Life is Fragile. It can change in an instant!

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119
http://actvra.in/s7b

If you've read any of my blogs, you have probably discovered that I have a bigReal Estate Winchester Virginia dopey Rottweiler named, Hoss.  He was a rescue dog my sons adopted while I was attending a conference in Denver.  Our previous rescue, Tony, had died a few months before and the boys felt like they needed a dog.  My wife sided with them and off they went to Pet Smart. 

Imagine my surprise when I returned to Virginia and was greeted at the door by a 115 pound dog I had never seen before.  I was at a fitness conference in Denver for five days.  I had a workout just before leaving the University of Denver, so my sweaty gym clothes were in my flight bag.  I dropped the smelly clothes in front of my hamper intending to take them to the laundry after a brief time catching up with the family, and while I was standing there talking to my wife Hoss came in an piddled on my clothes.  

That's how we started our relationship.  He did that one more time before we got the alpha male role straightened out.  Over the next year, Hoss became a part of the family and we love him.  He fits right in.  He has become so popular around here that he has his own Facebook fan page.  

The second winter Hoss was with us we had a 30" snow.  The first time I let him out after the snow I stayed by the window and watched him the whole time.  He's 36" to the shoulder.  So, bounding through a deep snow wasn't a great challenge for him.  By that snow, he had grown to a robust 185 lbs.  He was a big boy!

Hoss loves the snow, and on that morning he was having a great time playing in it.  The longer he was out, the more I started to worry about the swimming pool in the middle of our yard.  Hoss was aware of the pool on a clear day, and he had been really good about staying away from it, but on this day there was no pool.  There was only a yard with 30" of snow in it. 

The pool cover, that is supposed to carry an elephant, did really well at keeping a ton of snow suspended.  As Hoss was bounding toward the house I saw him get terribly close to the pool.  All of sudden - whoosh - no Hoss.  The cover couldn't take the extra weight, and Hoss had no idea he had just stepped on the pool cover.

He went right in to the lower end of the pool (3 feet).  I yelled, "Hoss is in the pool!" and before I could get the door open my older son was running around the corner to join me in the rescue.  We both had shorts, t-shirts and sneakers on when we left the house. 

We charged through the 30" of snow and when we got to the end of the pool I jumped right through the cover. Splash!  When I got in pool, I found Hoss just standing there in a couple feet of water.  We was looking at me like, "What?"  I lifted him to the side and my son, who was lying on his stomach in the snow, helped pull him out.

Hoss headed back to house like it was a normal day.  That brings me to my point.  Life is fragile.  It can turn in an instant, and you might have to make decisions on the spur of the moment that are totally out of your comfort zone.

In those moments, you have to set everything aside that is controlling your thoughts and go with your instincts.  That's not scientific, but it might Real Estate Winchester Virginiabe the right answer.  It was for Hoss.  It saved his life.  The super cold water and the ice in the pool would have been an invitation into the deep end with a minor slip from the big boy. 

If I hadn't watched him it might have been his last day with us.  Fortunately for me, he didn't slip into the deep end and it wasn't his last day.  Even 24" of water on a snowy day was pretty cold for me.  My son and I were soaking wet and beet red when we got back into the house.  Hoss went to his food bowl, and I went to a hot shower.  

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Rainer
124,676
Debora Nichols
Residential Sales, Purchases, Investors, Vacation Homes - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor Anthem,Phoenix,Scottsdale,Glendale,Peoria

Mike, thankful for a happy ending here.  That is not always the case.  When I bring a new four legged kid home, they have to learn how to swim.  They they don't have to like it, but they have to learn how to swim and how to get out.  I am very happy this turned out so well for Hoss and you family.  Give Hoss a big HUG for me.

Jan 30, 2012 09:29 AM #10
Rainer
107,456
Leslie G. Rojohn
MoonDancer Realty - Sylva, NC
GRI, ABR ~ MoonDancer Realty

Well I had to jump to the end of the story to make sure it turned out all right.  You are so right.  Life can turn on a dime. A simple mis-step or a moment of absent mindessness can change everything.  We have many dogs, and people often ask us why we don't get someone in to stay with them so we can get away once and awhile.  We know our dogs so well and need to be constantly vigilent or there can be disasters. We could never relax if someone else was watching them.

Glad your big boy had you watching out for him.  Good human. Good human.

Jan 30, 2012 09:29 AM #11
Rainmaker
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Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Hi Mike: Nice story and now I'm really missing our Lukie - Luke was "only" 130 lbs, a baby compared to Hoss! Yes, life can change in an instant - I'm all too familiar with that thought (fear)! Glad, Hoss is alright!

Jan 30, 2012 09:40 AM #12
Rainmaker
391,538
Kristine Ginsberg
Morris County, NJ: Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC - Morris Plains, NJ
Morris County, NJ Stager

Mike - I couldn't take it and had to skip to the end to see if Hoss was okay and thank God he was! Then I went back and read your post. Two things come to mind - life is fragile and for anyone who has ever lost a loved one, especially if they were very young and it was totally unexpected realizes how much we take for granted. The second thing is I always listen to my instinct and it has yet to be wrong. We all have it - it's just a matter of if we listen to it. Great post as always!

Jan 30, 2012 09:54 AM #13
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John McCormack
Albuquerque Homes Realty * www.AlbuquerqueHomes.com - Albuquerque, NM
AlbuquerqueHomes.com

Mike good story.  Felt like I was right there watching Hoss then freezing as jumping in to save him!  Glad it had a happy ending.

Jan 30, 2012 09:55 AM #14
Rainmaker
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Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Ah, Roger, he was really trying to be the big dog around our house. I've got him by a few pounds so we have an understanding now.  8-)

You're a smart lady, Debora!

Leslie, I've taken the big boy on vacation with me.  He can't stay with us, but we put him at the VIP Pet Resort where he gets pampered, and we can visit him daily.  So, it works out.  He is prone to get into a little trouble now and then too!  

Luke was a big dog too.  Most of mine have been in the 80 lb range, and I thought they were big.  Oy!  

Kris, that seems to be the trend on this one.  Hoss is great and happy as a clam.  He is a real love too.

John, at the time I didn't feel the cold, but once he was out I don't think I've ever been that cold.  Brrrr!

Jan 30, 2012 11:17 AM #15
Rainmaker
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Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Mike. I must say that this post scared the heck out of me. I am sooooooo relieved that Hoss is OK and that you saved him. Life is fragile and we never know.

Jan 30, 2012 11:30 AM #16
Rainmaker
335,771
Kat Palmiotti
Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty, Monroe NY Real Estate, 914-419-0270 - Monroe, NY
The House Kat
What a beautiful family member! You are absolutely right - life is very fragile, can turn on a dime, and we have to use our instincts when something serious happens. I'm glad Hoss is ok!
Jan 30, 2012 11:40 AM #17
Rainmaker
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Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

I bet it did with your history of doggie parenting.  Gotta watch those hairy kids all the time.  8-)

He's great, Kat.  How's the hobbling?

Jan 30, 2012 11:44 AM #18
Rainmaker
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Kat Palmiotti
Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty, Monroe NY Real Estate, 914-419-0270 - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Mike - I actually started walking w/o crutches yesterday - I'm sore; the lingaments still need lots of stretching and I have to be very very careful, but I am making TONS of progress!  The swelling is much much better.  Thanks!

Jan 30, 2012 02:28 PM #19
Rainmaker
169,931
Debbie Holmes
Gold Key Real Estate - Boise, ID
Gets the job done!

Life is fragile and it can turn on a dime....

Jan 30, 2012 03:52 PM #20
Rainmaker
787,604
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Glad to hear you're on the mend, Kat.  

Yes it can, Debbie, and it will only leave you with change.  8-)

Jan 30, 2012 05:43 PM #21
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Linda K. Mayer
License # 01767321 - La Verne, CA
Realtor, SRES, SoCAL, A REALTOR YOU CAN TRUST

Mike, we don't get the snow, but one of our dogs goes swimming even in the dead of winter... and she doesn't dry very fast.  But we taught her to swim and how to get in and out of the pool, so it's okay.

Jan 30, 2012 07:45 PM #22
Rainmaker
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Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

I think I need to do that from now on.  Hoss isn't much for the pool anymore, but he loves to walk right next to edge to keep me on edge.  8-)  

Jan 30, 2012 07:58 PM #23
Ambassador
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Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Realtor (503)755-2905
Vernonia Realty - Vernonia, OR
"Your Gateway to the Lake" Birkenfeld Oregon

Mike~I was like Kristine at first...I thought "please God don't let me read about Hoss meeting his maker" (I'm weak about that sort of thing) and when I saw you use the present tense in how he loves the snow, I thought whew, I can continue without worrying. I LOVE big dogs, I love all dogs, but there's something about a big galumphing hound that makes my heart always melt.

Great story as an analogy....told like a good parable.

Jan 30, 2012 10:02 PM #24
Rainer
234,262
Doug Bullwinkel
Vitek Mortgage Group - Roseville, CA
NMLS #281609

Yes life is very fragile and it can turn in an instant.  It's great that you were able to come to the rescue.  You do know of course, if the situation were reversed, Hoss would do the same for you without hesitation. 

Jan 30, 2012 10:16 PM #25
Rainmaker
661,242
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Mike

I was happy to read that you rescue dogs --- that alone makes you a VIP in my book. Reading Hoss' story, and your son and your attempts to save him from the pool (while in your shorts, in winter) make you heroes. Then relating this story to life in general...well, you're quite the philosopher!

Thanks for sharing

Jan 31, 2012 02:56 AM #26
Rainmaker
787,604
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Thanks, Gayle.   The big boy is fine.  Goofy as ever.  Have a great day.

Doug, I'm always telling him, "If you were Lassie . . ."  He's probably wandering who the heck Lassie is.  8-)

Thank you, Pacita.  It was a wild ride for about 5 minutes.  Seemed like an eternity at the time, but it happened very quickly and was over.  Have a great day!

 

Jan 31, 2012 06:33 AM #27
Rainmaker
519,460
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. "Said and Done!" - Merrick, NY
Long Island's South Shore Real Estate Agent

When my son was about 4, now he's almost 20, we were house hunting as a family. We went to a house that had a pool in the backyard with one of those covers on it. All of a sudden, my son let go of my hand and ran across it. I was terrified but it did hold up the weight of a little boy. All that got soaking wet were his sneakers. After that, I wouldn't look at anymore houses with pools. I understand your fear but glad it's all ok.

Jan 31, 2012 07:53 AM #28
Rainmaker
787,604
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Jill, I think I would have thrown up if that happened to one of the boys.  Those covers are supposed to hold an elephant, but with all the snow we had it was just too much. 

Jan 31, 2012 08:09 AM #29
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Mike Cooper

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