of the fence, but he jumped in again.....I put him out, told him to beat it and he jumped back in. He just wouldn't leave....and so I fed him and watered him and he is now my dog....he needs me I guess...I put up signs and no one is looking for him because no one has called."
I said, "He must have known where to go."
Bob started in again........"He is a really smart dog.....I mean he knows how to sit, stay.....and he is never a problem.......he is house trained.....he loves the car and we walk every night when I get home from work...on the weekend I take him to the park. I took him to the vet.....and he has no microchip....the vet says he is about ten.....oh, he is the greatest dog....want to see him do a trick?"
"Sure, let's see what he can do."
I had never heard Bob talk so much....I had never heard Bob sound so happy.
Bob had him sit,lay down........all the normal dog stuff........I oohed and awed over the "tricks" and agreed that he was a very smart dog.
Bob started in again...."Well, you know I never had a pet before....never expected to own a dog but this guy here is something special......I think he might have been a show dog at one time......you know, before he got lost......probably a pretty expensive dog, don't you think?"
I said, "It sure sounds like it Bob." ...thinking to myself...that dog is a street fighting dog if I ever saw one.....I love Pit Bulls and have even fostered a few.....and I know one when I see one..this is not a show dog....this dog has been around and seen some fighting.....torn ear...scarred face....scarred tail.....but still......he obviously loved Bob...he never made a sound besides the thump, thump of his tail on the carpet. What would it hurt to agree?
My employees had disbursed to the warehouse and upstairs offices by now.....I am the "animal" person and they are generally not.....they just roll their eyes at me. The showroom was quiet.
Bob started to speak again....I leaned down petting the old dog's head and ears.
Bob says in a choked voice, "You know my wife died several years ago..she was my whole world.... and I just felt my life had ended. We never had kids.....my brother lives back east......I have no one......but this dog came along and he needs me and I am going to do the best job I can to take care of him."
I was choked up.
I had no idea...I was ashamed that I had never taken more of an interest in Bob and his life. All these years....no idea.
I say, "Bob.......you are doing a wonderful thing for the dog...he must be thrilled to be in such a good home."
"I hope so", says Bob, "His name is Duke now......I don't know what it was before..but he seems to know it."
Bob found something to live for the day the dog jumped in his yard......they found each other at the right time...it is hard to say who needed who most.
*Bob's real name was changed for this story...