“Destiny and a Dog” – Diary of a Positive Soul #5

Remember the scene in “Young Frankenstein” when Gene Wilder is twisting fitfully in bed screaming, “Destiny! Destiny! No escaping destiny!” Ha! I love that! But even though it makes for a great Mel Brooks joke, is it for real? Do you believe in destiny?


This is the second of a three part series on a favorite theme of mine: dogs! The first one was about our indomitable dachshund, Zack, which you can find here.  When the next dog came into our lives, the question of destiny entered into the picture, as you’ll see.

It all started when our son Matt was sixteen. We packed up and moved 650 miles away from the home he had lived in from the time he was born and he wasn’t happy about it, to say the least! So, like all responsible parents, we bribed him into cooperating. He agreed to move without too much of a fuss if we’d get him a Golden Retriever puppy. Fair enough. However, when we actually moved, we found it was better to rent a home while we got used to the area, which meant we couldn’t get a puppy. We were legitimately off the hook!

Check also: “DIARY OF A POSITIVE SOUL” article by Marsha Roberts
                 “THE BIRTH OF MUSIC VIDEO TV” article by Bob Rector

 Fast forward two years and we bought the house we were renting. Matt didn’t miss a beat. No sooner had the ink dried on the loan than he reminded us of our promise. OK, OK, we’ll do it, and promptly began looking for a Golden Retriever puppy, only to find that the price tag was no less than $1,800! But a deal was a deal and we put our names in the pot for the next litter of puppies. Shortly after that we traveled back to our original home for a big family Thanksgiving celebration. One set of cousins brought a terrific dog they had adopted from an animal shelter. Matt fell in love with him and to our delight, on the long 650 mile drive back, he said that he hated for us to have to spend $1,800 on a Golden Retriever puppy (yeah, so did we…) when we could rescue one from a shelter and have just as good of a dog. We told him it was a brilliant idea and I was calling local shelters the next week.

It wasn’t long before we found a new batch of puppies that had literally been left on the doorstep of an animal shelter. One of these was a funny looking, floppy-eared, short-legged German-Shepherd-something with an enthusiastic long tail. It was love at first sight. Matt named him Smokey McDoggerson.

IMP-SmokeyPupSnowWhen we brought the little fellow home it was not love at all for Zack. To him the young whippersnapper had way too much energy and was ridiculously friendly! And to make matters worse, he was already larger than Zack at only ten weeks old. Zack tried his best to ignore him. He was determined to have nothing to do with Smokey. Period.

IMP-Zac&LitSmoPorchA few weeks later we could see Smokey was having significant problems with his legs. He was hobbling and noticeably in pain. One of Smokey’s parents had clearly been a full-size German Shepherd, but the other part of his heritage was evidently a short-legged dog because one of the bones in Smokey’s front legs was growing faster than the other. He was going to need surgery immediately on both legs, no question about it. The cost? Yep. $1,800 on the nose! Exactly what we would have paid for a Golden Retriever puppy.

Was this a coincidence? It sure didn’t feel like it at the time. It felt inevitable. It felt like destiny. When the surgeon told us the price, we were nodding our heads, yes, we know, eighteen hundred dollars…

After surgery both of Smokey’s front legs were in casts, which was too much for Zack. His big heart got the best of him. He simply couldn’t hold a grudge any longer. He licked Smokey in the face and snuggled up next to him as if he’d been there all along.

The surgery worked, but he was still short-legged and always would be, even when he filled out to his full eighty pound adult weight, which makes him very odd looking indeed (in an incredibly handsome way!).  Now we’re back to the question of destiny. Obviously it was inescapable: we were going to spend $1800 on a dog for Matt no matter what! Ha!

IMP-SmokeyPorchBeing “destined” to spend that money on a puppy was certainly not a life changing experience. It was one of those humorous moments in life when you think you’ve outsmarted fate ~ as if we could! But our personal destiny? That’s a big one for all of us. So, do I believe in destiny? Yes. And no…

In my experience it seems there can be a force at work in our lives if we let it. Call it Fate, Destiny, The Universe ~ I prefer God. I think of this force rather like a spiritual jet stream, invisible but very powerful and going in a specific direction. When I’m “riding the jet stream” as I call it, I feel completely connected to all that’s right and good for my life. When I’m not, I’m stumbling all over the place to find my way. When I lift up my spiritual “legs” and let this prevailing wind take me where I’m suppose to be, then yes, I’m in tune with destiny and it feels great!

IMP-MR-ArmUpHapAm I able to live like that all the time? Of course not. Invariably I choose to put my feet down, stubbornly stand my ground, refuse to feel the flow and BAM! What was that thing called “destiny”? It’s gone because I’ve obstinately chosen to do it all myself. The flow is still there somewhere, but I’m not part of it.

IMP-Fog&MtnToday was one of those magnificent days that I was riding the jet stream. It feels wonderful and it’s my intention to ride it again tomorrow. It makes me extraordinarily happy when I’m carried along by my destiny, I feel connected to The Universe ~ to God. And that’s the point of it all, isn’t it? Figuring out how to be happy and stay happy. But that’s just me.

This isn’t the end of our destiny discussion, just the end for today. Next time you get to meet the funniest dog I’ve ever known: Shadow. AKA Stinker Bell! Until then, be as happy as you can possibly be ~ I insist!


Editor notes: For more about Marsha just have a look at her new book (here)

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  1. Linda Lee Williams

    Destiny, fate? Perhaps. Smokey is grateful you opted to pay $1800 for the surgical repair of his deformed legs instead of $1800 for a perfect Golden Retriever puppy. He’s an adorable dog, with a face any human could love!

    Our dog, Bart, has a birth defect, too. His mama was a Cocker-Labrador mix; his papa a Scottish Terrier. He bears the head of a Cocker Spaniel and a Scottie’s snout. His crooked jaw has given him problems over the years, but like most animals, he’s learned to live with his deformity.

    Thanks for sharing, Marsha. I enjoyed your post immensely.

    • Marsha Roberts

      Thanks for sharing your story about Bart, Linda. What an unusual mix. I’ll bet he’s adorable!

      The only pure bred we’ve ever had was Zack, the dachshund I’ve written so much about. I have known some wonderful “papered” dogs, but I must say that there’s nothing quite like a mutt! They bring such a grand combination of unexpected genes with them and you never know what to expect.

      I appreciate you stopping by and joining us here, Linda. Come again!
      Marsha Roberts
      Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer

  2. Dale Furse

    Great post, Marsha. I love your outlook and is that you in that pic that made me smile.

    Yep, pets are expensive, or should I say, vets are expensive. Our three legged dog owes us big time, lol. 🙂

  3. Effrosyni Moschoudi

    Oh Marsha, this post was simply wonderful. I loved it, not only because it felt like a bonus chapter on your awesome, inspiring memoir, but also because it’s a tender tale about dogs and I am a converted dog lover (from cat lover) so it really pulled at the heartstrings. Thank you so much for sharing. I must say, the name Smokey McDoggerson really made me laugh outloud. How genius is that? LOL!
    HTML SIGNATURE: Effrosyni

    • Marsha Roberts

      Effrosyni, you are a converted dog lover?! I would like to hear about the dog who converted you!

      Thank you for comparing my story here to my Mutinous Boomer book. Actually, it’s the only way I know how to write! I just enjoy sharing stories and hope that others will find something to take with them.

      Yes, I love the name Smokey McDoggerson too, but I have to give the genius button to my son ~ his idea totally!

      Thanks for joining me here, Effrosyni!
      Marsha Roberts
      Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer

  4. Ann Frensley

    Marsha, my friend, wonderful stuff! Indeed, I do not believe in coincidence. We are right where we are supposed to be at the time we are there and with whom is supposed to be there with us. It takes practice to be mindful and pay attention, but, oh, the rewards and grace can be great! Keep on shining, Marsha! Grateful for your presence here. Ann

  5. Rick Harrison

    True and heartfelt article about amazing dogs & the destiny that’s part of our lives whether we know it or not!

  6. Sarah (S.R.) Mallery

    Great post; made me laugh AND think…
    The older I get, the more I ponder about destiny, or, as Doris Day would sing, “Que sera, sera, whatever will be will be”. There’s no escaping destiny, so why not embrace it, rather than fight it, no? Thanks for sharing your positive thoughts with us all.

  7. Marsha Roberts

    Thanks for letting me know I made you laugh AND think! Perhaps if we laugh more, it will make it easier to embrace our destiny. Either way, it never hurts to be happier!
    Have a great day Sarah and join me next time when I introduce a really funny dog. If he doesn’t make you laugh, then I told the story wrong!

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