Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Secret Power of Dogs

Today was puppy training meeting day. We met at the Books A Million book store which was quite a drive from our home. We reviewed puppy CPR, ear cleaning, tooth brushing and poisonous items and foods for puppies (onions, chocolate, raisins, poinsettia plants, etc.). I am not sure if it was due to the fact there were 3 puppies in training in the book store or it is a shopping weekend during the Christmas season, but we were stopped by (almost too) many curious people. Yes, puppies are cute and cuddly. Yes, puppies are wonderful when giving kisses. Yes, puppies bring smiles to almost all who pet them. Becoming more apparent is the special secret power of dogs.

Honey came with us to Vanderbilt Hospital yesterday. Scotty and I were late and being slowed down even more by Honey – stopping to teach Honey how to sit at each door, giving her ‘busy’ times, a water break and trying to manage the ‘don’t pull me and don’t make me drag you’ attitude Honey was displaying. We finally found the elevator and waited for a young woman in a wheelchair to enter. One look at her legs and I understood her need for a wheelchair. Her left arm was permanently bent at the elbow forcing her disfigured hand to rest on her left shoulder. She said she saw us and hoped we would be on the same elevator as she wanted to pet Honey. Then she said the most amazing thing to us ‘Today is my lucky day. Thank you for letting me pet your dog’. It was her lucky day because she was able to pet Honey? Then it hit me. Here I was complaining about how I was being slowed down by Honey while this woman was thankful to have been slowed down enough to be able to pet Honey. It is no secret that petting a dog can make someone smile or brighten their day. We see that each time we are out with Honey. A brief chance encounter on a hospital elevator revealed to me the secret power of dogs – the ability to introduce me to a stranger, who in turn reminded me of how truly lucky I am and how thankful I should be for all the gifts I have been given but take for granted.

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