I was reminded of this funny story today and thought I'd share it here for my kids (and the 3-4 extended family members who actually read my blog =)!).
When I was in college, I used to go to the animal shelter w/a couple of other kids from my dorm to walk the dogs. It was a lot of fun! Big dogs, little dogs, noisy dogs, happy dogs! We were not allowed to walk the dogs together, so they sent us all out on different routes, which made sense, until the day I was handed the leash of a narcoleptic dog.
Yes, narcoleptic dog.
They told me this dog frequently fell asleep in the midst of whatever activities, but not to worry, b/c he liked walks and we probably wouldn't be gone long enough for an episode. (You can see what's coming here, can't you?)
At this point in the story I would like to include the detail that the animal shelter was back in a quiet, almost empty, industrial area of town, like on the edge, tucked back by a field and such...So the dog and I set out for a 'wog' - walking jog, or maybe you prefer 'jalk'? - anyway, we were off through the field towards town. We happily made a loop around the grocery store, sniffed around the bushes by the local 2 year college campus, and generally wore ourselves out. When I was convinced this dear dog's tongue could hang out no further, we turned back to the shelter. We began to cross the field and I was talking to the sweet boy, telling him I'd come again and such, when I felt a tug at the leash. Those of you who have walked a dog before know how you can get going and looking on ahead, not noticing that your dog has stopped to do business or something and it catches you off guard, but you feel the tug of the leash and turn your head and look down and stop when you see what he/she is up to. Well! I felt the tug of the leash and I turned to find my furry friend flat out flopped down in the grass. Out cold.
I had no idea what to do! I had no idea how long it would last! I called his name, I massaged his belly, scratched his ears, tried to make him think I had bacon, etc...and there were no signs of life. A car went by and it wasn't until it disappeared around the bend that I realized that since this was a secluded area, another probably wouldn't pass for a long time. What was I going to do? Carry him?? He looked to weigh close to the same number as me, and despite thinking I was young, strong and active, that was just not going to happen.
Sigh. I was beginning to feel like I was on candid camera or something. I looked around for someone, ANYONE!, who could help me...
And then the dog jumped up on all fours, gave me a look like, "What are you doing just standing there??" and we picked up right where we left off! I laughed so hard all the way back to the shelter! I kept telling that crazy dog how he scared me, how he should never do that again and how I really hope there is a special family out there to adopt him! I told him I hope they love you and laugh w/you =)
The shelter people were not surprised by my story, of course, and they told me my guy was quite the character...the next time I went back he was gone, so I guess that's good, right?
You're probably wondering why I labeled this post as adoption and foster care (or maybe you're not but I'm going to tell you anyway!). You see, in a weird way, I think this story says a little about fostering and adopting people too. Lots of kids have character. They have quirks and qualities that you might not think kids are capable of having. Up until I met that dog, I didn't know dogs could be narcoleptic. Up until I met some of our foster kids, I didn't know really young children could be so affected and changed by their life situations. Like the narcoleptic dog, kids of all kinds need love, a family to laugh with, and someone to take them on walks =) Like the episode in the field, if you just hang on and hang in there, some of the kids' issues will pass and you will carry on...
If you didn't already know, May is National Foster Care Month. If you have been reading here for long, you know how that is one of the topics I am passionate about. I encourage you to ask me questions if you have them or find someone in your area who can assist you. I pray for all the foster kids in waiting, the kids up for adoption, the parents in waiting, the families in the process of getting certified and those that are part of foster and adoptive families. God bless you all!
(PS - thanks for reading the long funny story that took a turn into soap box land...)