January 27th 2010 12:25 pm
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Obedience instructors carry lots of paperwork. Dog info, attendance, owner
contact info, class handouts, syllabus, ID name tags, and business cards are
all kept in my folder.
As I left the building, I took the key from my pocket for the car. I had
loaned my car to family earlier in the day, and when it was returned, they
pulled the keys from the ignition. Earlier, in my haste when leaving for
class, finding no keys in the ignition, I grabbed the single key in the
hidden magnetic spare key carrier. Atypically, I locked the car upon
Last night was a typical January evening, blustery and cold with biting wind
I carried two 50 foot long lines, a treat apron, a big back of treats,
filled with nearly any tempting tidbit imaginable for a class of persnickety
dogs, along with the class folder.
Leaving the building with arms loaded, I took the key out of my pocket, so I
wouldn't be looking for it when I arrived at the car with my arms loaded and
already juggling, trying to carry it all in one trip.
Tuck, trotted obediently off leash at my side. Thank heavens I did not have
to deal with toting him along. He was self porting.
I always park in the far corner of the parking lot, so the choicer parking
spots are saved for students and business customers. My corner is dark, and
As I was headed across the lot, the wind gusted, and grabbed my class
folder, and the papers blew high in the air and across several parking lots
of the strip mall.
My arms already loaded, put me in a difficult position, and I started
grabbing for papers blowing like confetti in a ticker tape parade.
Some unknown people saw my predicament, and several kids started running
after the papers. Tuck started running after papers as well.
Finally after most had been collected, I went to the car to secure what I
had so I could search for the rest. To my dismay, I had lost the key (my
final spare key) somewhere in that dark asphalt parking lot in my haste to
I was locked out of the building, Everyone was gone. I couldn't get into my
vehicle. I had no way home. If I thought my initial problem just got bad, it
only got worse.
Everything was on the hood of my car, and weighted by my purse. But it was
still blowing, and I couldn't move without losing everything all over again.
Then the idea light bulb went on.
The vacant lot was safe. Tuck's a search dog, and
looking for small objects is a normal training session for him.
So I told him, "Tuck SEARCH"
Since search can mean anything, because often we are looking for meaningful
clues, but don't know if they even exist or not. So Tuck headed off across
the parking lot, in a quest. After a few minutes, he laid down in the
parking lot. (This is his indication that he felt that he found something
significant. He's not to touch anything, because it may contaminate or
invalidate evidence. His signal is that he lies down)
Daring to hope he found either papers scattered earlier, or perhaps the key,
I requested he bring it to me.
As I reached out to receive his offering, the familiar weight and comforting
heavy feel of that black plastic covered key as he dropped it in my hand.
My worries were over. He not only held the key to my car, he also holds the
key to my heart.
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