I have seen enough examples of providence in my lifetime to believe that certain events transcend mere coincidence. Just today, less than a full day after launching “Sweet Chariot,” I had an experience that raised goose bumps.
Our beloved family dog, a Golden Retriever named Lucky, is suffering from a yet-undetermined ailment, so I made an appointment with our veterinarian to have her examined. As a “wheeler,” I’m not usually the one to take our pets to the vet, but on this occasion everyone else in the household was either at work or in school.
On the spur of the moment, I decided to drive Lucky in my classic Mustang (which I haven’t even introduced to readers yet) for the simple reason that the dog weighs 70 pounds and has claws that could easily mar the leather seats of my other car, a pristine Lincoln coupe. The vintage Mustang, modernized for long trips, has been retrofitted with reclining bucket seats upholstered in heavy black tweed—impervious to dog damage.
Lucky was cooperative and climbed into the passenger seat, then waited patiently while I dismantled my wheelchair and stowed it in the backseat. Arriving at North Bay Animal Hospital in Lynn Haven, I reversed the procedure and transferred into my chair, then grabbed Lucky’s leash and led her into the waiting room. Soon it was our turn to be ushered to an exam room, whereupon Lucky was escorted away for some x-rays.
I had been waiting for just a few minutes when technician Kaylen Biggins popped into the doorway and asked, “Is that your Mustang in the parking lot?” When I answered in the affirmative, she heaped on the praise: “What a beautiful car!”
It turns out that Kaylen is very fond of Golden Retrievers as well as vintage cars. Her “other half” (as she called him) still drives the AMC Gremlin that he owned in high school, though it’s now upgraded with a V-8 and is totally restored. So she was understandably enthusiastic about my Candyapple Red 1967 convertible, which really does look sweet, if I say so myself. While we were chatting, Lucky was brought back from her x-rays and sat at my side. So here’s where we get to the good part.
Kaylen, being a dog person and especially a Golden Retriever person, talked to Lucky like she’s just another human in the room. Her face beaming, Kaylen gave the dog her full attention and said, “Boy, Lucky, that’s some ride you got out there. That’s one sweet chariot!”
You could have knocked me over with a feather. Who says “sweet chariot” in casual conversation? It’s an unusual expression, to say the least. Unable to help myself I asked, “Did you just say ‘sweet chariot’? She laughed and said yes, at which point I blurted out, “Just yesterday, I started a new blog by that name! This is unbelievable!”
Next the vet came in. I first met Dr. Bo Bergloff at a charity banquet a couple of years ago, and we’ve seen each other once or twice at a Lynn Haven church. He hasn’t even told me about Lucky yet, but he’s heard the staff talking about the Mustang and has taken a peek outside for himself. We shake hands, and he pulls out a photo album with—get this—pictures of a 1969 Mach 1 he has owned for twenty years (and is still in the process of restoring). So the vet’s not only a car guy, he’s a classic Mustang guy, too.
Just coincidence, or is there something more like guidance at work here?
Either way, I made some new friends today. And I know that Lucky will be in good hands. I can’t finish this post without mentioning that she is about ten years old, quite long in the tooth for a Golden Retriever, and we still don’t know yet what’s wrong with her. Your thoughts and prayers for a beloved pet will be greatly appreciated.