This summer we adopted a pound puppy, about a year old. He’s sweet and goofy. The name “Moose” that he came with fits him well, so we kept it. When people ask what breed he is, my response has been a loving “ugly”, or “brown”. But recently he took his first trip to the vet, who informed us that, while definitely a mutt, Moose is predominantly a Rhodesian Ridgeback.
I was told these dogs are bred to hunt lions. Ridgebacks originated in Southern Africa and are a cross between the dogs of European colonialists and the native dogs of the Khoikhoi people. The internet tells me that the Rhodesian Ridgeback is calm, gentle, obedient, and highly intelligent.
Knowing this, I am looking at Moose a bit differently. No longer is he a gangly, attention-seeking dufus. My dog is a lion hunter. A LION HUNTER.
Have you ever known someone only to later learn some startling information that profoundly changes everything? Maybe they survived a horrific tragedy or maybe they’ve performed a magnificent feat. I recently learned that a co-worker was a prisoner of war for two years. Wow!
We don’t know what we don’t know about people. Maybe someone has battled cancer and won. Maybe someone battles mental illness and wonders if they’ll ever win. Maybe they’ve save a life – or saved a soul. Maybe they walk the earth each day with a profoundly broken heart. Each of us is a storehouse of memory and experience. Sometimes we respond to life with emotions we don’t really understand. Let’s give each other the benefit of the doubt. Let’s give each other respect. It’s possible that the acquaintance you think you know might be hunting lions when you’re not looking.
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