dog biscuits and two little boys

We moved to Utah and bought our first home after my husband finished his PhD in Los Angeles fifteen years ago. At that time my two oldest sons were were only 5 and 3 and they were thrilled to have a real yard of their own. The only problem was that we had moved to an old World War II neighborhood (one of the first planned neighborhoods ever built in the 40s, consisting of about 100 small houses), and the homes each sat on a small lot with most back yards being adjacent to at least a couple of other ones. Coming from city life in L.A., we felt lucky to own any little square of grass. But the black Scottie dog that lived behind us offered a challenge for our little guys. The dog didn't bark, but stared at the boys through the chain link, suspiscious and tentative.

One day we got a phone call from the owner of that dog, our new neighbor who was insightful and kind. She invited my boys, her new little red-headed and brunette neighbors, over to ask them a favor. She needed someone to help her to take care of her dog. She said the dog was lonely and needed friends, and she asked my sons to help her. As we walked out of her home each boy carried a plastic tumbler full of dog biscuits. What they could have never realized was that swimming around in the spaces between those biscuits was a chance to be happy in this new, strange place.

And so this July will mark fifteen years in this same neighborhood. When we needed a bigger place after two more children, we moved ten houses up the street. Who could have guessed that dog biscuits could be such powerful things?

11 comments

LisAway | January 7, 2009 at 1:08 AM

I like your new look!

What a great neighbor. There's something great about finding a place you want to be long term.

Luann | January 7, 2009 at 6:46 AM

I bet your neighbor was just being her normal outgoing self and didn't give those biscuits a whole lot of thought after they walked out her front door carried by two sweet little boys. Isn't it amazing how receiving even a small act of kindness leaves such a lasting impression on our life, our memory and our soul?

Great post.

Libby | January 7, 2009 at 7:54 AM

What a great story!

(Has it really been 15 years?)

Lara | January 7, 2009 at 9:29 AM

Nothing better than a good neighbor! My two oldest girls were 5 and 3 when my husband finished up his doctorate, too. :)

April | January 7, 2009 at 10:05 AM

There is nothing that can compare to a good neighbor!

Heidi Ashworth | January 7, 2009 at 12:06 PM

I absolutely adore your use of the word "swimming" in this. AdORe it! All the other words, too, as usual.

Kazzy | January 7, 2009 at 10:24 PM

It is really nice to have been somewhere long-term. I can't believe that this Fall will make ten years in our current house.

Lisa- thanks for commenting on the new layout. It was time for a change. Lu- I am sure she had ne real idea about the influence she would have. Libby- time flies! Lara- what does your husband do? Music? April- true, true. And Heidi- I was concerned about mixing my animals by using "swimming" instead of barking. LOL Glad you liked it.

charrette | January 7, 2009 at 11:58 PM

I love this line: "swimming around in the spaces between those biscuits was a chance to be happy in this new, strange place". Oh, so true...God is in the details.

I can't believe your boys were that little when you moved. Wow.

Linde | January 8, 2009 at 7:42 PM

How life changes! So nice to know there are people like that. :) Up until 2:30 a.m! Wow! Was the movie good? :)

Rachel Cotterill | January 9, 2009 at 4:28 PM

That's such a sweet story! :)

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel | January 9, 2009 at 10:47 PM

Wow, what a nice neighbor. And what a wonderful thing for your kids to feel welcome and "needed" by a lovable doggie :-) I'm a little jealous of your family. because of my husband's job we used to move a lot. We have not been in a neighborhood that long (15 years). The stability must be wonderful.