Much too often I open my IPad to read horrible stories from every corner of the globe. In fact, these days you have to search like a child at an Easter Egg Hunt just to find something “uplifting” or “heartwarming” to read. Even in the easy access world of social media we see scathing images, stories and videos plastered for the world to mock, laugh at, and “share.”
Does it ever make you question; “what is happening to people?” It does me – all the time. Makes me wonder, “where is the love?”
Yet in the midst of watching my faith in humanity slowly disintergrate, yesterday it was renewed. Restored by a random act of kindness which simply blew my mind. And it involved a dog – my dog – my Doodle.
It is no secret to those familiar with Groovy Goldendoodles that I often walked the Boys with Leo off leash. It was always in our neighborhood and during the middle of the day when traffic was nonexistent. Leo quickly learned to stop and wait at each corner until Harley and I caught up. He’d wait for me to say “cross” and he would happily run across the street.
Every time we crossed one particular street, Leo would bolt like lightening down the sidewalk to this house . He’d run right up on the lawn, stop in the same spot, and plop down….
I can honestly say I walked Leo without a leash at least once a day, for about 15-18 months and he’d race to this yard every single time! I remember the day we got “busted” by the homeowner. He was standing in his driveway when Leo darted past him and ran to his spot. Once I reached the house and saw the gentleman, I spoke fast and stuttered a lot as I apologized for my dog sitting on his front lawn. I tried to explain Leo’s unusual fetish. I kept repeating “he just loves your grass.”
The homeowner assured me this was okay, and to my surprise he told me Leo was no stranger. He said he’s watched Leo many times from inside his house.
We stood in his driveway and chatted for a good little while. He told me his daughter even has photo’s of Leo sitting on their lawn. Said she took them from her window and then he politely confessed about how he shows them off to his co-workers. I remember while we stood there and talked, I prayed Leo wouldn’t pee or poop on this man’s grass. He didn’t – in fact, Leo NEVER used the bathroom while he relaxed on his outdoor blanket of green blades.
For the duration of Leo’s life, his routine never changed. Occasionally the homeowner was outside either working in his yard, or sitting on his porch, when Leo sped by and plopped down, he would wave, smile, and sometimes laugh, as he’d holler “that’s MY dog!”
Harley and I would then take our time “sauntering” to the corner (one house further down) turn around and head back towards our block. Leo remained in the grass and watched us, as we strolled right by him. With a marginal distance between us, I’d whistle, and Leo would grab his beloved “Wilson”, gallop ahead of us and wait at the corner so we could cross the street again – together. This was our game. This was our mid-day routine.
Since Leo’s passing, Harley and I have been trying new routes, you know “mixing it up a bit.” Eventually I’m going to be a true “grown-up” and revisit our ole “stomping grounds” I’m sure -but when I’m ready.
However yesterday when I was driving to the store, out of habit I made a right turn when I reached the corner. As I approached the end of the street, I glanced at that familiar space where Leo used to rest. I slowed down because something on the man’s lawn caught my attention – it was in the “exact spot” where Leo used to wait for me…
Once I was able to focus, I came to a complete stop…
I stared in disbelief as a huge smile engulfed my face while warmth filled my heart. I was speechless. What a random act of kindness from a man whom I would only see on occasion and only for a few minutes. A man who received such enjoyment with Leo’s fascination of his yard, that he took the time to create, paint, scribe and place this sign in Leo’s honor. WOW!
And to think – I don’t even know his name.
This selfless thoughtful act of kindness made me ponder – over time have I gotten so accustomed to all of society’s negative activity, that I’ve created an immunity from seeing anything positive?
Should you find yourself having an “ah-ha” moment as you read this post, I totally understand. I chose to write this story because I want you to feel reassured (as I do now) the next time you see, or hear something senseless, crazy or frightening. Remember there is still an abundance of kindness out here. Let us all try to emulate acts of kindness vs. the ones that make us cringe.
I’m going to start right now…
I’ve placed a Groovy Goldendoodles greeting card in this mans mailbox (of course one with Leo’s photo on it) along with a hand written personal note inside with the web address to this blog post. I want to thank him both privately and publicly for this incredible way of honoring my precious Leo. I want to tell him the profound effect it has had on me in so many ways.
“Thank you for taking the time to post your sign. To some it’s just pieces of painted wood constructed and erected in the grass with a few words that have absolutely no relevance or meaning. But for me, it’s a masterpiece that emulates the kindness shared through a dog named Leo who will forever be etched in my mind and in my heart. Thank you for this random act of kindness by allowing my Doodle to rest on your lawn. On behalf of Leo and all those afternoon walks – Thank you.” – Cathy
As always, I thank you for reading, it is absoDOODLEtutely pawfect with Harley & I should you wish to share this with anyone who you want to see smile today…