We take chances every day. Actually we take chances every second of every day - we just don't realize it and we therefore do not always weigh the consequences.

We take chances in allowing ourselves to fall in love for the first time. We are vulnerable and we let someone into our deepest, darkest secrets and share with them the most intense of intimacies - love making.

Many people believe that life is but a chance. It may sound Shakespearean but think about it... how many times has something happened to you that seemed like less than a coincidence? Maybe it all is one big chance sort of like leaping over a large puddle between the corner of the street and the road and you either end up in a smash landing or you make it safe and dry onto the sidewalk.

It's sometimes good to take chances because in taking them we change the path we are on and turn onto something new and refreshing and we even discover a part of ourselves that had been hidden or lost. Other times we take chances and well, we don't do so well with them but at least we tried.

When we were young, we constantly took chances - we were the greatest "risk takers" ever. That's because we were curious and we were doing most things for the first time. It's exhilarating and scary all at once to take a chance and to do something new. Chances help us learn. We learn what it feels like to fail and what it feels like to succeed. We take chances again and again no matter how many times things do not turn out as planned.

Sometimes we find ourselves asking a friend, "Should I take that chance?" Although usually when we are asking we already know how much of a chance we are willing to take.

Here's a little story for you about "Chance". Many years ago, a friend of mine (let's call him Harry)was driving to his cottage on a snowy, winter's night. He was on a dark road and the snow began to fall heavily, so much so that there was barely any visibility. He had a choice, he could either continue driving and take a chance of possibly having an accident or he could stop by the side of the road and wait the storm out. As he was pondering this decision, he saw a parking lot on his left. He recognized the abandoned property as a former B&B that his parents took him to when he was little for the best banana and chocolate chip pancakes.

He parked and chose to get out of his car and seek shelter under the awning at the front of the building. Once he was there, he chose to see if the front door was unlocked and it was so he crept inside lighting his way with his cell phone.

There was a ghastly stench of must and rotted food. He could see the breakfast benches and dining room had pretty much remained intact. Suddenly he felt something run by his feet and then he saw it moving under a table. He had a choice, he could run like hell and get back to the safety of his car or he could beam his flashlight app from his phone under the table.

He bent down and found a dog, his fur matted, his leg cut and bleeding, shivers running through him and no tags. He had a choice, he could leave the dog there and not bother with him or he could carry him out to his car. He chose to take the dog with him. He carefully lifted him and carried him in his arms. The snow had subsided and the road was clearly visible. He placed the dog in the back seat and put the heat on full blast. Then he got in the back seat and covered the dog with a blanket and held him close. The dog was shivering and short of breath. Harry hoped that he was not going to die in his arms but if he did, at least he would not die alone.

Within 30 minutes or so, the dog was almost completely respondent and sitting up placing his muzzle into Harry's neck. He was leaning his entire weight into Harry's side and he moved toward his face and gave him a big, wet kiss. Harry drove off and they arrived at his cottage shortly thereafter. Once the house was lit up and warmed by a crackling fire, Harry placed the dog in the bath tub and gave him a good scrub down, dried him and bandaged his cut. Then the dog suddenly appeared in his entirety and Harry was able to recognize that he was some variation of a Golden Retriever. He had chocolate brown eyes, a coat that looked like it has been sprinkled with brown sugar and a tail disproportionatally large for his body. His left eye was partially splashed with a white blaze that made its way down to his nose.

Throughout the next week Harry visited all the local shelters, police stations and posted signs but no one called to reclaim the dog. Harry felt badly for whomever had lost him but it seemed more likely he had been purposely left out in the snow to fend for himself. It didn't take long at all for Harry and the dog to grow closer. He decided to name the dog and in doing so to recognize that this was now his dog and his dog only.

He named him "Chance" because that's what he initially was - a chance that Harry decided to take. And for the "Chance" that choice saved his life.

I would have taken that chance - would you?

It's hard to say what chances we will or won't take because as much as we think we weigh the consequences, we are actually quite impulsive when our emotions are in play and when another "being" is part of the chance, it's all about emotion in the end.

I am all for taking chances. Most of life adventures have come my way because of the chances I have taken. I'm not afraid of losing because no matter how many times I do, it's the winning that brings me back to chance time and time again.

Chances...take them, don't take them, but never underestimate them because in doing so you are underestimating yourself. And who knows? There may just be a goofy, brown sugared Retriever out there waiting for you to take that chance.

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