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Living with Life’s Tragedies

I pride myself on the ability to have a conversation with just about anybody from any walk of life. Unlike Jan Austen’s Mr. Darcy, I have always had the easy facility of conversing with strangers. However, today I’m having difficulty putting words on paper. Monday’s bombing in Boston was a cruel reminder that Americans are just as vulnerable to the evil that men do as any other of earth’s residents. Even at my age, I still find many of life’s tragedies incomprehensible.

I have more than the average association with cruelty around the globe. I spent the first 10 years of my adult life working with refugees. Every day I listened to the stories of the unspeakable horror that men do to the most vulnerable among us. I think that one of the reasons I was drawn to the dog game was its civility and the general feeling that our common love of the dog made us family. As fulfilling as working with refugees was, after 10 years, I gave up trying to save the world and focused on saving my own family and friends.

Over the next couple of weeks, TV’s talking heads will advise you of all the ways you can make yourself safer. Avoid large public events. Be suspicious of everything and everyone. Report any person that looks suspicious, i.e., any person that doesn’t look and dress like you and your friends. The fact is we are still a somewhat free society. I have no intention of altering my routine out of fear. I am much more likely to chase down a young man who left his backpack on a bus and return it to him than I am to seek out a police officer to report a possible terrorist threat.

Admittedly, I have never been a fan of huge crowds. A couple of New Year’s Eves in Time Square cured me of any need to be part of the herd. I would much prefer to watch a Super Bowl from the winning team’s hotel than on site in the coliseum. These days the Westminster Kennel Club’s BIS judging is the largest crowd I will see in any year. Last night I reread the Book of Job to remind myself that I’m not supposed to know the mind of God, then I said a prayer for those whose family and friends were touched by this horrible intrusion on our peaceful country. Today, I am going to take my wife to lunch and be thankful that we were granted another day with our loved ones. This weekend I will be focused on my friends in the dog world and be aware that ours is a refuge from a lot of ugliness in this world. And that’s today’s Back Story.

Written by

Billy Wheeler has been attending dog shows as a spectator and exhibitor for over 40 years. Billy is the man behind the popular Dog Show Poop. He is a retired management consultant who has advised multiple organizations affiliated with the AKC and the Cat Fanciers Association on business management, long range planning, customer service, and legislative matters. After 25 years of living in the big cities of New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, he now resides in his hometown of Memphis TN with his wife, Brenda, her Toy Poodle and his Cairn, Scottie, & IG. When he is not blogging, Billy can be found in the kitchen cooking, and listening to opera.
  • Kathryn Musante
    Kathryn Musante April 18, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    I live in two worlds; the dog world and the running world. My husband and I were at the marathon on Monday April 15. We run it every year, but I was a spectator this year due to a recent knee surgery. Our friends and their family and loved ones are all safe, but we will never feel the same elation and triumph of crossing that finishline. Our hearts are broken, our spirit is strong and our legs will carry us over that finishline again a year from now. This weekend and next I will be showing my Salukis, at a small and much more obscure venue I can’t wait.

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