White Dog usually sedately waits for the rest of the White Dog Army for wash over us in greeting as we enter the door. Then she looks up expectantly from the chair or couch inviting us to sit beside her and receive a full report on what happened while we were gone.
But not tonight. We must have looked as frazzled as we felt when we returned home from the planning meeting of the Epilepsy Support Group that is holding its awareness walk the end of this month. The meeting went wonderfully well and the group was fascinated by the similarities between canine and human versions of the disease and by the comparative research being done to advance our ability to understand it. We agreed to help the human group with registration and they have invited (for the first time) dogs, epi-dogs, and their humans to take part in a show of solidarity.
No, as we told the WDA gathered around us, the frazzling happened BEFORE the meeting, when we were a bit early and were wasting time. We decided to stop at a quick mart for bottled water. This required a right turn at the light and then a quick second turn into the parking lot. In the second turn, we turned too tightly and hit the curb...and burst the tire!
But this is where Tortured Thursday became Thankful Thursday.
Before Steve had even limped the van the 25 feet to the side of the building, a man came running up from down the street calling out to make sure we were all right and offering to help put on the spare. Felix lived in the neighborhood and saw us strike the curb; he said it happens often at that spot. Then he dropped down to his knees to look at the damage as Steve got out the lift.
Our van is one of those where the spare is tucked on the underside of the car's carriage and you have to shimmy under the vehicle to get it out. Our Angel refused to let Steve get his dress clothes dirty as he scooted on the parking lot asphalt to tackle the task.
He was gracious and had such a positive attitude about being in the right place at the right time to be able to help. In short order the wheel was replaced. Felix argued about the twenty Steve offered to at least clean his clothes and buy himself dinner, he wanted me to donate it to the Epilepsy group. I promised we would make a donation in his name but insisted that he take the money as a special thanks for helping us make the meeting in a timely fashion.
I hugged him and thanked him for restoring my often shaken faith in humanity. It is people like Felix who still go out of their way to lend a hand without thought of personal gain that give me hope that all is not lost.
"It is not likely I will ever see Felix again," I told the WDA, "but let us ask the Universe to bless him and to give him the strength to never lose his willingness to care about those around him." The White Ones moved closer to Steve and I so that we were all touching. "May he be filled with the warmth of knowing he made a difference," White Dog said.