We are in day three of the Black Forest fire north of Colorado Springs, and something amazing has been happening. People are caring for each other and helping each other, friends and total strangers. I’ve seen it before, in the aftermath of 9/11, during the blackout that shut down the Northeast a few years ago, and after natural disasters. But this is Colorado, and the thing that has really stood out is the devotion of people to their animals, and vice-versa.
One couple owns five dogs, one of them a retriever mix named Maisie, a rescue dog they got five years ago. Don Scheer had been alerted the fire was close to his house and tried to reach his wife, Sandy, by landline and cellphone, without success. He knew she was planning to take a nap, and finally decided to drive to their house to find her.
Before he got there, flames engulfed the back deck and the roof. Sandy was still asleep. Maisie went to the glass door outside Sandy’s bedroom and started barking. Finally, Sandy heard her and woke up. She saw what was happening, gathered the dogs and went out to the driveway where their two cars were parked. One of them was already on fire. She got herself and the dogs into the other as her husband was arriving home. As she pulled away, the entire structure went up in flames behind her. Maisie, the rescue dog, literally saved Sandy’s life. Another minute or two and it would have been too late. Cast your bread on the water… Or, in this case, a dog biscuit. It is kindness repaid.
They lost everything except their own lives and their dogs. Later Don said, “I am really happy right now.” Perspective, I believe, is a big part of happiness.