Dog’s Heart Finds Home In Stranger

“Wow, he’s beautiful.”

I’ve stopped along a downtown street in Galveston. I extend my hand down to a grey and black dog.

“Go ahead, he won’t bite,” says the man on the other end of the leash.

The dog’s dark eyes look up at me, his nose knowingly nuzzling my hand to his square forehead. My fingers scratch the back of his ears and are welcome. I have a new friend

“Catahoula or Louisiana Leopard Dog?”

The man’s head shakes in non-commitment.

“Don’t really know,” he says. “Picked him up from the shelter a two days ago.”
Our son adopted a Catahoula a few weeks back. Before then I couldn’t have identified one beyond a grey dog with interesting spots. I’ve been reading up as of late.

“Can I check out his paws

Webbed feet are one of the tells of the breed.

The man nods and I drop to one knee. Slowly I move my other hand towards my new friend’s feet. Before I can get there, a large paw meets me halfway.


a sweetheart,” the man says. “Loves to be around people. Even has an odd bit of separation anxiety.”

The webbing between the toes adds into my suspicions. The man’s description of the dog’s quirky personality, however, seals the deal.

“I was working construction around here and one day someone just dropped him off. He was wandering the neighborhood until animal control came. After a few days, I went and checked in on him and ended up adopting him.

My new friend leans towards me, another tell of the breed. I run my hand down the long, unusual coat. Short grey and black hairs easily slide by my fingertips as if wet to the touch. A remarkable dog, for sure.

I can’t understand why someone would abandon a dog that obviously wants to unconditionally love someone back.

The man looks down. His new friend sits down near his feet. The bond between man and dog is in place. I am happy for both.

I hope the afterlife carves out a special place for people who adopt animals in need. As much as we’d like to think we have this big life under control – our phones can take stunning photos, electricity moves across the country to heat and cool our homes on demand, and we can travel through the sky in a metal tube – we still have too many animals making one-way trips to local shelters.

History proves mankind, in great part, owes his existence and survival to the remarkable bond between himself and dogs. In a unique relationship unlike with any other animal, man and dog share a co-dependency technology will never replace. Survival, food, and companionship are as mutually entrenched in our DNA as the hairs on our heads or coats.

I suddenly notice I’ve met these two at the footsteps outside the building where I attended a church service two hours before. And suddenly I believe our meeting was no coincidence.


Momentum is Both Friend and Foe

Momentum is a funny thing – equally powerful in either action or not.

My mother liked to toss around sayings to drive home points into my impressionable head.

One about a big grey bolder blundering down a green hillside, however, required a bit of maturity from me to finally understand.

“A rolling stone gathers no moss,” she would say hustling around the house. When on a mission, my mother never slowed down. Perpetual motion so to say.

But in the head of a ten-year-old boy, the saying seemed more about the physics of how moss couldn’t attach itself to moving rock than an insightful life lesson.

Decades later, knee-deep into adulthood, I finally got it. Momentum was my friend.

IMG_5993 2.JPGA silent force of nature, momentum is a dramatic difference maker in life.

Changing is fleeting and temporary. But when combined with momentum, the world transforms in meaningful ways. Momentum becomes the important mortar between the bricks of good intentions and the creation of something impactful in life. Without it, the wall of good intentions is without strength and structure.\

A shotgun approach to anything meaningful in our lives tends to return shotgun results. Momentum, or the consistent applying of pressure to the right actions, can transform a pattern of actions or choices into meaningful and tangible. Game changer-type results.

When I was a runner, years before my knees began to bark at me, I would have to build up mileage in order to run a long-distance race. While I could certainly show up for a 10K race and cross the finish line, to do so at a time that would make me proud would require a daily investment of time and accumulation of mileage. Without the momentum of investing tangible actions or decisions towards my goal, my dreams were nothing more than an illusion – easily defeated in the face of the output required on race day.
The momentum, or therefore lack of, played the determining role in my results.

This applies to my daily life as well. If I want to be a kinder person, I must be a kinder person each day. If I wish for those around me to know they are important, I must regularly tell them so. If I want to lose ten pounds, I need to eat carefully every day. If I want to have a good relationship with God, I need to put aside a few minutes each day.

Moss grows on a stationary object. Trees, boulder anchored deep into the ground. And on us. The moss of life can be viewed as our dreams and desires we didn’t have the courage to put in both the effort and commitment to make happen. And like moss, these broken dreams or the compounded results of unrealized desires stubbornly cling to us forever.

Momentum is not a single action, but rather the result of consistent behaviors resulting in inconsistent outcomes. And in life, the difference between us gathering moss or not is found between our ears.