And, as though I needed to experience something far more heartening, the world delivered. I hope this makes your day as it did mine.
I was wondering if maybe I had made some sort of horrible mistake coming to Utah because maybe I’ll just continue to find that dogs aren’t treated well enough for me.
Feeling on the low side, I walked with a friend. On our walk she said that she remembered someone that she wanted me to meet. She introduced me to a combat veteran neighbor. After hearing his story, I asked if I could feature him on my blog. He said, “No way. I’m sorry. I cannot do that.” Ok, so he will remain anonymous. He may not even read this.
He is a veteran who has been treated for PTSD for many years. He said he knew he would like to have a dog at some point, but wanted to make sure that he waited until he was in a position to do it right. (Read that sentence again! How many people do this?)
Next, she prompted him to tell me all about his dog’s training and care. This dog is sort of a large hound mix. He said that the dog lives inside and goes everywhere with him. But, that if it is a very hot day, he is always mindful of his dog’s comfort. He said that somedays if he feels he doesn’t particularly need him and he’s feeling alright, he will forego the company and leave him in the air conditioned house. I felt a smile coming on.
He said that he washes the dog about once a week for both the dog’s health and to be polite when he goes into public places with him. Really? Really.
He said he feeds him a very high-quality diet because “most people don’t realize that it doesn’t really cost much more to feed them well since they don’t have to eat as much.” Wow! Where on earth did this person come from?
My friend told him that I have experience with service and therapy dogs and that I train as well. I told him how impressed I was and how heartened I was that I could see how well adjusted his 1 yr. old dog was behaving. I told him it absolutely made my day.
His comment was, “No matter how much I give this dog, he gives so much more to me. It’s the least I can do to repay him.”
Now, THAT, is how it is done.
I told him I was happy to hear that he has a trainer. He uses force-free methods and he even participates in K9 nosework just to enrich his dog’s life with interesting things to do. Just the best.
I told him that if there was anything he thought of that he would like to learn or have help with, that I would be more than happy to volunteer my services.
What a difference a day makes sometimes. Thank you, LIfe.