We have been taking a break from hang gliding for several months now. It’s one of those things–first we were taking a break so our knees could heal. Then, Pat started working every weekend getting his new guitar-building business going. All work and no play was getting old.
Then, when Pat’s family came to town to celebrate Pat’s milestone birthday with us, we managed to talk his sister into going for a tandem flight.
Talking someone else into doing a tandem flight is different from deciding as a couple that it’s something you want to do together. There is a completely different sense of responsibility–probably heightened by the fact that this was Pat’s baby sister (never mind that she’s now in her 30’s and more than capable of making up her own mind). While I felt obligated to make her aware that there were risks, I didn’t want to scare her out of it because it’s one of those experiences you keep for a lifetime.
As we headed out to the mountain for Pat’s sister’s flight, I had one of my mental glitches that caused me to take us completely the wrong way.
As we drove as fast as was allowed in the wrong direction on a lonely 2-lane highway, we spotted a large dog staggering toward us in the middle of the lane. We also noticed it had a collar, so we swerved around it and started looking for houses, assuming its home had to be close–it was barely able to walk.
Pat’s sister immediately wanted to stop and pick up the dog. I think we were all thinking the same thing, but we didn’t want to steal someone’s dog. As luck would have it, we soon realized we were going the wrong way and needed to turn around. By this time, we realized there were no houses in the vicinity and there was no way that dog had gotten there on its own.
When we got back to where it was, it had collapsed in the middle of the road. We blocked traffic with our car, got out Tisen’s water bowl and gave the dog water. Then, we managed to urge it to get into our van, although Tisen wasn’t so happy about sharing his ride.
Since our safe-harbor dog shelter didn’t open for hours, we went ahead and took Pat’s sister to the flight park. When we finally got Pat’s sister signed up for her flight, we asked if anyone wanted a dog. It looked like a poorly bred Mastiff. Her hips were so bad, she could barely walk. She was dirty and smelled like she’d been lying in poop. She had ticks and probably fleas. We were certain she’d been dumped. No one was interested.
Pat’s sister took her flight full of joy knowing that the dog was safe. She said the tandem flight was 2nd to rescuing the dog on her list of things that made her trip. She wasn’t alone in her thinking.