Bill Althaus: St. Michael's Connor Adams shows a dogged determination
Connor Adams had just played three games with his summer league baseball team, the Shockers, when he returned home to Lee's Summit looking forward to a hot shower, a post-game meal and a good night's sleep.
But the minute the St. Michael the Archangel Catholic senior arrived home last Sunday, he knew something was wrong.
His two dogs were going crazy barking, and there were flashlights flickering in the neighborhood.
His father Matt was scouring the neighborhood, searching for a neighbor's lost dog, Butter, who had slipped out of its home while a relative was watching it for the owners.
"Butter is little, like a small terrier, and we live in a neighborhood, but we have owls and coyotes and we all knew that Butter wouldn't really have much of a chance of surviving,” Adams said. “So, I grabbed a flashlight and went looking for the dog, too."
Still wearing his Shockers uniform, Adams caught a glimpse of Butter, but the frisky dog kept running in between houses, as though this was a game.
"I was getting worried," Adams said, "because I got home about 9:30 or so, and I'd been looking for him for quite a while and I just couldn't find him. But I told my dad I wasn't going to quit looking until I found him."
Adams' dogged determination soon paid off as a couple in a car asked if he was looking for a dog.
"They wanted to know if Butter was my dog, and they were concerned because he was bleeding a little bit, like he'd been attacked by something or maybe even been hit by a car," Adams said. "They said they had just seen him, so I kept looking in all the yards, but it was late and it was dark."
Finally, Adams' flashlight focused on a frightened, whining dog that was hiding under a lawn chair. This time, there was no fanciful mischief, Butter let Adams pick him up and take him home.
"Something happened to him, but none of us really know what it was, but he's home and he's OK," Adams said. "Looking back on it, I don't think I did anything that anyone else wouldn't do in that situation. I wanted to find our neighbor's dog, and I was lucky enough to be able to do it."
This is not a "Stop the press" story, but it is one that brought a smile to my face. I'm a dog person, and my wife Stacy and I have found homes for countless pets and have three mini dachshunds we "adopted" from my youngest son. I'm a sucker for a feel-good dog story and wanted to share this one.
Connor, thanks for your compassion, your spirit and your never-say-die approach to finding a trembling, scared little dog who would not have survived the night had it not been for your good heart.
Oh, and by the way, Connor's Shockers won all three games that Sunday afternoon before he returned home to find Butter. Who says nice guys finish last? This guy is a winner – on the field and in the game of life.
Bill Althaus is a sports writer and columnist for The Examiner. Reach him at email@example.com or 816-350-6333. Follow him on Twitter: @AlthausEJC