• Laura Sylvester

Serendipity, Karma or Coincidence?

Updated: May 6

Originally posted on 7/8/2011


Our Journey to Orbit Story continued ...

Last month we had a doggie swim play date at Mark and Nancy Drake’s house. Orbit and Elliot both LOVED swimming in the pool. Unlike Orbit, Columbo and Kashi, the Drake’s dogs, seemed impartial to swimming. But Kashi LOVED playing with Orbit in the grassy area next to the pool. Of course, Orbit loved it too, after all it’s been a long time since Orbit got to play with other dogs!

We had a wonderful visit and it got me to thinking about how much Mark and Nancy aided in our journey to Orbit!


Our Journey to Orbit story continues... Serendipity, Karma or Coincidence?


A couple of days after attending the CCI graduation/matriculation, I remained high on the idea of getting a service dog for Elliot. I was trying really hard not to let my enthusiasm, which usually means talking about it non-stop, to overwhelm Rick who was not fully on board with the idea yet. When I get this excited about something, I tend to obsess over it… or in autism speak, “perseverate” on it.

Columbo now a therapy reading dog and the drake's pet.

As luck would have it, my friend Sarah was in the office Monday morning so I got to re-share my exciting discovery all over again. I told her all about the graduation ceremony, but mostly talked about the matriculation and how the puppy raisers cried; and how Bubba’s puppy raiser bee-lined it for some beer right after the ceremony to numb the loss. Sarah is also a dog person so she listened intently and excitedly.  Then, of course, she inquired as to whether we were going to pursue a service dog for Elliot.

Columbo and Ice.

Back in my cubicle and not more than 20 minutes after leaving Sarah, I overheard a gentleman’s voice speaking to her. (Sarah is a really great listener!) I thought I heard him use the word, “Matriculated.” Just to make sure this wasn’t just a side effect of dog-on-the-brain and I wasn’t projecting all things not dog into dog, I went stealth eavesdropper leaning in from behind my fabric half-wall. YES! CONFIRMED! What that guy actually said next was, “my wife matriculated her dog on Saturday.” I immediately popped my head over the cube wall and Sarah announced, “I was just wondering how long it was going to take you to pop in.”


Now, I should explain the dynamics of this situation so you can more fully appreciate the forces at work here. I live in Oceanside, walking distance from CCI. At the time of the events explained here, I worked at HP in Rancho Bernardo, a 45-minute drive away. The HP complex has 3 humongous buildings with thousands of employees. And this unknown man, who’s wife is a CCI puppy raiser, who happens to work at HP in RB, who happens to be in my same building, on my same floor, who’s talking to my friend Sarah at HP about what he did on Saturday ... REALLY??

Nancy and Ice on a public access outing.

So then, Mark (the aforementioned gentleman), walked me over to his cubicle (one isle over and 20 cubes down from mine) to show me pictures of a gorgeous black lab named Ice that he and his wife, Nancy, had just matriculated. He also showed me pictures of Columbo, Nancy’s first puppy, who did not graduate CCI so they got to keep him. (Not all puppies have what it takes to make it to service dog. Those that don’t can go home to live with their puppy raisers).

I could not deny all of this as a sign from the universe. So, as soon as I got home, went on the CCI website to request an application. Because you can call it whatever you like – but, I’ve learned that whenever I find myself in such an undeniably powerful flow – it’s best to just go with it.



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