Are my dogs secretly vegetarians?

The funniest thing happened with my dogs recently. Before I tell the quick story, it’s important to remember they, especially regal beagle Piper, will eat almost anything. And I’m being very serious about that. ANYTHING. Think of the grossest thing you can come up with. Yeah, she’ll eat that.

So I came home from grabbing dinner with a friend, setting the doggy box of leftovers on a chest just next to the front door. I went to let the dogs out of their room and then to do a few other things around the house. They weren’t crazy about going outside so for about 10 or 15 minutes we all just puttered.

WAIT!!! I LEFT FOOD OUT!! Oh no. There goes my dinner for the next day. But I was definitely curious why I didn’t hear a familiar frenzied ruffle of paper or plastic bags being investigated by curious noses.

I immediately went to the box of leftovers. Untouched. Dogs acting as if it weren’t there at all. What? This was food they could have completely obliterated!

Now I know for sure they’re carnivores. The least picky eaters and they leave my tofu veggie roll completely undisturbed!?

I’ve decided to spend the rest of today being offended.

-Out of the Wilderness

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Adopting a third dog?

The other day I was jogging at a nearby greenway in Nashville. This particular stretch begins/ends near the Metro Animal Control office, so, as I’ve done before, I stopped in at the end of my run. I figured since I have time, why not drop by to say hi to the doggies.

I strolled to each fenced-in dwelling, chatting with the four-legged guests. It wasn’t too long ago I came across an energetic dog named Bailey. I sat with her for awhile, and they even let me play with her outside for a bit. She was a great dog, yet my heart didn’t feel a tug. I knew she’d be adopted soon so I had no inclination to adopt her. This time around, a whole different story!

In a stall next door to the one Bailey was in (she’d been adopted by now), was a boy dog named Pharaoh. I knew I was in trouble because my heart felt a strong tug! He had blue eyes, and a spotted pink nose. He was mostly white with a few big brown patches. They said he was an Australian Shepherd mix. I learned this when I chatted with the workers there as I was on my way out. I was also told that Pharaoh was available, darn it! And he might be deaf! Well, now I just wanted to be the hero that saved him! Couldn’t they have said he has a history of biting people’s faces? He walks upright and drinks beers? He loves to pee on carpet? Maybe he’s pro-choice or something? Anything that will deter me from wanting to adopt him!

Anyway, I left to finish my jog and head home, all the while feeling that tug on my heart. For the rest of the afternoon I went over in my mind what kind of changes another dog would bring. Two dogs is one thing, but it seems like three is a whole new ball game. I researched. Mostly the adjustment was financial, but also there was a 10 or 15 year commitment to grapple with. My two dogs (Piper and Asia) are 8 and 6, so adding Pharaoh as a 1-year-old would extend my guardianship quite a few years. I decided to pray about it the rest of the day, research, sleep on it, and then see how I felt in the morning. Along with what I was feeling, I also knew he’d be adopted pretty quick because he was a beautiful and seemingly well-behaved dog. In fact, before I had even met him, there were two other families who put a “hold” on him but after 24 hours, their claim had expired.

I went to bed thinking I’d go visit him the next day, no matter what my heart was feeling when I woke up.

The next day I made my way over to the shelter mid-afternoon. I said I was there to pet the dogs. I also asked about Pharaoh. You see, I was still curious but if I’m being honest, I knew this time– in my heart– it was not my task to make a home for him. Although he would be a great dog, I’m sure, I felt a peace that he was meant for someone else. Well, when I asked the woman, she said he’d been adopted… THE DAY BEFORE!

Yeah, the same day I met him! A few hours after I left, he was gone! It’s so funny to me that once I got home after meeting Pharaoh, not knowing he would be adopted that day I prayed and prayed, I thought and thought, I went to bed hoping for clarity, then awakened with an inkling of a feeling, but still praying and thinking. Meanwhile, Pharaoh had been with his new owners for half a day already.

My prayers had been answered before I even prayed them. Pretty amazing! When I was told he was adopted, I didn’t have a feeling of regret, no anxiety about missing out, I was just happy for Pharaoh. Hopefully he now has a great home to run and play and be loved in. And meanwhile, me and my little pack of three are very content as a triple-threat 🙂

-Out of the Wilderness

Dreading the way back

I’m not sure what this says about my personality, but when I take my dogs on a walk, we have a joyous time. We have a fun time. We run, we laugh, we play, we sniff things. Life is just rosy. At least for the first half.

But then we turn around and it’s as if the amount of fun we just had is dealt back equally to us but in opposite form. We’re stubborn, moody, hasty, and yet moving slow. No matter if it’s a 1 mile walk, or 2 mile walk, when we make the turn or circle around for the second half, my dogs seem to think, “Now we’ll be poky little puppies.”

It’s not all their fault, though. They are just doing what they do by sniffing and exploring. But I turn into an impatient bully!

-Out of the Wilderness

Beam me up, Scotty

This post isn’t actually about Star Trek at all. But what better title to use for an estate sale I went to recently? Any Scottish Terrier enthusiasts out there would have loved this sale. I bought a few things, and I consistently say (and heartily believe) you can find the oddest and most amazing things at an estate sale.

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-Out of the Wilderness

Life and death, and “Skol, Vikings!”

Last week will go down as a landmark on my life’s timeline. For anyone who saw my recent post about having a gun pointed at me, you’ll know what I’m talking about. And for those that missed it, you can click this link to be caught up, or… to make a long story short, a fellow motorist driving aggressively pulled up next to me as we were moving down a Nashville road and used his gun to make his feelings known more clearly.

For a few days after that brazen encounter, I had a headache which is very out of the ordinary for me. My head hurt because the brazen encounter took time to truly sink in. This happened. I could’ve been hurt.

What was I thinking?

More questions than I have answers for continue scrolling through my mind; did he try to pull the trigger and it malfunctioned? What was he thinking in that moment? Was it a 9mm or a .22? Why was he so aggressive? I’ll never know how drastically my life would have changed if the gun had gone off and I was struck by the bullet, or something less painful like the bullet just hitting my car. As close as he was, we were maybe 15 feet from each other, the chances of him hitting his target were pretty high. What if I died that day? What if I was shot, but didn’t die? Who would I rely on for help? Who would care for my dogs?

The bottom line truth is this: even though he didn’t pull the trigger, my life has changed forever. I guess it would be presumptuous to say exactly how because only time will tell, and right now I don’t know all the ways my life will be different from this one random afternoon. I do know the way I drive will be different. God only knows what the future would’ve looked like had things turned out worse, so I’m taking this as a warning to think before I act, and a gigantic blessing that I have another chance to correct my course, if that makes sense. A do-over. A reset. A fail but with no major penalties.

So that was the first half of the week. Then I found out an acquantance of mine passed away very unexpectedly. He’s a friend and fellow filmmaker with a couple of my friends, and someone I worked with on a huge project from 2015 to 2017. The news hit my two friends hard. They were close to him, and though I didn’t know him as well as they did, my heart became heavy the instant I found out. I’m sad for his family, I’m sad for my friends. It doesn’t make sense when such a great person takes an early exit, and we who are left behind are the ones who lose because of it. It’s hard to come up with something positive in circumstances like this, because the best scenario is one where he isn’t gone, but something cool happened on Sunday that I’m believing is a silver lining, a little gift from above that is sweet in it’s own little way. This guy was the biggest Minnesota Vikings fan this side of Heaven, and yesterday the Vikings pulled off a win in the final seconds of their playoff game, and it was pretty unbelievable. I won’t give a play by play recap, but they won on a last second, 61-yard touchdown pass as the seconds ticked down to end the game. I heard on the radio that right before the play started, the Vikings had roughly a 6% chance of winning the game. It was only that high because they were down by 2 so a field goal would’ve won it. But with 10 seconds to go and no time outs, 60 yards away from the end zone, TVs were being shut off across the country. The game was over. But uh uh uh, not so fast! Hike, drop back, launch, a catch and a sprint to the end zone for the win! It was a highly improbable ending, but so, so sweet. The biggest Vikings fan on that side of Heaven was jumping up and down, I’m certain.

Now another week has already started and I’m very curious about how it’ll unfold. I wouldn’t mind a week where nothing happens, a week that is so forgettable that I already forgot it and it hasn’t even happened yet. But if it turns into a week where God teaches me something, not to mention where He might have in fact intervened to save my life and my way of life, I would count that as a win, too.

And another Minnesota win would be pretty nice, too. Skol, Vikings!

-Out of the Wilderness