Circumstances reveal layers to people, pets
Published 9:40 am Monday, July 5, 2010
I live with a stalker. I have lived with this stalker for three years. I had no idea that the four-legged friend I was living with was secretly keeping his stalking tendencies hidden. It was possible he thought we would unadopt him if we knew. But on a recent warm summer night, Sam, my faithful four-legged pooch could hide his secret from me no more.
I heard a shout from the calm person in our home. “Julie, you need to stop Sam. Hurry!” I was alarmed. Had Sam jumped the fence? Was the gate open? Did we need to go on a dog hunt? The alarm was mounting. I rushed to the door. The now usually calm person in our home that was no longer calm explained to me that he was not dressed to go outside. I needed to stop Sam now.
I rushed to get the leash. I heard the uncalm voice saying “No, Sam, has a baby rabbit. I heard it squeal. He is killing it!” I then became the stalker. I love my rabbits. I opened the door, stalked into the yard and in the most authoritative voice I could muster I called Sam in. He must have understood because he came immediately. My kids always knew when I used their entire name, they were in trouble. Sam knows when I use his entire name, Sambo, that he is in trouble. He lowered his head and walked past me. I continued to give him the evil eye.
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The calm person handed me a plastic bag to clean up the remains. With a heavy heart, I stepped to them. The remains were there all right — in the form of the cutest little bunny. This creature looked up at me with soft eyes and twitchy ears and let me pick him up. He was very tiny. The bunny did not have a mark on him. Sam had picked him up, put him down and not harmed him at all. I stroked the bunny and let him loose outside of our fence. He gazed up at me for a few minutes and calmly hopped away.
Sam, knowing he had been punished unfairly (no treats when he came in), would not even look at me for a day.
The second stalking incident happened after the severe thunderstorm that struck Wells. Sam was pretty sluggish. He had had no sleep. His long body was tired from traveling up and down the basement steps. He even recognized that the siren meant he should head for the basement, so he had been kept busy the night before, urging us into the basement. I finally enticed him back into the yard when, like a streak of lightning or faster than a speeding bullet, Sam attacked my bushes.
After getting over the shock at his speed, I noticed something in his mouth. It was a baby bird. Again in my sternest voice, I yelled “Drop it!” If looks could kill, Sam would have been the one that dropped. Out of his mouth came the sweetest baby bird. There were no injuries. The baby bird fell to the ground, chirped wildly at Sam and flew back into the bushes.
I thought after three years I knew my faithful pooch, but Sam surprised me. We humans surprise many people, too. We have so many layers to our personalities that I don’t believe we ever peel away all the layers and let everyone know who we are. We even surprise ourselves with behaviors and accomplishments that we didn’t know we had in us.
The human spirit is capable of great things. We have seen the durability of the human spirit the past few weeks as Mother Nature has wrecked havoc on our communities. We have seen neighbors support neighbors even as they themselves have had losses. We have seen strangers help strangers. We have seen communities help other communities. We have seen normal, everyday people become heroes.
I thought I knew Sam, but a new layer was peeled away and I saw a side to his personality that I did not know. The layers of personalities were peeled away during the storms. We thought we knew our neighbors and our friends, but the past weeks many of those neighbors and friends went beyond what we knew and became angels and heroes. Thank you for showing us who you are.
Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send e-mail to her at firstname.lastname@example.org .Her blog is paringdown.wordpress.com. Listen to KBEW AM radio 1:30 p.m. Sundays for “Something About Nothing.”