(From a story told by my friend Lucky Gipe)

Kevin had just gotten a new pickup. He was really happy about it, too. It wasn’t that he hadn’t ever had a pickup before. But his last one had been so big and taken so much gas that he could hardly afford to drive it. This new one was much smaller and was advertised as getting over thirty-five miles to the gallon. He planned to drive it everywhere.

Kevin loved the convenience of having a pickup. If a person wanted to stop by and get some lumber, they could do it without deciding how they could get it inside or on top like he had to do when he drove his wife’s compact car. He might have to lash everything down in the pickup, but he kept plenty of straps for that purpose.

Another thing he liked about his smaller pickup was that putting things in and pulling them out was easier. His previous one was so high that he had to lift items to his shoulders to get them inside the truck’s bed. That might be okay for something small, but one day his wife bought a beautiful desk and asked him to haul it home. It weighed a ton, and he felt that he would have a hernia by the time he got just one end of it up on the back of his truck.

Kevin was just finishing work when his wife called. “Honey,” she said, “could you pick up the girls from piano lessons and then stop at the grocery store for some milk on the way home?”

Kevin smiled. Even though his pickup was small, it had a second bench seat. It may not have been the roomiest, but he could still take his two daughters with him when he went places. He agreed to the request and soon had his daughters in the pickup with him. When he stopped at the grocery store, the two girls begged to go play in the park that was across the store’s parking lot.

It was a nice, safe, family park, so Kevin decided it would be okay, especially since he would only be a minute getting the milk. He returned shortly, and since the girls were having so much fun, he just set the milk beside him on the bench and watched them play. After they had played for a while longer, he told them they really should get on their way. One more time down the slide for each of the girls, then they headed to the pickup.

When they got there, Kevin was shocked at what he saw. Having had a pickup before, he was used to people going by and throwing things in the back. It was annoying, but it didn’t surprise him anymore. But what was in the back this time did surprise him. There were two beautiful black labs sitting there.

The dogs were friendly, and soon the girls were petting them and smothering them with attention. “Look, Daddy,” his youngest daughter said, “they must want us to adopt them.”

Kevin was bewildered but didn’t know what to do. He asked a few people in the park about it. The dogs visited the park often. People said the dogs were friendly and loved being petted, but no one knew who their owner was.

As Kevin pondered what to do, suddenly, a man in a small pickup, just the make and model of Kevin’s, pulled up. The man stepped out and called, “Jake, Jack, wrong pickup!”

The two dogs jumped into the man’s pickup, and the man apologized. “I’m sorry about that. They like to go to the park and play but have always come home. I think they saw your pickup and decided it was mine. When they didn’t come home, I came to get them.”

They all had a good laugh, but one of Kevin’s daughters asked how the dogs could mix up the pickups when one was red and one was blue. “Dogs are color blind,” the man said.

The man left, and Kevin took his daughters home. But it wasn’t the last time he and his girls stopped at the park and found the dogs sitting in the pickup when they were ready to leave. Kevin and the girls grew fond of the dogs, and the dogs returned the affection.

Kevin decided that was an added bonus of the new pickup, but it was one he would have never guessed when he bought it.