One day when I went to the pet supply store to get dog food, I took Rugby with me. It was a rainy day and there were very few people in the store. As always, Rugby was scoping out everything at his eye level. I was focused on my errand and we were walking in that direction when I heard people talking.
I heard a child say, “Mommy look at that doggie in the wheelchair.” Then I heard a woman’s voice saying, “Don’t go near him. There is something wrong with him. Let’s just go the other way. No. You can’t pet him. Something is wrong with him.” This was not the first time something like this happened.
It was almost like Rugby was telling himself what to do, “If they can’t come to me, I’ll go to them.”
At that moment, I felt Rugby pulling me down the aisle and around the corner to the next aisle where the children and their mother were. I saw the mother put her hands on her children’s shoulders and hold them. Rugby pulled me right over to them and then barked. It wasn’t a loud bark. It was more like a “woof.”
The little girl looked at her mother and asked her, “Mommy, can’t we pet him please?” I don’t know if the mother was embarrassed or just confused but she still held their shoulders and said nothing. “Mommy, can we?”
I decided that I needed to put my two cents in so I said, “It’s okay. They can pet him. They won’t catch anything.” She gave me a questioning look and I told her that I knew that she was concerned and that Rugby wouldn’t hurt her children in any way, quite the contrary.
She released her hold on the children as if to tell them that they could pet him. I explained that Rugby had been in an accident and that he needed the wheelchair because of his paralysis.
As the children and Rugby interacted happily, she and I talked. When we were ready to say good bye, she told her children something that I will never forget.
What a lesson those children learned on that day. What lessons are you teaching your children?
Dogs have opinions about the holidays.
You may be wondering why a dog has an opinion about such things. Well, I’ll tell you. Dogs are smart. Dogs see happiness and they see sadness. They see kindness and they see hostility. Dogs see pain and grief and they see and they see joy. There are even some dogs who watch TV and see what is happening all over the world.
Guess what? Not only do dogs see these things but they feel them too. Dogs have are very tuned into the people they love and what happens to them. That’s why I have an opinion and that’s why it’s important that I share it with you. There are somethings that are disrupting this holiday season and I know how to fix some of them. My solution centers on kindness and the Golden Rule.
Because everyone is different, everyone values different things. That’s why life will get better when each one of us becomes more understanding, more sympathetic, more concerned and more loving. Miracles can begin with the efforts and actions of all of us.
There is world unrest and national unrest and it’s time to change that… one person, one family, one school, and one nation at a time. It’s time to be good and do good. So as difficult as it may be, we must begin to see things differently so that the future will be all that we want it to be.
Because of that, race, religion, physical ability, political view, color of skin, amount of wealth or lack of wealth, ethnicity or any other difference should be accepted as forms of diversity. Guess what? Diversity is powerful and diversity is everywhere! We need to embrace our own diversity and the diversity of others.
Dogs Have Opinions
So now back to my solution. The way I see it, The Golden Rule is a simple one. Just treat everyone the way you want to be treated.
The Dalai Lama said it best!
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion… Every religion emphasizes human improvement, love, respect for others, sharing other people’s suffering. On these lines, every religion had more or less the same viewpoint and the same goal.”
(The Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity is a moral maxim or principle of altruism found in nearly every human culture and religion, suggesting it is related to a fundamental human nature.)