Years ago, I had two major hobbies: dogs and antiques. I read, showed, and loved my dogs; and collected the antiques, primarily glass and porcelain. All my friends were involved in one or the other. I wrote about the dogs and bought and sold the antiques. Busy life – happy wife! I had a friend who enjoyed the dogs and she was a great help to me. I was training two puppies – brother and sister – by taking them out to places where they could meet and adjust to people.
My friend would have one and I would have the other on leashes. People would “ooh” and “ahh” and pet; and the puppies would look cute and wiggle all over! Our favorite place to go was a pet supply store. The particular day I am writing about was also a day when I was to begin packing fifty pieces of rare porcelain to send back east to the buyer. So, the day began with the puppies. We stood in the store by a pyramid of water filled glass bowls. Each one contained a fighting fish. All of a sudden, one of the fish flipped up and out of its bowl and it landed in front of my male puppy Ming who promptly grabbed it.
I managed to pull the fish out of his mouth and dropped it back in the bowl where it floated ominously on its side. The nightmare had begun. I walked off with Ming and my friend went the other way with his sister. A few minutes later she found me and told me I had to look at the baby ferrets. So off I went. The baby ferrets were so anxious to be petted that they were on their hind legs jumping and my friend said, “oh, look he wants you to pet him!” Well, cute he was and I stuck my finger through a wire square. In a flash, I had a ferret hanging on my finger blood flowing. “Go get help,” I squealed! So, Maggie took both puppies and came back with a person who knew how to disengage the ferret and bandage my finger! I don’t need to mention that it really hurt but that was only part of what was to come!
The next morning, I began to empty the china cabinet holding all the porcelain. I hadn’t looked closely at it for a long time so I thought I better check each piece to make sure it was free of any cracks or chips. The week before I had nearly cleaned out the packing store of boxes and bubble wrap. Now was the time to begin packing despite a very sore finger! I held the first of fifteen dinner plates up to the light to check it over. Need I say, nearly every other piece had a problem. I had the buyer’s phone number and so the phone calls began
My finger was killing me and my phone bill was growing by the hour. Happily, my buyer was very sympathetic and didn’t mind a chip or hairline crack. Apparently, the number of pieces itself was rare! Of course, the price came down with each new discovery. Ming seemed none the worse for having had a “fighting fish” in his mouth for a few seconds. I was still breaking even on the porcelain, albeit with a throbbing finger. By the end of the week I had sent the antique china to its new home and my poor finger, still bandaged, throbbed less.
Hobbies are wonderful things, especially when based on a genuine interest and appreciation. They should never ever be based on a desire for riches, as one can never be sure but that either a chip, crack or fish might show up!