The other day, I stopped by a local pet supply store to pick up a few things for our dogs. As I zoomed through the aisles on my lunch break from work, something caught my eye. I stopped in my tracks and took a few steps backwards. “Are those Wolfhounds?” I asked the elderly woman holding the handles of two leashes attached to the gargantuan dogs. “Yes, they are. Scottish Wolfhounds,” she replied pleasantly with a thick Scottish accent. The dogs were truly magnificent.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen them in person before!" I exclaimed. “May I pet them?"
The woman nodded her consent and went on to explain that the breed was quite timid. This was confirmed when I held out my hand for them to sniff. Even though I had squatted down in a position of submission, both dogs retreated behind their “mother.”
An elderly man walked up with a big smile on his face.
“I see you’ve met Bunt and Bess!” he said to me.
The couple, who I learned in our conversation were husband and wife, had recently come over from Scotland to visit their grandson. The grandson was stationed at Fort Hood, and he and his wife had just had a new baby. The couple had come over from Scotland for an extended visit to meet their new grandson and spend time with their grandson and his family. They were, in the purest sense of the word, a lovely couple. Just lovely. The dogs, curious, started to warm up to me and allowed me to pet them. The man and wife told me how they were from Champion bloodlines and that the male, Bunt, had recently championed in a national contest. They told me their names were chosen for the woman’s parents, long gone, as Bess (Elizabeth) and Bunt (John) were her parents’ nicknames.
“Do you have time for a story?” the man asked me.
Of course I had time for a story. I always have time for a story. Stories are the rich gravy on life’s mashed potatoes. The man told me that the breeder of the Wolfhounds was highly sought after, worldwide. He said the breeder always had more demand than supply and was extremely choosy over to whom she sold her dogs. The man went on to tell me about one particular application that was initially denied, as both potential owners worked full time.
“The breed needs a lot of social interaction with their family. They don’t do well being left alone for hours at a time”, he explained.
The breeder had called the woman in question, explaining why she would not sell any dogs to her.
“Oh, but I work from my home!” the potential owner clarified. The breeder asked her what she did and was told that the woman was an author.
The breeder agreed to sell the woman two dogs if the woman agreed to work the Wolfhounds into one of her books. Hence, the Harry Potter series features Wolfhounds in its books, as the woman in question, initially denied purchase, was J.K. Rowling! Bess and Bunt were from the same bloodline! I was just absolutely amazed, and felt so lucky and enriched from this encounter.
Always take the time for a story, and when you have the opportunity, share that story with others.