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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Making a Memory

Micah is the big guy standing at the right leading the singing.

When Micah was about 12 or so, he paddled bow in my canoe on a Pathfinder canoe trip down the Brazos River. Ever once in a while, when life's little stresses had piled up and I was at the point that I wanted to stick needles in my eyes, I'd suggest a canoe trip with 20 or 30 10 to 15 year-old kids. You wouldn't think that would help the stress much, but it was surprisingly effective. Don't ask me why.

Anyway, Micah used to like what he called "making memories". I think I've told you about the time I found him in the backyard sitting in a wheelbarrow full of water with a water hose in an earlier post. Anyway, Micah was a pretty good actor - won several awards in UIL competitions in school. He used to put together impromptu bits of drama like the time he goaded the boys' basketball team to stand up in the stands and sing the girls' team's theme song while they were out on the court playing. It was some disco song called "From East to West" by Voyage. This was the early 90s and Disco was dead, but it was a chick song that the girls team liked and one of the girls complained to him that the boys never supported their team like the girls did for the boys team. So Micah made a disco memory, singing in falsetto and everything. It was classic. The picture above is from that "memory".

Paddling with Pathfinders
Meanwhile, back on the Brazos River, Micah and I were paddling drag, picking lousy paddlers out of the bushes along the bank and sending them on their way.  We were paddling down the middle of the river and passed a black Laborador retriever in the middle of the river, trying to swim against the current. He was holding his own, but not gaining any ground (or water). We heard his owner calling him up the river. We figured the dog had heard the call and made a beeline back to camp. Unfortunately, the river made a little bend there and "straight home" was across the river bend.

We could tell the dog was in trouble and starting to wear out. Micah looked at me and we whipped that canoe around and paddled up beside him. Micah caught the dog by the collar and held him up. He was too big to put in the canoe, so we paddled him over to the bank where he could climb out and get back home. The big lug was all excited about getting his feet back under him again, gave Micah's hand a perfunctory lick and bounded off through the brush toward his increasingly anxious-sounding family.

Saving a life is particularly gratifying when you get a chance to do it. That was the second dog I'd rescued in my canoeing career and along with a half-starved Hereford, my third animal rescue.

I highly recommend taking a Red Cross Life-saving course sometime in your life. It's fun and there's no telling what life you may save.

© 2015 by Tom King

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