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Duke! A sign during an afternoon stroll.

Updated: Nov 30, 2023


My family has always been very fond of pets. From dogs, cats, turtles, ducks, pigeons, parrots, parakeets and fish. When we arrived in New York in 1976, my parents had a challenge finding a place for us to live. You may be wondering why? too many kids -- try 5! Well, as God would have it my parents found a house in a nice area with a homeowner that was willing to rent to our beautiful tribe ~ maybe his Italian roots helped a little. :) Well, of course the 5 kids needed pets - although at times I think my parents approved for maybe protection. So, one day two beautiful creatures were added to our already large family. We named them Duke and Viking. Duke was a German Shepard and I think Viking was a mix of German Sheppard and maybe Lab? These two dogs were outside dogs. My dad built them both a doghouse outside and they would come in / out of the house.

I share this to lead to my next point. This afternoon, I decided to take a break from job hunting, business writing and just too much thinking!! So, I went for a walk at Kensico Damn in North White Plains. The day today is beautiful! perfect temperature and nice breeze. In fact, my office window is open right now to let some fresh air in. (I digress) Well, I went up to the damn (also realized I was a little out of breath when I reached the top of the damn!) I've been going up to the damn in the past like it was nothing.


As I made my way across the damn, I stopped a couple of times to look at the view of the beautiful river surrounded by trees, birds were flying above, and it was just perfect. It was so tranquil and quiet. I had a brief conversation with God, for one praise him for his beautiful creation and to also let me know that I'm on the right path these days. As always, I look for signs that God is listening to me (I know God always does and I always look for signs).


After a second stop I kept walking. Suddenly I hear behind me what I thought was someone on a bicycle. And I thought, well if he/she wants to go in front of me, he/she should let me know. However, there was no request, but the sound continued. Suddenly I look to my right, and I see a man with a dog. He stopped and looked at me and I said, "what a beautiful dog!" "Wha is his name?". The man (Mike) smiled but no reply. Hmm. I thought, maybe you should stop being so friendly Diana. However, I asked again a little louder this time (i thought maybe he didn't hear me). He replied, "I'm sorry, I did not hear you the first time you asked. I can't hear that well. I'm slowly losing my hearing. The dog's name is Duke." OMG, now if this was not a sign, I don't know what is. I mean what are the chances that I bump into a dog and the name be Duke! I shared with Mike that I too had a dog named Duke when I was little and what a coincidence that was!


As we continued to talk, he made signs with his hands at the same time. He added, "I'm also learning sign language." He continued to share some of the reasons he thought may have caused his hearing loss. I shared about my issues with tinnitus and how it has gotten a little worse.


I share this experience with you for a couple of reasons. One, sometimes we tend to doubt what God is doing in our lives. We get a little impatient. Two, never let a moment pass you by. If you want to extend friendliness to someone, do it. From a smile to a brief conversation. Your never know what that happy moment can do for someone or yourself. :)

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