If you’re one of the people who knows Mr. Taleteller on Facebook, then you know that he pretty much only posts dog videos, things about training dogs and law enforcement posts. Most of them are funny, a few are about fallen heroes, both human and canine, but if it appeals to him, he shares it. The other day, he was watching something on his iPad and laughing like a total loon. I asked him what was so funny and he pulled out one of his ear buds and wiped the tears of mirth from his face. It turns out he was watching a video about a dog who wanted different results, but didn’t know how to get them.
The video he was watching, and shared with me, had a Belgian Malinois who had been out with his handler for some play time. If I recall correctly, the dog is a search and rescue dog. Anyway, they’d been out near this trail in the woods and the dog found a giant stick that he clearly viewed as a trophy. He was determined to take it home with him and he tried to jump into the back seat with it, but the stick was too wide to fit through the door. Over and over the dog tried to jump in the back with the stick and over and over it didn’t work. The dog’s owner had no intention of taking that giant stick back home, but he let the dog work on trying to get it in the car until he gave up and dropped it in defeat. I suspect that was easier than trying to take the stick away from a very determined dog.
There was another video that he found that had a similar scenario. Some people were out hiking with their dog when he found a stick. The dog picked up a giant stick and carried it along the trail with them. It was all fine until they came to a wooden stairway. The dog tried to walk up, but the stick blocked him from getting through. He backed up a few times and tried to maneuver through, but the stick kept blocking his path. This dog wasn’t giving up, though. He put the stick down, walked through, turned around and picked the stick up. It still wouldn’t fit. Then, the dog turned the stick and tilted his head. The stick was alongside his body at that point and the dog carried it up the stairs, happy that he hadn’t lost his trophy.
Last night, we had another horrible mass shooting in a night club in California. I suspect that everyone has heard about it by now. I cannot begin to express how sad I am over this latest tragedy. When I saw the father of one of the victims speak about him on the evening news, I cried because I could feel how raw his grief was. At this point, no one even knows why the shooter did what he did. There are signs pointing to mental health issues, most notably PTSD from his time serving in Afghanistan.
Soon, the other questions will start to come. Why does this keep happening? What can we do? Where does it end? I don’t have the answers. What I do know is that there are husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children and pets who won’t ever have that special someone come through the door again and hug them, make them laugh or share memories with again. We can’t keep trying to walk through the door with a stick in our mouths. We have to have honest and frank discussions about mental health, race relations and gun control. Everyone is going to have to put their stick down and try to find another way through if we are going to move forward. Doing the same thing over and over isn’t working. At the very least, we have to try something different. It may not work the first time. It may require fine tuning. But it has to happen. We all have to make some concessions and compromises if we want different results.