This past weekend was beautiful and I got out and about and enjoyed the time away from work. I walked the dogs, multiple times, as is our norm. We walked the neighborhood, the cemetery and the hiking trails. On our journey, we began to notice the interactions between people and their pets.
To my sweet neighbor, I saw you today. I see you often but I finally paid attention. You had just come home and opened your front door. Your white Jack Russell bounded out to greet you. You bent low so that as he jumped, your pucker would meet his. Maybe it was the sweetest kiss you had all day. It seemed to make you happy.
Dear elderly lady, I saw you cleaning your glass storm door. You were on the outside, and your small white puppy was on the inside critiquing your chore. Surely she wondered if you were wiping off her nose art. Or would she have to watch you walk away. She looked a little nervous. When you glanced down at her, she wagged her tail. I am certain that she is excellent company for you. I know how it is – the kids get busy with kids of their own and they come around less and less often. But your puppy is always there.
Cute little boy, I saw you today when your puppy got away from you at the park. I recognized the look of terror that crossed your face when you realized that your puppy was darting toward the road. My own dog has done that before, and your heart sinks and is paralyzed in fear. You screamed out his name, and he heard the fear in your voice. He stopped and ran back to check on you. You scooped him up and squeezed him until he could barely breathe. You had almost lost him, but he returned to you. He loves you more than anyone else.
I saw you today, neighborhood teenager, when you bent down to pet my dog whom you now know by name. You don’t have a dog of your own, and you claim mine as your friend. Maybe you had been studying and were stressed. Maybe you were outside because you had argued with your parents. Spending a few minutes with my dog lightened your mood and refocused your energy. For a moment, he was a blessing to you.
Did you see me today? As I walked my dog, did you notice that I was distracted? Maybe my mind was on something that had been troubling me at work. Or maybe I had let someone’s words upset me and my heart was bruised by their abrasiveness. No matter. My distraction was only for a moment, and then I noticed you. Thankfully, the joy and love that you give so freely to your pet (or mine) captured my attention and encouraged me.
Let this be a reminder to live more in the present moment and to realize that you never know who might be watching you as you go through your daily routine. You never know what you will discover by paying more attention to others and becoming more aware. Make sure that they see “love and kindness” when they notice you. Show gratitude in your daily tasks because you don’t know what the person you pass on the street is going through. And thank you for sharing your love, and the love of your pets, with me.
Wag on Augusta!!