Christmas Magic

There were a few fortuitous events that happened to me yesterday, but none more incredible than what went down last night. My wife and I have started walking two miles every evening after dinner, as both a way to get a little extra exercise during these sweet-laden months, as well as see the spectacle of Christmas lights that have gone up throughout our neighborhood. A number of the homes in our area have gone all out, with gigantic life-sized Santas, recorded music being pumped through speakers, and programmed displays that perform on queue. While walking our usual route, a rather dark and unmanned road, we came upon a man who was looking for his pet. He stopped us to ask for help.

"You didn't see a little dog run past you, did you?" he asked frantically.

"No, we've been walking for about ten minutes, coming from that direction though." I said in return.

"From down there?" he asked and pointed.

"Yes," I replied, "but we're going to keep walking for a while, so tell me what the dog looks like and where you live just in case we see it."

The man told us he was search of a small Chihuahua and that he lived a few blocks down on the corner. We told him we'd report back if we came across his little dog. Continuing on down the road, I told my wife I had a feeling we were going to find the animal. "There's something in the air right now," I said. "Things have been going well all day, so it only makes sense that we're going to help this guy now." My wife looked at me rather puzzled, but didn't say anything as we kept on. We still had another mile to go before we circled back.

When we reached the end of the road and prepared to loop around, I decided we should take a different road back; one that would come nearer to where the man said he lived. It ended up being one of the most beautifully-decorated streets in our entire neighborhood. "How have we not walked down this way?" my wife asked incredulously. It was absolutely gorgeous. Every house was decked out in tasteful holiday design with intricate and detailed displays of everything from the nativity to Rudolph. We stopped and looked at each one; my wife taking pictures with her phone and texting them to friends. "It really feels like Christmas on this street," I said. "It's almost like all those Hallmark movies we've been watching." The moon was hazy behind a layer of fog; the air chilly and crisp.

As we neared the end of the street we heard a little bark. I turned my head, looked at one of the driveways, and saw a little Chihuahua staring at us. "Oh my God, there's the dog," I said, crouching down and extending my hand to the scared little creature. Without so much as a hesitation, the animal came right up to me, allowed me to pick it up, and laid down comfortably in my arms as we continued walking towards the man's address. My wife was giddy; unable to wait to see the man's expression when we arrived with his beloved pet. As we approached the house we could see the man and his family standing in the front yard, a couple of them on their phones, likely communicating with other family members about their location. "Hey guys, look what we found," I said as we walked closer to their driveway.

The man came running down, exclaiming, "Oh wow! Where did you find her?!" I handed the Chihuahua over to him, and said she had been hanging out around the corner, looking at all the beautiful Christmas lights on that hidden street. "I've already made two circles around the entire neighborhood," he said. "I didn't think we were going to find her at this point."

"I'm so happy you told us where you lived," I said. "I had a feeling we might find her. I don't know why, or for what reason, but I knew I was going to find that dog tonight."

The man just stared at me and smiled; completely shocked about what had transpired: the fact that he had stopped two strangers on the street, told them his plight, and that doing so had ultimately made all the difference. We shook hands, wished the man's family well, and continued our walk home.

-David Driscoll 

David Driscoll