Sunday, May 23, 2010

“Niente accade per caso.”

Meaning, "Nothing happens by chance."

On this day, my clinical instructor and I had a vehicle modification assessment in DeQueen, Arkansas. Linda the OT and I headed that way at 7:30 am. About 15 minutes from our destination, she saw the sign for DeQueen was not the direction gps was taking us and decided to re-route. After assessing the client, he asked us to visit his community college to assess the bathrooms for accessibility.

This was a surprise.

He drove his power wheelchair to the car and pulled himself inside, which meant it needed to be driven back around the house onto the deck…and I was the woman for the job. If you have never driven a power wheelchair, and this was actually a first for me, it’s no easy feat! It takes a certain finesse only practice can provide, and I was a power chair rookie on the loose.

I gently pressed the joystick forward and my head flew back with a jolt as I sped down the street …You would be amazed how fast 10mph feels in a chair! I was wide-eyed! I ventured over a curb (scared to death) through a gravel drive with potholes (petrified) and managed to wind around the ramp almost running off the edge only twice. What I wouldn’t give to have a video of me accidentally off-roading into the grass and almost crashing into the man’s car. Comical!

When we finished and had eaten lunch, we started the drive back. GPS presented a different route than the way we came in, and we decided to take it to see something new…And you’ll never believe what we saw.

Somewhere near Lake Greeson on Hwy 70 between Dierks and Amity, a tiny black poof catches our eye, right on the edge of the highway. I gasp, “Ohmahgosh!”
“What is that!?” Linda says, “Is that a... bear!?”

No seriously. We were in the middle of nowhere with forest on each side, so hey…we didn’t know! She immediately slowed the car and turned around and said, “Do you want it?”
“Not if it’s a bear!” I said.

Once we were near I saw the sweetest baby puppy face munching on grass in the summer heat. As I tried to coax him near, he scurried away from me. After a failed attempt to bribe with Rolos, I took a few quick steps towards him to scoop him up, but he darted with fear into the road. I screamed “NOOO!” and turned with both hands over my ears to see a car followed by an 18-wheeler approaching.

They both swerved into what would have been oncoming traffic and missed the little guy by inches. He ran back into the grass and just before he escaped into the woods, Linda made a dash and pounced on him like lightening. “Here ya go!” she said as she handed him to me. He thrashed around making terrified noises, like a wild animal. But the minute we sat in the car and started on our way, he laid motionless in the crook of my arm for the 2.5 hour drive.

After an immediate bath...

...hours of tweezing ticks from his limp body, and about 3 hours of restless sleep before work the next day, boy has he come back to life! He's a feisty little sucker, a yapper, and a biter and ever is he stubborn! But he's sweet as can be and needs some loving...and some intense training.

We are avid Dog Whisperer followers and have always known that before bringing another dog in permanently, we would have a trial period first to make sure that they were right for the family dynamic we already have in place.

{Oliver never left his side from the time I brought him in. He didn't try to play at all, but just laid beside him and watched.}

Our first goal was to get him healthy and safe.

We have named him Owen, which means "young fighter".

We took him for his shots and are taking care of the worms and fleas. Whether or not his forever home is here or with another family, he's so much better off than fending for himself on Hwy 70 in the blazing heat. It stormed the night I brought him home, and I thought about what he would be doing, alone, in the wild storm. I thought, what if we hadn't gone the route we did, or what if the client hadn't asked us to make the trip to his school and we had left hours earlier. I thank God we were led that direction and little bear Owen is safe from harm.

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