Saturday’s spring-like temperatures on the first official day of winter gave me an early glimmer of hope for the actual spring days.
I used to be a big fan of winter months, but now it mostly means extra layers of bulky clothes. I did hope for a white Christmas, but I meant the type of white that’s gone by the next morning. And the cold air with it.
I did get to see snow showers on Christmas Eve — but I suppose that’s the extent of it.
This year has been quite interesting for the Tri-County area. There have been quite a few amazing stories — and quite a few tragic ones.
Several of those tragedies stick out in my mind, seeing firsthand families ripped apart with grief and despair — I spared more than a few thoughts for those families through this Christmas and holiday season.
A few of those tragedies will forever be emblazoned across my mind.
But one in particular this year was both very tragic and, well, a small furry blessing.
Earlier this year a young man lost his life during a raging house fire.
During the tragedy’s unfolding, a small dog literally “popped” out of nowhere, and began frantically scurrying and racing through the scene.
Of the multitude of people scattered throughout the immediate area, this poor, panicked pup found me — and when I stooped down to pet her she leapt into my arms.
Assuming she belonged to the neighbors, I walked over to hand this beautiful dog to its owners.
It was then I learned of the tragedy — and was told she belonged to the man inside the residence.
A long-time animal lover, I didn’t want her to be taken to the pound. I told everyone I could at the scene that I was holding on to her for the time being, and that I’d keep her in my car.
She got in, and I cracked the windows for her — then went back to the job at hand.
After about 45 minutes or so, I returned to my car to check on her — and there she was, curled up in the driver’s seat, fast asleep.
I never found a member of that man’s family at the scene, so I told the emergency and law enforcement personnel in charge that I would hang on to her until a family member asked for her.
Well, a couple days had passed, and I quickly became attached to her — but I figured someone in his family would like her.
She was a pretty good dog.
A few days later I spoke with family member, who said that unless I was planning to take her to the pound, I could keep her.
And I did — some of you may have noticed she rides with me wherever I go. I learned very quickly she is terrified of being left in a building — whether it’s the house or the camper. But she curls up and goes to sleep when I leave her in the car.
And so, while she has become a welcome addition in my home, I cannot help but think of the family she left behind.
May you and yours be safe through the rest of this holiday season.
John Ross is a staff writer for the Times-Tribune. He can be reached at email@example.com.