After Tristan Rohde found Brindle so very far from home, a saga unfolded that eventually culminated in a trip to Virginia to return Brindle to his original owner, thanks to a microchip.
After it was all over Amy Rohde, Tristan’s mother, sat down and gave us this collection of her thoughts on the journey from finding Brindle through today:
From home foreclosures to workplace violence to flu epidemics, it has become increasingly difficult to feel at peace with my world. Like many Americans, I have become cynical and anxious; it is frustrating to do the right thing and know that I still might just be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I had no idea that the balm for that worry was a very old dog named Brindle.
When my daughter, Tristan, first saw the old dog lying under a bush, she knew exactly what to do. In her mind, it was all so easy. He was thin, so we should feed him. He was hurt, so we should take him to a veterinarian. He was alone, so we should keep him company and love him. In my mind, a million excuses came up: “He might bite her.” “He might attack one of our dogs.” “The veterinarian might be expensive.” “He might die anyway.”
I had weak possibilities, but she had hard facts. She won, and Brindle came home with us.
Tristan was completely right. None of my awful possibilities came to pass, and Brindle thrived with some food, medical attention, and perhaps most importantly, love. Doing the right thing yielded amazingly positive results. The path to his care, and my peace of mind, became simple when I focused on improving what was and not worrying about what might be.
He had thousands of ticks on him, and looking at him, I was worried. My fears, “What if they carry Lyme disease?” “What if they bite me?” “How am I going to get all of these off?”, melted away as I realized that regardless of what might happen, Brindle was uncomfortable, and needed my help. I sat down, and started with the long task. Each tick I removed left a little spot of blood. I flinched, he snored. He seemed to know it was a necessary pain, and accepted it with characteristic patience.
Brindle met each problem along his path with a perfect blend of patience and a positive outlook. Each discomfort was endured, each new experience was met with curiosity, and each joy, no matter how small, was thoroughly appreciated. A scratch behind the ear seemed to make him forget the pain from his aching hips. Always happy, he dealt with his enormous pains with dignity and strength, and his small pleasures with a joy so fierce his tail would wag furiously.
Maybe we should examine our own outlooks, and see where we can learn from Brindle’s simple attitude. After much thought, my path to inner peace is similar to his– I’ll enjoy what I can, endure what I can’t, accept every belly rub that comes my way, and worry about nothing. It’s a dog’s life, but one we should all be so lucky to have.
Thank you, Amy, for a touching and insightful report. Sounds a lot like the beginnings of a book entitled, “Everything I Needed To Know I Learned From An Old Stray Dog.”
See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.