My Chew Bone


Written in 2009 while working on the www.lincoln55plus.com seniors paper.

From time to time, my wife and I take care of a neighbor’s Golden Retriever while his

Ma and Pa travel to visit family or go out on a golf weekend. Although I have no personal knowledge of Brodie’s breeding lineage, to me, he is pure gold. He has all the great traits need- ed to be nothing but loved. He always wants to be near us and sleeps in the bedroom all night. He sits on our feet to be in touch while we scratch his ears. Brodie gets along famously with our two dogs and even our cat. He is respectful of other’s pet food and he loves exploring our back yard. AND he loves his rawhide chew bones.

One chilly morning, I was fas- cinated to watch Brodie and our big ol’ yellow lab, Amy, laying in the grass, chewing on their respective rawhide. They faced each other as if at a dining table with their paws to the front and crossed to hold the bone in place. The chewing was intense and completely focused. There was a perfect harmony in their time together as they needed nothing but space and a little time to gnaw and chew.

I stood there for full 15 minutes wondering if either would break away from the task at hand to look for some other object of interest. Instead they remained dedicated to their work. During that time, I had several thoughts about what they were doing. I realized that chewing was good for their

P.1-16 Lincoln 55+

teeth but that was certainly not important to them. I assume the rawhide had a good flavor but decided that there was more to it.

Chewing on a bone must have an inherent challenge. The rawhide starts out stiff but begins to soften as they work on it. Then a tooth catches hold and progress is made, little bits at a time. The rawhide bones provides a push and a pull while the dogs try to transform it into – into – into what. Into nothing?

And then it dawned on me!

The Lincoln 55+ Seniors Paper is my personal rawhide bone. It has a form that starts out rather stiff but seems to offer up something – like clay that wants to be molded into a form. So I chew and I chew and it begins to soften. Soon, it begins to give off an essence that something is about to hap pen. Maybe a new ad will reach the right people and the businessman will report that the ad is paying for itself. Or the Lincoln Artist Guild will report a 25% increase in membership. Maybe a group like the Oscher Lifelong learning folks will double their membership and secure a million dollar endow- ment. This old bone has some pretty nice flavors.

So I chew and chew and once the paper has reached it highest state, I start to deliver them to all the businesses in Lincoln. This is a good flavor also as I visit with store owners. They report how well liked the paper is. And the people I see often claim they read the paper cover to cover. And some that I meet are potential advertisers or have a story to tell. All are more good flavors. And then the 15,000 papers are all gone – just like the chew bone. But I am left with great memories of the flavor and the challenges met and the wonderful thought of that next chew bone. Move over Brodie and Amy. I need some room at the table.

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