Saturday, May 14, 2011

Follow that lead!

Sometimes the weirdest things can take you on a journey.

This morning, a lovely lazy Saturday, I decided to take a break from work and just relax. . . mind you, I havent written a single word all week and despite my best efforts at attempting to force the fingers to get busy, nothing has magically appeared on my computer screen. My current Works in Progress have forgotten my name.

Still, I felt compelled to take a break. Hey, don't judge me.

Back to the point...I sat in my rocking chair with a hot mug of coffee and decided to turn my attention to a recent gift from a good friend. Two back issues of the AKC dog magazine, Family Dog. (did I mention I'm a dog person? Well, follow me on facebook and you'll see what I mean.)
Anyway. I liesurely thumbed through the issues, admiring the many breeds and imagining a future time when I had more time to spend on things like training and showing and doing more than tossing a squeaky for my hound between paragraphs.

Then I turned the page and stared at something different. The article was titled, All K-9s on the Western Front, and the picture was an old black and white war photo of a group of soldiers and their service dogs, judging from the crosses worn by both, I'm guessing they were medical rescue dogs.

Something about that picture grabbed me. This happens on occaision, and I tend to pay attention. I mean, I have next to zero interst in war, and I know next to nothing about World War One, in particular, but here I was, immediately obsessed with the photograph and desperate for more information.

So I dove on it. I know better than to ignore that kind of reaction. I read the article twice, hit the internet and followed my nose. I didn't know there at the start what was happening. Not really. I could have guessed there was a story to be had in there somewhere, but I could just have easily chalked it up to a triggered past life memory...I still may, you never know.

Either way, however, there is a story now. It's a biggie, and it's going to require a lot more research than I usually enjoy. No matter, the gates have opened. One click leads to another and before I know it I have the webpage devoted to the history of dogs in the military bookmarked. I have the public record scanned copy of Colonel Edwin H. Richardsons manual on training war dogs. (he's a big name in military dog history, let me tell ya) Im more excited than I have been since....since...

Well, since this happened the last time. It's kind of a pattern.

Anyway, you may have zero interest in war dogs, or basket weaving, or martian ice, but you never really know what might strike a nerve--or what great story might be waiting for you to unearth it. I thinks its that element of surprise that makes this the best job in the world--at least for me.

Keep your eyes and your mind open, and listen for that whisper.

Here's to following the thoughts that tickle,

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