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What is 10 percent?

What is 10 percent?

Ten percent is a small percentage, right? When someone says that there is a 10 percent chance of rain, they’re pretty confident that it is unlikely there will be any precipitation. When someone hears that there is a one in 10 chance that they’ll win a raffle prize, they’re pretty confident that they will NOT be a winner. And, just in case I haven’t hammered this point home enough, a 10 percent shareholder has a little chance of mounting a hostile takeover of a company. What I have learned over the last month is that 10 percent is a lot bigger than I would have admitted. And who taught me this?

Hazel did.

Hazel is our new dog.

I was told that I’d only be responsible for 10 percent of her care. In fact, I made it a point to only utter 10 percent of her name (partly as a joke and partly to convince myself that I didn’t want a larger commitment to the newest member of the family). Someone would ask, “What’s her name?” I’d reply, “Hhhhh.” I found it funny. Others just thought I was having a hard time breathing.

What did 10 percent mean to me?

I agreed that I would take her out on Saturday mornings at 6 a.m. before my weekly 7 a.m. tennis match. That seemed fair. Nobody else was going to be up at that time, so why not? I also agreed to pay attention to what the trainer was telling us so that we would all be working together and not at cross purposes.

What am I learning about 10 percent?

Hazel, I must admit, is a super dog. I can’t believe I’m going to admit this, but I want more than 10 percent. I look forward to seeing her in the morning. She’s helped me welcome each new day. While technically my son takes her for her 6 a.m. walk during the week, I’ve joined him every day and that has been remarkable! With Hazel, the two of us, both fresh from a night of sleep, talk about our upcoming days, our goals and chatter about baseball and friendships and whatever else is on his mind (on Thursday, he wanted me to know that when he reads the lines of a script, he really tries to become the characters).

I guess what I’m saying is that while I defensively declared that I only wanted 10 percent of Hazel, she has absolutely improved my life 150 percent.

So what is 10 percent? For me, it has been a catalyst to something so much better.

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