Mr. Ben

Mr. Ben
Recent weeks for me have been a confluence of variations of mortality.  I celebrated an immortal and risen Christ with my family led by the sermon of my brother in law Josh.  It was inspiring.  Flowering shrubs and trees have waited patiently for their chance to usher in spring.  Patches of green grass can be seen.  Nature’s reminder that winter doesn’t last forever. I also felt the pain of mortal man with the loss of some truly wonderful people.  One a lifetime educator who saw good in all, the other a selfless mother of five.  Empty.  Bleak.  Dark. 
I felt like I could both curl up in a ball and run without tiring at the same time.  Like I knew that life was but minute long and also that I had the opportunity to “suck the marrow” out of the day.  Inspiration in such circumstances can be hard to find.  And sometimes it literally walks by your window. Such was the case when I finally met Mr. Ben Law.
Mr. Ben patrols the street in front of our office daily.  Rain or shine.  He picks up litter, prunes trees, and pulls weeds.  For free.  He champions no cause that I’m aware of.  He was asked by none to perform his job.  He simply saw an opportunity to make the world a better place and acted…..alone.  He seems oblivious to the cars passing by just feet from him.  I have seen him for years now and never had, or took, the chance to visit with him.  I feel very fortunate that I finally did and got to say thank you sir you are an inspiration!  Oh by the way, Mr. Ben is 83 years young.  I hope he does come in out of the cold one day to take me up on that cup of coffee. 
There have been tighter hugs in my house and I have told people “thank you” and “I love you” a bit more.  I have listened to my trainer friend more closely when he says “we get to do this today”.  We don’t really know much here on earth.  And furthermore we don’t get a lot of answers.  We might be 83 and find a new purpose, or leave loved ones far too early.  In either case, this day I’m going to truly live.
Dr. Y

My pets are no better than yours

I’m sure this is contrary to popular opinion, but my dogs are not anymore well behaved than yours.  In fact, if you ask my wife today, she might claim they are the most despicable, deplorable creatures that could have ever been thought of by the most demented individual that has ever roamed this earth.  I’m not quite there yet, but we’ll see what this week holds (its still early).  I have come to this conclusion through years of careful contemplation and review of too many to count “what the heck where they thinking” moments. 
Our first big event after we got married was getting my Labrador retriever, May.  Now if you don’t know May, she is a very sweet dog who does “know” commands (not sure she cares to follow them all the time), and loves my family.  But what you may not know is May loves tearing up fabric (I mean LOVES).  We went through 3 sheet sets as a puppy (mind you this was when we did not have a tremendous amount of money).  You might ask while we didn’t you keep her away from the sheets, well we tried.  She was kept in a crate beside our bed.  Because of our small living quarters, the crate had to stay in the bedroom. Now here is the amazing thing, the crate was a full 6 inches from the bed.  I’m still not sure how she reached them, and I’m really not sure how she was able to pull the entire sheet into the crate with her through the small opening, and then still how she was able to wrap herself in the sheet like a shawl to look like she was living in the Middle East.  She has chewed up too many dog beds, cushions, and pillows to count.  I don’t want to even guess how much they all cost. 
Like many of you, I spent those cold mornings out on the front lawn with icicles hanging from my nose; pleading, you would even say begging for just that 2 seconds of pee from your newly acquired spawn of satan (I mean loved one) so that you can go back inside and defrost your toes.  I have cleaned up numerous, I’ll just call them, odiferous presents after just returning inside from a walk around the block.  I’ve deep cleaned the carpet after someone decided it was a good idea to eat the entire bag of starburst, wrappers and all, and then evacuated their stomach on the carpet. 
Then if we weren’t insane enough at that point we “adopted’ a cat from the vet school.  I put the quotations there because you don’t adopt a cat, the cat tells you its ok for him to live with you.  And then to add to more fuel to the fire, we acquired a South African Boerboel (google it).  The cat really enjoyed cords (power cords, phone lines, remote control cords, shoe laces, draw strings, you get the idea), and the boerboel really enjoys wood furniture (pine, wicker, plywood, oak; he’s really a connoisseur you might say). 
It is actually a miracle that our house is still standing (well it was when I left for work).  I have racked my brain, thinking I must I have missed some sign or didn’t provide some structure or didn’t put the food in their bowl just right.  What did I do to lead them astray?  Where did I go wrong as a pet father?  I’m ashamed!!
…then I realized, they’re dogs and cats (mind you they are my four legged kids).  They just thought it tasted good or it was fun.  They were living in the moment.  Enjoying what life was at that point; mind you, I wish they would enjoy it in some other way.  I think we all could learn something from them.  Life is short, enjoy it.  This was not an invitation to come by my house and destroy anything thoughJ.

Dr. B