A HAPPY OLD DOGby Roger Kiser
My seven year old granddaughter, Madison, asked me if I would come toher field day at school the next day. Not feeling very well I really didn't want to go. For years, going to such things meant very little to me. Not having any parents and having been raised in an orphanage my entire childhood; those kinds of events just became something to do and nothing more because there was never anyone there for us. The next morning I got up and began to think about the day I graduated from the Army basic training. How proud I was to have succeeded atsomething in my life. When the ceremony was over, every soldier ran to their parents and off they went to wherever families go who love oneanother. Within thirty minutes the parade ground was cleared and there I stood all alone. There was no one who cared about what I had accomplished.I remember tears running down my cheeks and as I wiped them away I thought soldiers don't cry now cause they're men. Slowly I walked off the parade ground and I went to wherever it is kids go that don't have anyone or anywhere to go. Immediately, I dressed and headed for Madison's school. When I arrived, the field day had been called off because of bad weather and the children were being herded back to their classrooms. I walked to Madi'sclassroom and when she saw me a large smile appeared on her face. On my way back home this wonderful feeling came over me and finally -- afterfifty years -- I felt what it was like to have someone attend my Army graduation parade. I see now it's all about caring. I was never given a sense that anyone cared so I did not learn to give back to those I love. I supposemost people who were given such feeling as a child now take it for granted. What a wonderful feeling caring is. Today I am one happy old dog who has learned a new and wonderful trick.