The Runt

Here, on my back porch, at Hall (1.15) acres… we have quite the show going on this morning.

Without an ounce of success… ”Willow”, one of our rescue mutts, is stalking honey bees as they buzz around the blossoming Morning Glory flowers.

It’s not often in life that you get to witness so much effort and enthusiasm combined with such a complete and utter lack of talent.

Yet, she continues to bite at the air.

“SNAP!”… and a miss.

“SNAP!”… and a miss.

Even without my binoculars… I can see the snickering and taunting expressions on the tiny faces of her unimpressed quarry.

However, Willow does not care. She just keeps trying.

You see… some tasks are a little more challenging for her than other dogs.

I found her locally through “Hearts and Tails of Hope” pet rescue.

As a puppy, she had been abandoned with her littermates alongside the railroad tracks in Rice, Texas.

Accordingly… the veterinarian office dubbed the unwanted whelps the “Rice Babies”.

Willow was the smallest and the sickliest of the pups. The vet tells us that she must have survived a very high fever. This stunted her growth and caused her teeth to not fully develop.

When my wife and I took this scared and anxious pup home… we were pretty sure we did not have a future AKC champion on our hands.

We had adopted a RUNT.

But… not without good reason.

Many years ago, I had joined my 7th grade football squad as the littlest kid on the team.

I must admit the school tried to accommodate me. After all, they had issued me the smallest equipment in their inventory.

Despite that… my helmet was so big it would often spin around on my head. Imagine how intimidated my opponents were as I glared at them through the earhole.

But, things were not all bad. I had inadvertently become a source of inspiration and morale for the team.

Anytime one of my gridiron colleagues started to feel bad about their abilities, they could instantly boost their self-confidence by glancing at the tiny kid who had just been tackled by his own shoulder pads.

Unless you count eating astro-turf… It is safe to say I did not set any football records that season.

However, I did learn that I had one special talent.

As many times as I had been embarrassingly smashed, pummeled, launched, flung and drop-kicked…

… I ALWAYS got back up.

I know that is not much by most people’s standards… but it gave me something I needed at the time. Despite my lack of ability and size… I was as good at that one “big” thing as any NFL “Hall of Famer”.

So today, when I see Willow… now two-years old… with her crooked tail, wonky-looking legs and big nose… happily chomping at the air… I do not see a runt.

Rather, I see the spirited, but ailing puppy that “got up” off those railroad tracks every day… until she was saved.

I see a marvelous creation made up of many unique parts… she is a TITAN of tenacity… a GIANT of gentleness and a COLOSSUS of cuddling.

Ultimately, her appearance, stature and status are of no consequence. Her value… much like yours and mine… resides in her HEART.

… and what a HEART it is…

“SNAP!”… and a miss.

“SNAP!”… and a miss.

Please have a good day.

– Greg

– Greg Hall and his wife Stephanie reside in Midlothian. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington Business School and serves as COO at Spring Creek Restaurants. With his writing, Greg… a former award-winning, small town columnist… strives to use a positive perspective, humor and personal observations to connect with readers from every walk of life.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here