Why We’re Maybe Not All Doomed
Posted by tomleveen at 3:04 pm
*Spoiler Alert* I’m gonna be swearin’! You’ve been warned.
So it’s been a righteously shitty few months over at the homestead, I’m not gonna lie. Nor am I gonna get into details because frankly, the list is epic and I don’t have the energy after the day I’ve had. See, there was this huge windstorm last night, and it knocked over the double-gate to my backyard. I mean, this thing was flat on the ground, snapped off at the posts, no shit.
The only reason I noticed, though, was that my dog Jacob kept going out, coming in, going out, coming in . . .
Which made me think, “Where the hell is Callie?” my other dog, whom I’ve had for something like eight or nine years now. A really happy, slobbery shepherd/retriever/maybe-chow mix. My first big dog. My first dog, really. So I tell Toby, “You know what Han Solo always says: I got a bad feeling about this.”
Sure enough, Callie is gone.
I don’t know for how long. As much as eleven hours is possible. We drive around, we post flyers, we cancel our trip out of town. And of course, there’s still the gate to contend with. Trust me when I tell you this is the shit cherry on my fucked-up-couple-months sundae. So in my head, because I’m too defeated to say it out loud, I pretty much just give up. On life, on people, on hope, you name it, the hell with it.
Here’s why we’re maybe not all doomed.
I call one of my best friends and tell him about the gate. His response is, essentially, “Lemme grab my tools, I’ll be there in an hour.” I dunno if you’ve ever been in Phoenix in late June, but…it’s toasty out. And there is no shade by this gate. Did I mention my back went out so my help is basically limited to standing around?
But sure enough, he was there in an hour and going to work on that gate. My biggest contribution was driving to Lowe’s for the lumber.
Well, just as he’s wrapping up, the phone rings. It’s a neighbor a few streets away who, naturally, we’ve never met. They have Callie.
They took her to the vet to check for an RFID and get her checked out. They cancelled their plans to go out of town to help this dog they found in a school playground.
Start to finish – from the time I realized Callie was gone and the gate was smashed to getting Callie back and the gate back up – about five hours.
Well, this lovely older couple who found Callie of course refused any reward, nor would they even let me pay for the vet. So I go to our favorite local Italian restaurant to get them a gift card; it’s not enough for having my dog back safe and sound, but it’s something. The little Italian lady behind the counter asks me what the card is for. I tell her about Callie. She nods, nods, nods…then shoves a to-go cup at me and says, “Here. Go get something to drink. It’s hot out there. And I’m happy for you and your dog.”
What could have and by rights should have been one of the worst of the worst days for me actually turned out pretty damned stellar. See, those people are still out there. My friend, this old couple, the restaurant owner. People like them, they are still out there. And by god, I needed to know that now more than ever after this last couple weeks. Yeah, it was a pain-in-the-ass kind of day, but I have my dog back, my gate up, and I discovered that just when I thought I could never and would never trust another living soul, these four folks showed up and took care of business. My business. They didn’t have to. They didn’t owe me.
They did it because that’s what you do.
So this week – this life – I hope you and I can both remember that when the shit looks shittiest, people like this are still out there, and they still care, even for people they’ve never met. Americans – the whole human race – we’re not doomed after all. Not while there’s this kind of community and selflessness happening. So hang in there.
Sidebar, I am so not kidding: Get your pet microchipped.
Have a great and safe holiday week.