Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Sun Is Shining!

Perspective. It's a good thing.

The food for the hungry program here in my town is not open on Christmas day. But they will need help on Friday, the 21st, delivering food to families. I can do that! So I will.

Last night I got to help a little dog get back to her breeder. She was in a home that did not work out. I was a tiny part of her trip but it felt great. And we got to be helpful in two ways at once. Our very dear friends were going to Nashville yesterday to spend the night and catch their plane (to Mexico, lucky ducks) in the morning. This meant their daughter would have to do the five plus hour round trip. (At two and a half hours, Nashville is our nearest major airport.) So I said hey! I'm driving a dog to Nashville, you are welcome aboard.

Have I mentioned that Bill is a saint? He is. When he heard that I was driving the little dog to Nashville, he announced he was going along. He said, "I couldn't think of a single thing I'd rather do than spend five hours in the car with my wife. Well, I could, but the first one is too expensive, I can't do the second one anymore, and the third is unavailable. Fourth on the list of things I'd like to do isn't bad!" So now, with the added bonus of a two and a half hour visit in the car with our very dear friends, the trip was looking like a fun time.

About an hour before the ETA of the little dog (we were to meet at a gas station out near the Interstate, with the owner calling as she got close) I checked my phone messages. There was a cheerful message from a very elderly friend who lives alone, and I called her back. The phone rang, and made a connection, but the very elderly friend never said "hello". I could hear the TV in the background, but no elderly friend. I kept shouting "Hello" getting more and more concerned. "If you can hear me and you are in trouble just push a number on the phone. I'll come right over."


"I'm going over there," I told Bill. He kindly said he would hang by the phone and wait for the travelling dog's owner to call. My elderly friend lives about fifteen minutes from us. This was worrisome. If she were indeed in trouble, I would have a dog waiting at a gas station, very dear friends needing to make an international flight, and me waiting for Emergency Services. Oh Lord.

As I drove, I hit redial on my cell phone. Busy. But on the third try, when I had only gone a few blocks, my elderly friend cheerfully answered, "Hello, Patience! How are you? The sun shined today, wasn't it so beautiful?" Oh yes indeed it was glorious, I agreed. I turned around, not wanting to embarrass her by telling her what had transpired, and was still talking with her as I came back into our house. I smiled and nodded to Bill, and his warm smile added to my glow of relief. He has yet to meet my elderly friend, and still he cares just as much about her as I do. A saint he is.

We took Delia along for company for the little dog, which made Delia feel Ever So Special! I strapped two crates in the back of Bill's car, as the Whippet Wagon can accommodate nine whippets, but only two humans. We were riding in style. All the style that a white Buick Rendezvous could muster. (For a chuckle, read the first paragraph of that link.) The Vous. It looks a lot like a Gremlin on steroids or like an accidental cross-breeding between the Michelin Man and a Fed Ex truck, but there is tons of room in the back for large pieces of artwork, and on this trip, for two crates and our very dear friends' luggage. Got to love the Vous!

Bill and I picked up the little dog. She was heart-wrenchingly worried and frightened. You just couldn't help but apply the word traumatized. She purely didn't notice when I took her lead from her owner. I cuddled her (also unnoticed) and kissed her sweet head, and told her she was on her way home. Delia was very polite and welcomed her to the Vous. The little dog seemed relieved to see the safety of the crate and curled up and didn't make a sound for the next three hours. Not a peep. I don't even think she moved.

We had such a fun ride. Bill tortured us by saying, "I can't remember the third line of the Davy Crockett song. 'Born on a mountain top in Tennessee, greenest state in the land of the free, dah dah da dah da dah dah dah dee, kilt him a b'ar when he was only three! Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier.' What the heck is that line?" (The answer is: "raised in the woods so he knew ev'ry tree," but we never got it, just kept singing Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier in our brains.) Just about the time when we got the Davy Crockett song out of our heads, Bill said, just out of the blue, "Who'd have thought that Sinatra would have had a hit about a rubber tree plant?" We weren't talking about Sinatra; we weren't even talking about music. I'm still stuck with "Whoops there goes another rubber tree, Whoops there goes another rubber tree, Whoops there goes another rubber tree plant!" We all laughed and laughed.

We dropped off our very dear friends at their hotel, and then at yet another gas station, we met the next person involved with getting the little dog back home. This person was a delight! She brought her beautiful greyhound along for company. I had to pry the little dog out of my crate, which was sad, and we put her in the very nice person's toasty warm van. The greyhound wagged a welcome, and the little dog curled up in yet another safe crate. This very nice person will keep her until Saturday, when the last leg of the journey to her breeder and her home can be made. This very nice person had ANGEL written all over every single beautiful inch of her being.

I will be so happy to hear that the little dog is home. And happy again.

Today, the sun is shining again. The dogs and I will bundle up and go for a walk. I will count my many, many blessings. It is winter, and I am not crazy about the darkness and the cold. But I have so many riches in my life. My husband, the saint. My son who is safe and loved. Bill's daughters and our adorable grandchildren who thrive.

And these nine sterling souls who grace my life. Beautiful, generous, cherished dogs who keep me grounded and humble and grateful and fulfilled. Who bring me to the most treasured friendships.

Perspective. It's a grand thing.



  1. oh Patience, you write like my Mama would like to write, but she thinks that way when she is on her walkies with me.

    That was a lovely post, and hey, Davy Crocket.....my Mama knew that song from the BBC childrens radio when she was knee high to a Marvin....hopper.

    Thank you for that post, it is a life affirming one.

    (oh the last sentence was from Jeannie, I am not that erudite.......

    whatever that might mean!)

    love and many licks, Marvin xxxxxx

    with a split personality xxxxxx

  2. jeannie from Scotland, Hollowhound Marvin s MaDecember 18, 2007 at 1:57 PM

    pee ess that Sinatra song, woops etc, dog, in my childhood I hated that song!

    Although I actually saw Sinatra sing live in concert in Glasgow, Scotland UK, many moons ago, he was fandabidozi.

    But he never sang that song, thank Dog!

  3. you guys are so pawesome to help that sad little doggy get back to a home where it wont be so sad anymore. Tanner posted about his journey to our house today and it always makes Mom smile to think about it.

  4. woofies All!!! dat wuz soo nice of u to do dat fur dat little doggy...me still not know watt me gonna do to b kind tomorrow...

    b safe,

  5. Sure you are great helping your friends and that little doggie. Yes, your husband is a Saint!
    Have a good night

  6. Pewspective...Mommi is aways talking about that..and we sometimes fowget how lucky weawe and get bogged down with petty pwoblems..thank you fow the pawspective and thank you fow helping out the fwightened doggie..I suwe hope he weaches home safely and gets to feel secoowe again
    smoochie kisses to you and youw saint and all the fabulous whippets

  7. I am delighted to have found your blog. You are a wonderful writer. Your home sounds like one that is truly cozy with love.
    I am a whippet owner in mid-Michigan. My Charley is six months old and keeps boredom at bay around here. We are loving all the snow.

  8. Oh my...Muzzer wants to help with transport, but Dad says he would be worried about the doggies in the back seat.

    She is pretty agressive on the road.


  9. I hope the dog makes it home okay. Poor thing, a trip like that has to be hard on them, but the end result will be so worth it!

    Lovely post! :)

  10. That feeling of doing something to help make something right for an otherwise helpless animal takes some beating doesn't it?

    Oh and Patience, I've just sent you an e-mail which I hope reaches you.

  11. You are such a good person, as is your husband, who does sound rather saintly!

    Incidentally, I'm joining you in the 'cancel Christmas' campaign this year!

  12. Beautiful and touching post, Patience. And I loved your last paragraph about your "nine sterling souls".

    Dear, sweet Delia for welcoming and watching over the little one on her journey.

  13. I'm so glad the little doggie is getting back home. Hope you have a very happy holiday!

    Woofs, Johann

  14. Sam I Am
    Don't you wowwy, sometimes ouw Mommi's awe ovewwhelmed with all this stuff they have to do and things get postponed a little..we have the same pwoblem..thanks fow the love and I hope LindyLoo doesn't huwt when she gets hew jab at the dogtow..I'm fine now and enjoying lying undew the twee...hope you get some sunshine and can go fow a nice walk
    smoochie kisses

  15. Hello everyone,We have finally made it over to visit!! PL2(pack leader 1+2 are our humans)thinks you are a SAINT!!!! and 9!!!!!!! dogs!! Whew you really are a saint!!! We love reading your adventures and wonder why it took us so long to get here! Love Agatha +Archie

  16. this is such a heart-warming and uplifting post. thank you for bringing a bit of perspective to me too. we have just given a home to phoebe, a beautiful but very traumatized lurcher. watching her coming out of her shell is the best present ever!

  17. Patience - I can't thank you enough for what you did for "little dog". Ms. Maggie Mae is so 100% different from the dog you describe that you might not recognize her.

    She and her sister, Butterfly got into terrible trouble yesterday -- and OOH NOOOOO! I forgot to put away the dratted trash bag this morning, so Ken will go home to trash on the floor again today!

    Oh well, it sweeps up and there's nothing in it but newspaper, so no Whippets will be harmed.

    Anyway -- thanks again and again and again for befriending Ms. Maggie!

  18. Ah THAT is music to my ears!!! I've been waiting and watching to see that sweet little girl got home and got happy again! Thank you for letting me know, and thank you for making me smile!



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