Tuesday, June 27, 2006

AG: The Tail--er, Tale--of the Three Legged Dog

Lessons come in the strangest places and at the oddest times. Today, I slipped out of the office early to get a haircut and buy one of those gooey-frosty-juice-things with names like “Mellon Madness” that are supposed to be good for me. The haircut went fine with no ears injured and the juice was everything I hoped it would be. As I drove through the parking lot, my mind on the day’s work and a straw of tasty juice permanently glued to my lips, I had to slow for a dog trotting over the asphalt—a dog with three legs.

Now, I’ve seen three-legged dogs before. I even tell a joke about a three-legged pig (don’t worry, I’ll spare you), but the image of the dog stuck with me through the day. First, the dog appeared as happy as any I’ve seen. He didn’t mope across the macadam, he moved with brisk motion as if he were late for an appointment (maybe he was out for a haircut, too).

Second, he trotted as if he had all four legs, apparently unperturbed by the missing limb. Whatever cost him his leg hadn’t taken his doggy-zeal for life.

Last, he used what he had and used it well.

“If only…” Have you ever heard the phrase? “If only I had more time. If only I were younger. If only I hadn’t wasted my youth. If only I had chosen a better college (or any college.) Many people utter this phrase, allowing it to become their mantra of failure. Budding writers say, “If only I had more time.” Hesitant entrepreneurs mumble, “If only I had started sooner.”

“If only…if only…if only….”

And what does the three legged dog do? He keeps moving as if nothing was missing.

That is a wise dog. Good boy.

Alton Gansky writes and blogs and looks for life lessons from his home in California. http://altongansky.typepad.com/


At 1:17 AM, Blogger Bonnie Calhoun said...

I've commented on this story on you blog, but it's always a good one.

Dog is supposed to be man's best friend...man should take the lesson presented!

At 10:45 AM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

Thanks for an encouraging word. It parallels an important scripture that is a guidepost in my life: "I can do all things through who strengthens me."

The three-legged dog. He's happy. He keeps on. He uses what he's got. Three points. Well taken.


At 11:54 AM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

Oops. "I can do all things through HIM who strenghtens me."

At 2:03 PM, Blogger C.J. Darlington said...

Shoot. And all I can think about is, "Why was the dog out there alone on the pavement?" "Was he a stray?" "Did he have a home?" I suppose that's a story unto itself ...

Once a dog lover, always a dog lover, I suppose.

At 2:27 PM, Blogger Cara Putman said...

God sure knows how to get me the message I need to hear. Your story joined with other reminders today. Thanks.

At 3:22 PM, Blogger Gina Holmes said...

Thanks, Al. Good reminder. Woof.


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