How are we all doing? I mean, really and truly, how are you doing?
I hope everyone is managing to stay positive. It’s a challenge isn’t it? Every time we see the light at the end of the tunnel, circumstances shift just enough to block it. I don’t know about anyone else but it makes me simultaneously grateful for the smallest things, and yet longing for bigger adventures and normality. Not to mention the reopening of schools. Home schooling is an experience.
For obvious reasons, no one is travelling right now. Adventures are confined to the local area. No complaints from me on that one, I think it’s the right thing to do and I’m lucky to live in a very lovely ‘local area’. Which also isn’t home to me, so exploring locally really is a discovery.
I really believe that walking is therapeutic. Putting one foot in front of the other is mood boosting and head clearing. Ten minutes or ten miles, it doesn’t matter. Just doing it is what counts. And who knows what you’ll find when you’re out and about. A lovely letter box? A bit of history? A knock out view?
This week I was rewarded with the sight of early Spring flowers. Daffodils and Snow drops. I’m amazed at their ability to survive and bloom given that we’ve had all seasons in these parts lately. It made me heart happy to see them. It’s encouraging. A reason to smile.
People can’t travel yet, but stories can. If you need a reason to smile, here’s a tale with a happy ending that reached me from the frozen wilderness of Estonia. For those of you who might not know, here’s a quick bit of context: my husband is a British soldier currently deployed in Estonia. I’m not entirely sure what he does in all honesty, but I know he isn’t in the Estonia of the travel brochures. He works from a military camp set on miles of training area. Think forest, muddy ground, ice , abandoned buildings (see below) and so on. Bit bleak, really. Not the kindest environment, not in the heart of Winter anyway.
Like me, Mr THL is also a dog lover. A bit of a softy for four paws and a wagging tail. So we were both a bit sad when he sent me this picture. A beautiful boy, a bit on the skinny side but looking like he’d been well cared for at some point. He’d been spotted out on the training area, but despite best efforts he wouldn’t let anyone near him. Soldiers tried to offer him some rations, but he wasn’t keen. Can’t blame him, I’ve seen them and good food they ain’t. He wouldn’t be tempted into the truck and again ( tongue in cheek) I don’t blame him. I’m not sure I’d jump on board with them either. So he had to be left.
Here’s where I have to admit how soft I can be. I went to bed thinking about that dog. Thinking about him being cold and out on his own. Thinking about how The Wolf would cope if he was out on his own. Wondering if this Estonian dog was missing his family, and if an Estonian family somewhere was missing him. I’ve heard of soldiers informally adopting strays during other deployments…could there be anyone patient enough to win this one round enough to care for him, even if only for a little while?
I might have even googled something like, ‘ How to adopt a stray dog from Estonia?’ . Mr THL would have thought that a crazy plan, but it wouldn’t be the first crazy plan I’ve won him round to. I’m sure he would have been up to the task of bringing this dog home, I have every faith in him. Luckily for him, there was no need as I got up a few days later to this.
A happy ending. Turned out the dog is called Roi, a much loved pet now reunited with his human. He’s been missing since New Year. Fireworks spooked him, he fled then couldn’t find his way home. He did find his way onto the military training area where, eventually, he bumped into a group of British soldiers who were bothered enough to try and help him out. In the end, he gave in to the temptation of a sandwich and the rest, as they say, is history. Well maybe not history exactly, but definitely a heart warming story. Roi was found by the army and his human was located via social media. Now those two things don’t always get the best press, so how lovely that they intersect into such a nice story?
Now that Roi is reunited with his owner, hopefully he’s living life to the full and that handsome tail is wagging. But there’s someone else who deserves a mention to round out this story. The soldier who held up a convoy of vehicles to rescue Roi when he spotted him. It earned him, to say the least, a bit of a dressing down. Taken on the chin in order to see Roi rescued and reunited with his people. What a guy, hey? I don’t know what the military gives medals out for these days, but Daring Dog Rescue should definitely be on the list.
What’s the take away from this, then? Spring blooms and happy endings. Well, let’s think about Roi. Something big and scary happened and he turned tail and fled. Got a bit lost along the way, but didn’t give up. Looked after himself as best he could until he found his way out of a sticky situation and into a happy ending. I think that’s a bit like us finding our way out of this pandemic. Be more Roi. Keep in sight the certainty that will get there. Things will work out.
Life will bloom again despite the hardships, just like those Spring flowers that made me smile. We will find our way home, just like Roi, despite getting lost in a Baltic winter. Hang on in there and keep smiling.