Life is not required to post a sign telling you that there is a sharp turn or a dead end directly ahead. The result is usually chaos, confusion, as well as, pain for many and we are left asking, “What was that?! Why, why, why?” Life is also not willing to give you an immediate answer, rather, we are left to find the answer and in that search we find another road, some reasons and, hopefully, some answers. I think that people and dogs come into our lives for a reason. Each one is a new road that can lead anywhere. Often where we end up is not where we planned (or didn’t plan) to go…we just arrive. Actually, we never really arrive and a final destination is always just a little farther down the road. The best we can do is enjoy the trip, rest in the stops and try to be ready for that sharp turn or worst of all the seeming dead end.
Over the years I have had many people come to work at DogBoy’s, and they all loved dogs as much as me. Some loved life and some just seemed to exist, but both loved dogs. Four years ago Colin came to work for me and he loved dogs and he loved life. He and I shared that we both had memories from our childhood that involved play, touch and love for our own dogs. I told him that my earliest memories of play and fun were with my dog Nikki, and he shared that his dog Mia was a comfort to him when he was younger. The thing that struck me about Colin was that he always had an odd sense of calm and peace. He was never in a hurry. He never balked at a request to do a dirty job. He always smiled broadly and with his whole face. He always listened with earnest interest. He carried his head high. His shoulders were square to whatever ever challenge confronted him. He would not be baited into an argument and most impressive, was is ability to stand in his faith like a giant boulder in a rushing white water river. Colin was on his road and loved it every day and in most every way. Until the road turned very sharply in October 2013 and then ended without warning in late January 2014.
“WHAT WAS THAT AND WHY!!??” was the collective cry. What happened and why did it happen like that? He was good. He gave. He loved life. He loved his road and everyone who knew him knew it and loved that about him. Why was he allowed to survive a near fatal accident and then spend over three months clawing his way back to the road that had thrown him down and smashed him? When I first saw him he was being pushed outside the hospital that was rehabbing him. He looked like a kid in a wheelchair looking at the ground. I called over to the woman pushing him, “Is that Colin?!” He immediately shot his arm, thumbs up, into the air. I thought and felt total relief. He was in was “there” and was OK. As I neared I saw in wasn’t the case. His eyes were open, but nothing. No light…but his thumbs up? He was in there he just couldn’t say so.
Once inside we spoke with the nurse and his older sister. He WAS in there. He was still on the road. When I told him to get his ass better so he could come back to work next summer…he threw a tennis ball at me, right to me. When I asked if he wanted us to bring a dog to see him, again, I got the ball. It was such a strong sign and a strong connection. I felt hope and knew he would be back to his old self and that time would make everything better, until it didn’t. The road stopped, but as it turns out, not for good and only briefly.
What does this have to do with dogs, life and the road we all travel? Life isn’t fair. It doesn’t warn you that danger is around the corner. If it does, sometimes we don’t listen. What it teaches me is to enjoy the road I am on. To rest in the stops, enjoy the dogs that bring me happiness, and enjoy the people that make me happy. When a road turns or ends there is always the next road and you can turn around and keep going no matter what. You have too. Finally, why did Colin come into my life? To teach me. To learn what life could and should be. His parents have amazed me with their strength and their ability to never go off the road. They have not only kept going but they are making the road better for the next person coming down its way. On May 17th there will be a golf tournament, The ILC Golf Tournament, honoring Luther Priem & Colin Lovett, to honor his life and raise money for the scholarship fund that has been set up for those kids and their new road. I have some answers, I have found another road and we will all continue down that road together.
If you would like to participate in the Colin Lovett golf tournament, either as a golfer or a donor, please visit the ILC Golf Tournament here. If you would like to form a team and play with me, contact DogBoy.