Tuesday, February 25, 2014

2 possible explanations, 2 grateful people and a pup

Obedience class? It's not enough that I'm adorable?
I’ll just tell you what happened and let you decide what happened. I think I know, but we may look at these things differently.

Red took Dejah to her first obedience class Monday evening. Dejah is a remarkable puppy, but like all puppies the concept of what we call “minding” needs to be instilled. From all accounts it went swimmingly for a first time.

On the way home they stopped for gas. Here is where things began to happen.

First, the darn dog took advantage of the brief interlude where the door was open to allow the driver to get out. Whee! Puppy all over the parking lot with the opportunity for vehicles to attack from multiple directions.

A young man at another pump heard Red’s desperate entreaties and nabbed the fugitive when she got near enough. He received grateful thanks from Red and a chorus of “Way to goes” from the tribe of young men inside his car.

A somewhat flustered Red packed the puppy back in the car, filled the gas tank and got behind the wheel of her old car.

Several times this winter, the starter on the car has reacted badly to the cold. In the deepest, darkest 10-below moments of the season, she actually took to warming her key with matches before starting the car. But the car had been performing so well recently, she nearly forgot about the problem.

Certainly she never expected the key not to work after the vehicle had been running fine all evening.

She tried the match trick. This time, utter failure. She called the wrecker. Then she called me.

I had just finished making the spaghetti and had the bottle opener poised over a 12-ounce brew when the phone rang. I put a lid on the warm spaghetti, tucked the unopened bottle back in the fridge, and disappeared into the night.

The car still was parked next to a pump, it still wasn’t working, the puppy was still jumpy, and Red was extremely frazzled when I arrived. “You have to take the puppy home, the tow truck has two more stops before me, and I don’t trust her outside with all of this stimulation.” In time like this, someone has to be the happy and helpful one, so I packed the pup and hit the road.

It would take about an hour for me to get home, let the dogs out, and drive back. I tried one forkful of spaghetti; it was still warm, but I had to get back.

The tow truck still hadn’t arrived when I returned. Desperate, Red had sprayed some sort of de-icer product into the ignition, but that had seemingly no effect and now she couldn’t try the matches again because the product was flammable. So she sat forlornly with a cup of coffee staring out at the car that has faithfully taken her well over a quarter-million miles.

“Why don’t you give it a try?” She handed me the keys skeptically. Why not?

I settled in behind the wheel, looked across the parking lot at Red with her cup of coffee behind the glass, said cheerfully, “Thank you, Lord, for this most wonderful day,” and turned the key.

The engine jumped into action as if it was still on the lot with 14 miles on the odometer.

The look on Red’s face was worth the night of frustration. She literally jumped up and raised her hands in surprise and relief when I pulled away from the pump and drove the car into the parking stall next to my car.

She ran out to make sure I wasn’t silly enough to turn the car off before we got it home, then went back to call the tow truck off. I saw her waving to the driver over my shoulder; he had arrived a minute later and was pleased that his day was finished.

Your choices are to believe that the de-icer just needed to sit in the keyhole for a while before the car would turn over, or to believe that all the situation needed was a pile of faith and a grateful attitude.

I know what I believe.

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