I love most dogs and cats… from a distance. I enjoy their company as long as I don’t have to feed them regularly or pick up their “droppings.” I enjoy an occasional petting or game of fetch but other than that – I’m good. My schedule doesn’t allow me to be a good owner anyway. At least that’s what I tell myself when those pathetic SPCA commercials come on TV, with the sad music, telling me I should save the cutest little puppy ever from certain doom. If it wasn’t for the remote control, I’d own 400 of them by now and be a reoccurring star on Animal Hoarders.
The most annoying dog of all, to me, is the Chihuahua. I don’t find them attractive, snuggly, obedient or quiet. But, today, I realized their importance. The picture (below) is a home less than 1 mile from me. I drove by it today and now realize what those sirens were about in the middle of the night. Seeing my neighbor’s home destroyed like that is a humbling experience. Someone lived there. Someone had breakfast there. Someone slept there. Someone mowed that grass. Kids were raised there. It had photo albums and souvenirs from previous vacations and memories, tons of memories. Every wall had a story. Every window had a view. Everything, now, is gone.
At 2:30am, the homeowners were sleeping when that annoying, ugly Chihuahua of theirs began to bark. When he wouldn’t stop – the homeowners went to inspect. Apparently the door to their garage was hot. In less than 3 minutes, the house was engulphed in flames and it would take over an hour for the fire department to control the blaze. They managed to get everyone out (including the dog) and lost everything but their lives. In the end, that’s the only thing that really matters.
I may not live in my dream house, but at least I have a place to go to tonight. I may not have been on the best vacations ever – but at least I have pictures to show. I may not drive the most reliable car but I can get in mine today and drive somewhere. All in all, I’m feeling grateful. Grateful that my neighbor is alive. Grateful that they owned a dog, even if it is ugly and loud. Grateful for the firefighters who risk their lives to save others. Grateful that it wasn’t me.
I think the next time I hear some sirens or even a Chihuahua barking incessently, I’ll say a quick prayer. It will remind me to be grateful for my many blessings. I’m still changing the channel on the TV when I see the “save the dog” commercials. I’d rather be in Heaven then listen to that barking all day.