Saturday, September 8, 2012
Goldens and Medals and Dreams, Oh My!
Yesterday I took a personal day off work (something I've only done one other time in the last 13 years of working for my school district). It was the Golden Retriever Club National Specialty (AKA the national Golden thingy), and yesterday they hosted the "Rescue Parade." Fifty rescued Goldens were being highlighted, and our Foley was one of them.
I was prepared for the variety of Goldens. Some were small, some were lanky, some had a big head (one was brain-damaged) and one even had a missing leg. I was prepared for all the swirls of golden-colored dog hair whirling around the floor of Purina. (Purina's clean-up crew probably worked overtime each evening; many sweaters could be knit with the hair that was shed.) What I was not prepared for was my emotional response.
Seeing the people who came specifically to view the rescue parade--they cheered and clapped and thanked us individually for what we did--was heartwarming. The event began with a bagpiper, then each dog's story was read as the dog was paraded around the ring. Each dog received a medal that was placed around its neck--hung from a plaid ribbon--and the bagpiper finished up the parade.
We waited in line before we got our cue. We waited until the real champions' events broke for lunch. And we all looked up and down the row of dogs who were loved and cherished and cared for. But not one of these canines would ever win a ribbon in this kind of competition.
One of us made the comment, "We each have a #1 dog." Someone else replied, "And to think they're all 'throw away' dogs." He was right. Every one of those dogs had been discarded by someone...left for dead...abandoned.
What accomplishment or steadfastly-held dream are you proud of these days? Or What kind of competition would your dog or cat win? (Foley would win the couch potato trophy, for sure!) Or How does your past (as a writer, an artist, a human) impact your future?