Lobo shortly after she was found

The Story
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.

Tone deaf but loved

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.