My sis and her family live on a military base, and I’m on and off the base a few times a week to help care for my nephews. The road through the base swings around a field of about five or six acres near the family housing.
As I was pulling onto that road last week, I saw a boy walking, leash in hand, toward a beautiful and tall Husky sniffing around the side of the road. Behind him, his parents were splitting up to close off escape routes. I drove a little farther down the road, stopped my car beside a couple other cars, and joined a half dozen folks who had the same idea I did.
The Husky walked back to the boy, ducked his head… then tore off for the field with his tail up high.
For the next half hour, I was part of an impromptu mission to capture the pup. Men and women — some in uniforms, some not — running back and forth in lines and arcs to keep the pup from bolting for the gates, and to gradually shrink his romping area.
And romping he was! Head up, he pranced and sprinted and leapt all over that field. Time and again, he bowed down in front of one of us, tail swinging, waiting for a single twitch to tell him where we were going to play next.
Everyone was laughing. Sure, it was important we catch that pup, but it was so clear the pup was having the absolute time of his life! And as orders and warnings were called (“HOLE!” was the most common, since the field was riddled with prairie dog dens), we humans played his game in the bright sun and cool breeze until the pup stopped, shook himself from nose to tail, and trotted over to the woman holding his leash.
More laughing, an exchange of waves, and we all piled into our respective cars and went on our way. I passed that kid I’d first seen, now holding a leash with a tongue-lolling dog on the other end, and grinned all the way home.
As I was driving home, I thought, “This is one of those things that would happen to Francesca!” Then, in the next moment, I thought, “No, Francesca’s stories have changed the way I see things, and that’s an incredible thing.”
And then I thought I should tell her, and tell all of you, about the Husky and the military folks and the laughter and the sun, and the power of perspective to change a story and a life.
I might have gotten teary-eyed in there somewhere, too.