The Wayward Three; Thank you

This is my very first Blog. I would like to take this opportunity to share a story with you and express my gratitude to some kind souls. First, the story:


The Wayward Three

“Never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee…” John Donne


I was up bright and early, one fine morning, and on my way to an early morning meeting. I was wary of the occasional squirrel or chipmunk that crossed my path. Time and again, I have stopped for them, and explained the benefits of looking both ways before crossing. Not that they understood the words I spoke, but I do believe it is entirely possible that they saw and understood the visual images I shared with them as I stopped and waited for them to cross. This morning, it was not a squirrel or a chipmunk that made me come to a halt. In the middle of the road, coming straight toward me, a horse approached, calming walking up the street. There was no saddle, nor was the horse accompanied by a person. I considered my options. I did not want to be late for my meeting. It was too early to call anyone, well, too early for most people.

I called the only person I knew who would be up that early. An animal lover herself, I knew that she would be up early tending to her animals. We commiserated about the wayward horse. She told me that Williamsburg does not have an animal control officer. I didn’t know what else to do. I went to my meeting.

Later on, I came to find out that another resident had called the police. The police requested the assistance of Donald Lawton, Williamsburg’s Field Officer. To be clear, his responsibilities do not include rescuing wayward animals. Despite this fact, the police needed his help, and help he did. He put his arms around the horse’s neck. The horse moved off the road, onto the grass, and finally a patch of woods. It was 9AM before the horse was reunited with her family. Yippeee for one happy ending!

A week passed. I was pet sitting, and commuting from one home to another. I was running a bit late and did not have a free moment to stop. It was then that I spotted two dogs running free down Rt. 143. They were headed for Williamsburg. I considered going on. Once again, I didn’t want to be late. A very sweet black lab was awaiting my arrival. Yet, the ramifications of such a choice are ones that I couldn’t live with. At certain points on 143, the speed limit is 50mph. How likely is it that these dogs would be safe? I didn’t like the odds.

I stopped. I got out the retractable leash I had in the car for just such an occasion. One of the dogs, a lab mix of some sort, a very sociable and happy soul, walked right up to me, tail wagging all the while. I hooked her on the leash. Her companion, a pit bull mix, was more wary, keeping his distance, across the road. He was scared, and was not sure what to do. Please, make no assumptions based on his breed. This was a good dog who was frightened. I was frightened for him.

The cars passed us by, going so quickly, that it made my heart race. I called the number on the dog’s tag. Ahhhhhh- an answering machine. Oh no. I left a message and hoped I would get a call back soon. About this time, another car pulled up. A woman got out and we chatted about the situation. We took turns waving at people, trying to get them to slow down. I asked the woman to hold on to the lab mix while I called the police. Meanwhile, the pit bull approached his companion’s side, and stayed nearby. Pheww- the situation was improving. They might be okay. Oh, please let it be….

I talked to the dispatcher. She informed me that a cruiser would be there shortly. Within minutes, a very kind policewoman drove up. I mentioned that what we really needed was an animal control officer. “We don’t have one,” she said. Hmmm- seems to be a theme there, I thought. The three of us talked for a while, and then the police woman put both dogs in her car, and drove away. I checked the clock in my car. I had lost only a half hour but what I had gained was beyond measure. I left too, and drove to my client’s house. As usual, the black lab was happy to see me and out we went to play and walk. Several hours passed and the lost dogs’ guardian left me a voicemail message. Her dogs were home safe. She thanked me over and over for intercepting her dogs. I could tell by the sound of her voice how very grateful she was.

Later, when I thought about what happened, I realized that I too was so grateful. Grateful that the dogs were home safe, grateful that another kind soul had stopped, and went out of her way to help. Grateful to the policewoman who made sure these dogs got home safe and sound. Grateful to Donald Lawton who helped a horse reunite with her family even though it was not his job. Grateful to people everywhere who go out of their way to help someone in need.

As we all rush head first into our days, sometimes it is difficult to be in the moment, and be with what is. Certainly that is true for me, and I often become preoccupied with what I need to do and where I need to go. I have made commitments to others, and they are ones I intend to keep. Yet, there are times during which something else takes precedence, and I stop what I am doing, reach out and help a wayward one or three. We are all connected, and the plight of the wayward three, or for that matter, anyone that is scared or hurting, is not theirs alone. It is mine as well. I, too, have lost my way now and again, and due to the kindness of others, I found my way. Perhaps, it is yours as well. Who is the wayward soul in your life?


Thank you

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” Meister Eckhart


If you have read my bio, then you know how I met the love of my life. This love is not for a singular being, but rather for all forms of life. There are 2 people I have to thank for that introduction. Not only did they give me this gift of love, the love for the innocent, which has seen me through the darkest times. They also gave me, in the way they choose to live, the values I am grateful to live by.

If there is a more honorable man than my father, I do not know him. With his words and actions, he taught me the importance of respect and integrity. Although the path I chose in life is different than the one he follows, each road is lined by honor. I hope that I have done him proud. I can only say, with absolute certainty that I know how very proud his parents, my Nana and Papa, would be of him.

While my father and I share our values, my mother and I share our vulnerability, a tenderness for the ones we love, and a desire to see them enjoy their joy, and piece together their peace, into the puzzles that are the lives they lead. My mother gave me a gift many years ago. It is a gift I cherish, and one I will never lose, because its residence is in my heart. It is the gift of love. It is only when I gave it away that I was finally able to fully receive it.

It is with honor and integrity, and with love that I give care to the beautiful beings in my care. I am so very grateful.

Deborah Thunderchild

14 Responses to The Wayward Three; Thank you

  • terra says:

    This may be one of the most heartfelt and touching blog posts I’ve ever read. Thank you so much for sharing this and I was very happy to read of you having an opportunity to love ‘human people’ for some beauty and kindness too. There are so many good things to see and be grateful for and you were so right that sometimes all it takes is to ALLOW the moment.
    Well done, can’t wait to see more!

    • Admin says:

      I am so happy to share this story. I love happy endings! I want to thank you, not only for this kind post, but for the kindness and the support you have given me this year, and for your ever present optimism. You are a ray of sunshine on a dark day.

      As an animal advocate, it saddens me greatly to learn of the extent to which animals suffer at the hands of human beings. That being so, any animal that is saved from harm, and any animal that is reunited with his or her family, is a reason to celebrate. It is so important to find and celebrate every single act of kindness towards any living being that is in harm’s way. I do believe in the law of attraction. What we focus on grows…So here is to all acts of kindness. Cheers to all! I raise my cyber glass to you.

  • Mark Zacek says:

    You couldn’t have written a lovelier, more touching first blog, Deborah. Beautifully done.

  • Oh Deborah What a beautiful story. I am grateful there are people like you in the world who care so much for animals.
    I also live in a rural area and it is quite a startling sight to see a riderless horse coming at you. One day driving near our home, we saw a horse walking down the center of the road. I got out of the car to get hold of the horse and, fearing someone might have been injured, my husband went looking for the rider. She was not far behind. Luckily, she was fine, just a little embarrased at having been unseated and having her horse get away.
    Keep up the good work

  • Kristin Pancotti says:

    Deborah, thank you so much for sharing such a deeply beautiful and personal story! I have had experiences too where I saw a wayward dog and had to make a quick decision to stop and help, or continue on with busy schedule.

    Your customers are so lucky to have such a deeply emotionally committed person caring for them!

    Much love,

    • Admin says:


      I am grateful for the opportunity to write about my experiences with animals. The time I spend with them brings me the greatest joy. I know you understand and can relate to my story. Thank you for your kind words. I think the same of you. Your customers are lucky to have you too.

      For those of you who are wondering, Kristin works in the South Hadley area as a pet sitter. Her business is called Fairy Pet Mother Pet Care. Do you remember the fairy god mother from your childhood fairytales? Now picture your pet having one. That would be Kristin Pancotti!

      Much love to you in return,


  • Danielle says:

    Very touching story. Best of luck as you continue your exciting venture.

  • Gary says:

    We all appreciate your deep sensitivity for all things living. I could think of no one better to care for my puppies. If only I lived closer! Wishing you the best success with your business (and knowing you will achieve it!)

  • Mom and Dad says:

    The road traveled has been quite an adventure, an experience and most of all a learning pathway. We think you have come quite a long way. Having said this, your startup of a business is like building a new road starting with two lanes and, who knows, growing to a comfortable highway (through the countryside, of course.)
    I can feel your excitement. I can hear your feeling of adventure, the beginnings of the headiness you feel as you make progress dealing with the unknown and seeing the way clear to moving forward further. It can be and REALLY is fun when your efforts lead to achieving the goals you have set, then planned and wished for, begin to happen.
    We love you and look forward to hearing about all the challenges, accomplishments and even the difficulties you will experience as you get that road paved.
    Mom and Dad

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