It’s said that it’s only through adversity that we grow to new levels, learn new things, find and explore new opportunities; and I believe it. In fact, I would say that I can think of no other attribute of the human condition that I count as more true.

"What doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger."

There are some kinds of adversity in life that one ought to be left to bear alone, especially in youth, where learning the responsibility of living as in independent human being is paramount. Yet there are other times, when adversity visits others, friends and loved ones, where we ourselves are presented with an opportunity to learn a thing or two about life.

My wife Bea got the email hours after it happened on New Year’s day. Dave’s & Nacy’s ranch house had burned to the ground. We were at the cabin (itself damaged in a fire three years ago), in Arnold, four hours away. Details were sketchy, of course, and that was principally due to the email coming from a friend, not Dave & Nancy themselves. They were OK; devastated, but OK. And the news: one of the dogs had been lost. This was distressing, for, you see, we met Dave & Nancy through the rather small American Rat Terrier community locally. While Wild Oak Ranch is their principal business on site, they breed, socialize, train and show rat terriers as well. It was almost a year ago that our Rotor was bred with their Porsche, the resultant litter being a single female, nearly identical to Rotor in looks, mannerism, and disposition. Well, here’s Ruby. Compare #’s 18 and 26 to get an idea of what I mean.

It took two days to find out that it wasn’t Ruby that had been lost. Though our wishes were certainly with Dave & Nancy, it wasn’t pleasant wondering about Ruby’s fate. The only problem is, Bea & I love all of those dogs. Learning that it was Cookie, the baby, didn’t turn out to be any relief. She was one of the friendliest and lovable puppies I’d ever encountered.

Dave & Nancy’s adversity — which they will survive and triumph over — has given Bea, myself, and many, many of their friends the opportunity to feel a profound sense of what it means to be a human being — not just in sentiment, but in deed and action. When those unfortunate times come along, don’t miss the chance to help make a difference.

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Richard Nikoley

I started writing Free The Animal in late 2003 as just a little thing to try. 20 years later, turns out I've written over 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from diet, health, philosophy, politics, social antagonism, adventure travel, expat living, location and time independent—while you sleep— income by geoarbitrage, and food pics. I intended to travel the world "homeless," but the Covidiocy Panicdemic squashed that. I became an American expat living in Thailand. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. ... I leave the toilet seat up. Read More

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