A RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS

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….

This was his spot

This was his spot

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…

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Once I was able to focus, I came to a complete stop…

What a sweet - kind and thoughtful thing to do...

What a sweet – kind and thoughtful thing to do…

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.

 To the Man with the Lawn 

“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…

37 Comments
  • Emma
    July 18, 2014

    That is the most awesome story of goodness I have heard in a very long time. What a wonderful man! Leo really was a special boy that will never be forgotten.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 18, 2014

      I love that sentence Emma: “the most awesome story of goodness.” Every time I read it, I smile. And I agree, “Leo & special” really do go together.

  • Jen
    July 18, 2014

    Happy yet tearful….Man with the lawn is awesome!

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 18, 2014

      Jen, the man with the lawn is PAWSOME!!!! Happy tears are welcome here anytime, hope you have a weekend full of kindness! Thanks for reading.

  • DashLilly
    July 18, 2014

    Oh my! And I bet Leo loves that sign too! You know he is still with you. What a kind, kind soul that man has. Very special.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 18, 2014

      You got that right DashLilly, I think I’m in love with a stranger 🙂 I left the card this morning and perhaps in a few more days when I’m a little bit stronger I will knock on their door, stay tuned…

  • laverne bennett
    July 18, 2014

    I see the healing process is in effect. I know you and Harley have a long way to go .just keep praying and holding on to Gods unchanging hands he’ll bring you through.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 18, 2014

      Laverne, we’ve got a grip on Jesus like you wouldn’t believe 🙂 Harley sends his love too!

  • Annie
    July 18, 2014

    Sweetness and love….a few tears were shed over this! What a wonderful person…

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 18, 2014

      Thanks Annie, happy tears are always welcome. It was such a uplifting surprise, I just had to share it with all of you.

  • pammie
    July 18, 2014

    Because of who LEO was and who you and all the rest of the family was to him, and the yard of honor, LEO lives on and continue to inspire. 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 18, 2014

      Thanks Pammie – that was the pawfect comment. 🙂

  • Tiffany
    July 18, 2014

    Thank you for sharing this story. I miss our dog so much everyday. He was such a big part of our family. I’m still in awe of just how many people loved him too. This act of kindness has reminded me of just how special Leo was. You couldn’t help but to fall madly in love with him. Although I had tears in my eyes when I read this story, I couldn’t help but smile too. Thanks Mommy x

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 18, 2014

      You were a doodle*tastic doodle-sister to Leo, and to Harley. We’ll get through it because we have faith, we have Harley, and we’ve got a ton of incredible memories… XOXO

  • Joolz
    July 18, 2014

    How lovely!

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 18, 2014

      Thank you so very much Joolz – now share it with someone so more people will think about kindness this weekend….

  • Ann Staub
    July 18, 2014

    This is just so wonderful… it just about brought tears to my eyes! I absolutely love it.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 18, 2014

      Okay Ann, we;re only accepting “happy”tears from now on…. It means the world to me when you and so many “get me.” Your support is truly helping me climb out of this rabbit hole. XOXO

  • Jeanna Richelson
    July 18, 2014

    How sweet! I have 2 mini goldendoodles and they bring so much joy! Sorry for the loss of your sweet Leo but him Doodle memories will live a lifetime!

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 18, 2014

      I love looking at the mini golden doodles, I have a question: Is the mini the same as the Teddy Bear doodles? Always wanted to know that. And yes, Leo is with me everyday, everywhere I go. Thanks for reading Jeanna – have a weekend of kindness…

  • Angela
    July 18, 2014

    So sweet and thoughtful! Made me cry.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 18, 2014

      Thanks Angela, but going forward Harley & I are only accepting “happy”tears okay? Have a kindness weekend…

  • Pam Wahl
    July 18, 2014

    Wow! That’s all I can say.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 18, 2014

      Those were my exact words also Pam, I know the feeling…

  • Julie
    July 18, 2014

    Tears of joy and sadness. Beautiful act of kindness – sorry for the circumstance. But the story is beautiful. Isn’t it interesting what our dogs do?! I wonder what it was about that spot that made him lay and wait for you every day. So touching! XOXO

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 19, 2014

      Hi Julie, I agree with your entire comment. I met the homeowner today and he blessed me with his stories of Leo. I’ll never know why he rested there, but I’m sure in time it will all come to light. I will PM you next week, Harley has a formal to attend, and I have an idea for a stunning bow tie. Have a great weekend and fill it with kindness…

  • Susan and the gang from Life with Dogs and Cats
    July 18, 2014

    Well that brought tears to my eyes.

    And yes, people can be good.

    Lovely story.

    Thanks for sharing.

    –Wags (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 19, 2014

      Hi Susan! As long as they were happy tears…
      Earlier today I finally met the homeowner. He received his card and came to the house. I was a babbling mess, and he shed a tear himself, but it was great to have a garage full of people listening to his Leo stories. Today was a nice day, Leo was all around me, today I smiled. Thanks for stopping by…

  • Lonnie Shapiro
    July 19, 2014

    Cathy this is absolutely beautiful and I am in major loving tears. There is kindess and good in the world, but unfortunately right now it is hard to find. What a loving and thoughtful neighbor you have. Love to you, Harley and your family.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 20, 2014

      Hello Lonnie, my intent was successful, and that was to share something randomly wonderful and inspire people to start thinking as this incredible man with the lawn did – thinking with kindness. So nice to hear from you, give your doodle tons of hugs.

  • Scottie
    July 20, 2014

    As I am reading this on Sunday morning – ‘One Day at A Time’ is playing on the radio. How appropriate – One day at a time and one random act of kindness at a time. Life is changeling, but still good. See you soon.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 20, 2014

      And I pray that it made you think a little and smile a lot Scotty! How appropriate indeed. Yes, I hope to see you soon…

  • Stacey
    July 22, 2014

    wow… This is very heart warming. This started my day off with a good cry. That is just an amazing gift to you in the sorrow of your loss.

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 22, 2014

      Stacey – I understand and I agree. It has really touched me in a way that I will never be the same. It was as if Leo himself came back for just a moment to tell me/his Doodle Mom goodbye. The man with the lawn came down to the house over the weekend. He received his thank you card, and wanted to formally introduce himself. We cried together and he told me some wonderful stories about Leo, and how he touched him, his family, and even his coworkers that shared in all his photos. He let me look at his picture of Leo on his phone. He took some great ones while Leo rested on his lawn. He is indeed a very special person. Thanks for reading, please come back again, your words mean so much to me….

  • Christine & Riley
    August 4, 2014

    OMST… I don’t know how I missed this post, at 1am I am bawling again about Leo and with this. I am too like you, I wonder about the world today… and yes this has restored my faith in people just a bit more.

    • Cathy Bennett
      August 4, 2014

      Oh Christine, I’m so sorry. I was so touched by this strangers kindness I just had to share. Leo is teaching me so much – even in his physical absence. I wish you had at least one time been able to meet this gentle giant angel in the flesh. He was truly special. Take care…

  • DZ Dogs
    March 13, 2015

    That was soo sweet of him! <3

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