Rochelle Stidham

Thereís a first time for everything.

I hope you enjoyed my column last Sunday. It was the first of many I hope to write. As I said, there is a first time for everything.

I got my first puppy recently. She is a 10-week-old Bicshon Frise named Bella (Isabella). When they say that a dog can be a girlís best friend they are right. My sister, who lives in San Antonio, wanted to purchase Bellaís brother so I ventured out to get the brother pup and when I got to the breederís house, I noticed it was surrounded by an electric fence.

I donít know much about electronic gadgets, gates or anything else that flicks on and off - but when I left I got the shock of my life.

As I was exiting the gate, I reached back to pull it shut and ZAP ó it got me. I was electrocuted with a jolt that sent shock waves up my left arm. That was another first.

That same night I came home from having dinner, opened a can of puppy food and was dishing out some grub for the puppies when I sliced my index finger on the can. That cut was so deep and it was bleeding so much that I had to call a friend to take me to the emergency room, where I received three stitches and a Tetanus shot. Another first.

I donít know about you, but I donít like going to the doctor, much less making a trip to the emergency room. Just thinking about those stitches makes me sick to my stomach. We were able to get in right away and within an hour, I was back home, trying to take care of myself and two puppies.

The following night I was in such pain from the cut that I decided to take one of the pain pills the doctor prescribed.

And for the first time, I met the devil face to face, in a nightmare that was so horrible that I woke up screaming for my mom and dad (who were visiting from San Antonio). I was so scared I asked my mom to sleep with me. Another first since I was a kid.

The point is, there is always going to be a first time for everything - both good and bad. Life is what you make of it, you can whine about pain, stress and destruction or you can pick yourself up by the boot straps and think of all the good things that you have been blessed with.

So hereís to you - and to all the firsts that life will bring.

Rochelle Stidham is publisher of the Empire-Tribune.