Sunday, November 05, 2006

More Photos for "Create Lasting Memory for Someone Else"

NOTICE: We've Moved! Please click here to be taken to the new location!!

Well, here are two more photos in connection with the 3-part piece that was recently posted to this blog: "Create a Lasting Memory for Someone Else." Click here to see that story.

In the photo on the top is a young Champ romping in the snow. On the bottom is me posing as a gawky teenager with her. We looked pretty happy there, didn't we?

While we're on the subject of boys and dogs, a most amazing thing happened yesterday evening.

Once a month, my church has "movie night" for its members and anyone else from the local community. It's a great fellowship kind of event and yesterday was that night. Since I had been on the road most of the day yesterday (for a speaking engagement), I wasn't planning to stay for movie night because I was pretty tired. I wanted to go home, unpack and unwind but decided that I would make a temporary detour and stop by with: "hello, how are you, nice to see you, bye."

It didn't quite work out that way. It had to have been "divine intervention." Read on......

The movie night organizers were really hoping I would stay and hang out with everyone so they worked diligently to get the closed captioning feature to work on a movie they wanted to see. After numerous attempts, they couldn't figure out a way to activate it. It was strange because never before did they have this problem on previous movie nights. We figured maybe something was wrong with the closed captioning decoder chip inside the giant TV or perhaps the DVD device was not working. No one could really tell for sure.

Sensing their frustration, I turned to one of the organizers (Joni) and quietly said, "Really, I appreciate what you're doing here but you know, I'm tired. I only wanted to stop by for a few minutes and then go home. Besides, I've already seen this particular movie so it's no big deal."

With great disappointment and reluctance but with an air of understanding, Joni said, "Okay, you get some rest and I'll see you very soon."

Just as I was about to leave and head home, someone else came up with the idea of trying one more time with a "back-up" movie. From time to time, other members bring a stack of movies in case something like this happened or if everyone voted to see an alternate movie.

They popped in the DVD of this other movie and tried again.

Lo and behold - it worked! And you'll never believe what the title was.

"My Dog Skip"

I had just posted a story to this blog a week earlier about my dog Champ! How could this not have been divine intervention? We were meant to see this movie.

The organizers turned and looked at me with hopeful and expectant eyes. In response, I smiled, slid off my warm pilot jacket and flung it on a comfortable living-room type chair. Then I grabbed a fistful of pretzels along with a bottle of flavored water and snuggled in for a few hours.

Am I glad I did!

The movie depicted almost exactly the kind of relationship I had with Champ, just like how I wrote it. In fact, it was almost eerie. Like me, the boy in the movie (Frankie Muncie of "Malcolm in the Middle" TV fame) got a puppy as a surprise gift and experienced the trials and tribulations of boyhood with the dog constantly at his side (it was a Jack Russell breed, I think). In the end, the boy boards a bus and goes away to college. While he's away, the dog dies peacefully of old age. It was quite touching. There was not a dry eye in the room.

There's more to the movie and I don't want to ruin the surprise but I will say that there are other variables that come into play that differ slightly from my story. Even if you never had a dog while growing up, you can't help but be affected. It's very heartwarming and I guarantee you will shed a few tears, no matter how "tough of a grizzly veteran of life" you might think you are. What's more, it doesn't even matter whether or not you grew up with a dog. Go and get it!

Click here to learn more about the movie.
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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Photo for "Create a Lasting Memory for Someone Else"

NOTICE: We've Moved! Please click here to be taken to the new location!!

Well, here it is! This photo was taken on the day I got Champ as a surprise gift. Remember the story "Create a Lasting Memory for Someone Else"? If you're just joining us here at this blog, go here for that story.

Seeing this photo before reading that story will ruin the surprise ending for you but I just found it buried beneath a bunch of stuff long after posting that story. Unfortunately, Blogger does not give me the capability of uploading photos with previously submitted articles/stories. I am hoping their technology will improve to the point where I can do so. Meanwhile, this is the best I can do.

Anyway, isn't Champ a cutie? The two girls on my right were neighborhood kids while the two on the left were my sisters. Why I wasn't smiling, I'll never know - I remember being the happiest little boy alive that day!

In the next day or two, I'll post a couple more photos - one of Champ and I during our "teen" years and one of her playing in the snow in our backyard. And then in a week or so, I hope to have a new story posted for you guys!

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