This subject was further down on my list but I pushed it up because of an experience I had over the weekend. First, I believe we can never say this enough to ourselves, to our children, and to anyone who will listen. KINDNESS MATTERS. BE KIND. DO UNTO OTHERS…. I could go on.
We took a family hike on Saturday around the Wake Forest Reservoir with all three dogs in tow. If you live local and have not been there, I highly recommend. As we headed back to the car we had an incident with one of our dogs that, let’s just say, resulted in my dog behaving in a not so pleasant way with another dog. It caught us off guard and scared the heck out of another family there who were simply trying to enjoy their day at the reservoir. Once we got control of the situation we quickly made sure the family was ok and their dog was ok. I helped them check over the dog. I provided my name, phone and email to contact me should they need anything and offered to pay any vet bills they may incur.
When I replayed the situation in my head I recalled a distinct moment where their posture indicated they were about to get angry and upset. Rightfully so. I was ready for them to tell me how they felt about me and my crazy ass dog. So I chose KINDNESS immediately. You saw them ease up, back down and by the end of the conversation they were not defensive at all and in fact grateful to me. I spoke to them later in the day as they did incur a small vet bill. I apologized again and had a nice chat. I wanted them to know we are responsible dog owners and this caught us off guard. That does not change how they felt… scared, protective of their dog and child, and I totally understood that. They we so appreciative of how we handled the situation. Their dog is fine and they are grateful for that.
The whole experience struck me as it validates how we can all choose kindness and compassion over ANYTHING else regardless of the situation. Our actions speak volumes and our children saw this play out and watched how we handled it. As parents we have to lead by example every day. Empathy for me is one of the hardest things to teach children. You can’t simply tell them to be empathetic but you can SHOW them through your own actions.
My Evie Grace pictured here came out with a few deserved cuts and scrapes. Nothing serious. All my dogs are rescues and they come with baggage and boy does Evie have baggage. We have spent a great deal of time training/working with her and we will not give up on her. She deserves kindness and compassion despite her baggage. In this way, they are no different than us.
When asked once, “How do you want to be remembered?”
My answer, “I want to be remembered by how I treated others.”
(And that includes my four legged furry friends!)
CHOOSE KINDNESS. CHOOSE COMPASSION.