There’s something about stairs that draw us to them. The ability to climb up and see farther or simply go up to the top floor. There are probably some folks who really don’t have that outlook, and may appreciate elevators more than stairs.
Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” That is a pretty doggone good description. As I sit looking out the window of my kitchen, I see my old deck stairs still standing by themselves, leading to nothing.
You see, the fellow building my deck left them there to use to build the new deck. At the time, I thought it was a pretty idea. They do go up a little over a story, to where my new second story deck will be. Having no small children, I thought it was okay and his logic was pretty good in terms of building the new deck, then tearing down the old stairs and then building the new stairs.
You never think of everything though, do you?
Along the way, as the old deck was torn down and the new footings were put in the ground, I sent pictures to my children who are away at college. They know how much I enjoy being out on the deck, looking into the woods, grilling or watching college football on a Saturday afternoon in the fall.
They were excited that we were getting a little more room in an outdoor space that we have always enjoyed.
With one daughter graduating and another to graduate in a couple of weeks, our schedules have been a bit crazy. With two getting graduate degrees, it’s a good crazy.
My newly graduated daughter and her dog caravanned home with her mother, who is the only one of us brave enough to drive a box truck. Waiting to see where her first job would take her, we decided to move her things home for the time being.
Getting home late, it was dark and they were all very tired. I was happy to see them. My daughter’s little dog, “Wilson,” is my buddy and just a joy to be around. Dogs don’t pay much attention to cell phones, which is why I like them so much. However, my daughter had also not shown Wilson the pictures of the stairs leading to nowhere.
The little fellow was used to coming to see us and running up the stairs to the deck and coming in the back door, where he would be greeted with water, food and maybe some treats hidden in the pantry just for him.
My daughter screamed, I screamed… Wilson ran up the stairs and “Peter Panned” into the air and hit the concrete. It was a sick feeling watching him fall to the ground. We grabbed him, held him and sat there and cried.
After a couple of minutes, Wilson jumped up started running around, as to ask, “What is the deal here?” “I’m ok.” Or like a little boy sometimes says, “I meant to do that.”
Watching the fall, seeing the distance, we were very scared. We talked to a friend in the veterinary business, who told us what to look for and how often to check. We stayed up with him for most of the night.
He seemed fine, but we took him to the dog doctor the next day to be sure. The dog doctor gave him a clean bill of health and suggested an “Evel Knievel” cape and helmet for Wilson.
We love our dogs and wouldn’t do anything in the world to put their safety at risk. I barricaded the stairs with nailed on baby gates shortly after Wilson’s miraculous flight. I blamed myself, and still do, for not thinking about my little buddy who saw those stairs as leading to a fun place.
We should all make sure the stairs we are climbing lead somewhere, preferably somewhere fun.
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