Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Tale of Two Doggies

This is a street person and his beloved dog. I met them in Piccadilly in London this October. They were huddled in this doorway against the wind and cold. You could see the love between these two.

"Dogs are a blessing, aren't they?" I asked. He replied simply, "He's my whole family." I think he called the dog 'Captain'. I'm really not sure.

It was cold here in Sioux Falls this morning and cold and raining in London. I thought of these two. At the time I put some money in his cup but now with winter upon us here and there I wish I could've put them both in my pockets and carried them somewhere safe. I wonder how they'll fare this winter.

When we first moved to Sioux Falls, one year ago September, there was so much hub-bub and tsuris (Yiddish for miseries), we had boxes in the living room, in the garage and piled on the front porch. it was embarrassing! Carroll and I were always out there trying to go through and throw out stuff.

I went to great lengths to insure the safety of our four dogs, adding new fences and gates to the back yard and patching the existing ones. And then one day while Carroll and I were in the front, our little Chihuahua zipped out the front door, past me and past Carroll and started down the hill toward traffic.

Carroll saved her. But I was so upset by the fiasco that I slammed my favorite walking stick on the ground, breaking it in two. Temper, temper!

Well, when Carroll first brought up taking a trip to England, I realized it was a rare opportunity to go back to Herbert Johnston, the shop where I had purchased the stick- and maybe get it repaired. So, I had lugged it with me on the Queen Mary 2.

And that is how I found myself lost in Piccadilly Circus, talking to this man about his dog. My love for my dog was somehow connected by fate, string theory, synchronicity or gravitons to this man huddled with his dog.

So I am thankful today for the blessings in my life, two and four legged, for the miseries that have somehow missed us and for the opportunities life gives us to do some little good were we can. To lend a hand or just hold one when there is a need and a chance to connect.

Peter Beagle said:

"What is given, burns the hand, and what is gone, is gone." All true.

But the Bard trumps him: "How shines a good deed in a weary world."

We have some great charitable organizations here in town: The Banquet, St. Francis House. And I don't want to forget the Humane Society. I always try to remind people that "the best friend you'll ever have is waiting for you at the Humane Society."

It's true.


Lehnanne G. Kidd said...

The dog is our only chance to choose our family. I would be nothing were it not for the animals in my life.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,
Cannot find: "How shines a good deed in a weary world."
Please cite specifics of this attribution. I cannot find this quote in Shakespeare or Bartleby's.
But I remember it from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. [Gene Wilder version]
Sounds like something Bill Joyner would know...