Surprise Haircut

It was Wednesday and the end of the week was quickly approaching. I was not sure what to do.

My girlfriend was driving up from Dallas on Friday so that we could go to the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival down in Winfield. But, there was a problem. No dogs allowed…


My neighbors next door had just watched Barnaby the previous weekend. Adam and his family were also going to be at the festival, so I could not drop him off at their house. I could have found a random stranger on to come watch him, but they are expensive and we were only going to be gone during the day.

Frustrated, I went on a walk with Barnaby. As I walked a few houses down my street, I ran into my neighbors, who have a few kids that like to pet him whenever we walk by. A thought popped into my head. I turned to the middle schooled aged neighbor and ask, “Would you be able to watch and walk Barnaby this Saturday?” I asked. “I’ll have to ask my mom,” he considered. “Cool, I’ll come by tomorrow to see what she said.”

The next day, Thursday, around the same time, I took Barnaby down the street. Again, my neighbors were out in their front yard, and again they ran over to pet Barnaby. This time the mother was outside with them. I asked her if it would be alright if her son could watch Barnaby, and she said, “Sure thing!” We worked out the logistics and agreed that I would bring the key by on Friday.

On Friday, I grabbed the key, and for a third time went down the street to give the mom and her son the key. For a third time they were in their front yard and the kids ran over to pet Barnaby. I gave the key to the mother and offered up some fresh vegetables from the community garden as a way to say thanks. They were thrilled about the veggies and one of the kids expressed her excitement about trying out some new recipes!

After the exchange, the mother noted, “Wow, he has long hair. Does he need haircuts often?” “Yes he does, “ I replied, “But, since I just moved here, I am not sure where I will go to get him haircuts.” “I cut dog hair,” she responded.

Next thing I knew, she had offered to take Barnaby with her for the day and to give him a haircut while we went to the festival.

There is an unexpected abundance when we neighbor. Gifts seem to rise up out of unknown spaces. I would have never guessed that my neighbor cut dogs’ hair for a living. I certainly would not have expected her to ask if she could cut my dog’s hair. I just needed someone to watch my dog. But since my neighbor offered her gifts, she helped us move from a surface level relationship to a deeper one built on trust.

May we be open to ask for help from our neighbors and accept the gifts that they offer to us, especially when they are beyond our expectations.