This is the story of Stan & Otis. Stan is a metal man … not a tin man, but he’s in the same family. And Otis is a blue dog.
Otis used to be a junk yard dog. Well actually, he was a scrap yard dog. He lived at the scrap yard for quite some time. He was not unhappy, but it just didn’t feel like his home.
Stan & Otis found each other in Vancouver, Washington. Neither of them was whole at the time…they were in pieces.
But even as they began to take shape, they knew they still were not quite whole.
Then, they found each other. It was love at first sight. It didn’t matter what state each or the other was in. They were there for each other, as they each grew and took shape. It was as if Stan was made for Otis and Otis was made for Stan.
But even as each one felt more whole, Stan still felt like something was missing. He finally figured out what is was. Stan was missing a heart. So Stan talked to the wizard who was helping him take shape.
“Angela, please make me complete and able to truly be able to love Otis. Please give me a heart,” Stan said. “Woof woof” Otis said. “What’s that Otis?” the wizard Angela asked? In Otis’ barking, the wizard understood that Otis truly was the wise one. As Otis barked, the wizard understood exactly what Otis was trying to say.
“A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.”*
And Otis loved Stan dearly. But even so, Stan still felt like he needed a heart. And then, Otis offered part of his heart, which the wizard skillfully added to Stan.
And with that heart, Stan felt complete, like he could truly love Otis.
But the three of them knew that the wizard’s shop was no place to call home for Stan & Otis. So the wizard, with the help of some friends, got Stan & Otis ready for a journey.
They left the fir trees and rain in the Pacific Northwest, went over the mountain passes in Oregon, and through the poppy filled lands of Northern California, until they found a perfect spot mid-town Sacramento.
They found a home where Stan could be protected from the sun and rain … for he was steel, and would rust if left out in the elements. And Otis could be outside, which is where a dog needs to be.
And they could become part of the families who lived in the building and meet new people every day at the restaurant.
But most importantly, Otis could watch over Stan, and Stan could watch over Otis. And Otis didn’t really care whether he was in Sacramento, or the wizard’s shop, or the scrap yard, so long as Stan was with him.*
* Excerpts from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, published 1900.