Friend A: “My dog is 13 and I’m so sad because I know he is nearing the end of his life.”
Friend B: “Are you kidding me? My dog died when she was only 9! You’re lucky that you’ve had so much more time with your dog.”
It’s all in the perspective. Dogs have short life spans. We know that when we invite them into our families.
My old boy is really showing his age this summer. He doesn’t hear a thing, not even the front door banging shut when I return home. Jumping into the car to go to the trails for long hikes is a thing of the past. The hot weather exhausts him. He pants a lot. He sleeps deeply. But he loves us as fiercely as ever. His tail wags madly in greeting even when he’s too tired to lift his head off the floor, and he still finds the energy to bark hysterically at squirrels in the yard – there’s hardly anything left of the windowsills which his claws have gouged during these frantic episodes.
I’m grateful for 13 really good years together and hope we can squeeze out a couple more.
My theme for the past couple of posts has been ‘kindness’. This applies to animals as well as humans. I cannot fathom how we can be so cruel to animals, how we can call calf-roping a ‘sport’, how we can inflict pain and fear onto helpless animals. Calf-roping is just one example, of course, but because it’s rodeo season it’s the one that we’re hearing about. When people attend these events they are showing their support to this cruel practise, which is as unfeeling as actually doing the roping.
Does this calf look like he’s having fun?
Can we call it ‘sport’ when the calves don’t stand a chance in the competition?
“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” (Buddha)
“So spread your light through love and kindness to the people around you and let the ‘giving spirit’ you initiate spread like a virus, infinitely touching the lives of people you may never meet, across boundaries you may never cross, in ways you may never have thought possible. That is the power of our love and kindness, and it’s your ticket to making the world a happier place.” (author unknown)
I remember the day a total stranger pulled over to the side of a busy and narrow highway to help me change a flat tire. It was dangerous work with huge trucks barreling past, threatening to drag us along in their undertow. I asked for the stranger’s name, wanted to buy him lunch, something, but he simply asked me to do a good deed for someone else. I was touched by his kindness. I do try to practise kindness in my life, but need to make a greater effort to practise random acts of kindness for strangers each and every day. It may not be a something big, like changing a tire, some days it may only be a sincere compliment, but who knows where it may lead? Hopefully the gesture will ‘spread like a virus.’
Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not. ~Samuel Johnson
It’s easy to be kind to people we love or even people we want to impress. It’s much harder to be kind to that bumbling waiter, cranky cashier or rude taxi driver. A truly kind person is the one who shows kindness to the person they will never see again, for they are not being kind with the expectation of getting something in return. We remember small acts of kindness shown to us by strangers. These are the acts of kindness that will start the ripple that will really change the world.