As a wee tike, like most boys, I loved animals. In fact, I studied them and spent countless hours as a first grader reading about them in an encyclopedia and tracing their pictures. Wolves were a favorite. By first grade, I knew the word Lobo was Spanish for wolf.
In fourth grade, our family moved to Almaden Valley in south San Jose. I’ll never forget day-one at the new school; I christened it with my first fight. As you can imagine, I was having a hard time fitting in. The janitor, a migrant worker from Mexico, took me under his wing. One day, he called me into his office – more like a closet – and showed me three puppies that he found whimpering and abandoned while off-loading his truck at a dumpsite.
The principal offered these puppies to all students – provided they could get permission from their parents. Of course, I called immediately. My mom insisted she get permission from my dad. He worked construction and she promised to call the job site. I called back within the hour; it was down to two puppies. Still, no word from dad. I called back in another hour; one puppy was left. No word from dad. I begged; I pleaded; I sealed the deal – as a fourth grader – by offering to take the puppy back if dad didn’t like it. Well, dad didn’t like it but my family still got to keep the pup – a half Husky and half German Shepard that we named Lobo.
While this winery bears that dog’s name, that name means more. Lobo represents the act of grace of a humble man who rescued abandoned puppies and gave them homes. It also allowed me to fight my first fight – for the puppy that became part of our family.
Fight good fights. Fight them to win. Drink good wine afterwards.