My mom joined me for a liverwurst run. As I was bagging groceries for the shop, I overheard her ask, “which one’s your favorite?” And when I turned around, I saw her holding up two candy bars in front of the cashier, who replied, “Reese’s.” My mom said, “put it on my bill and take it. You look like you’re having a rough day.”
People worldwide do nice things for each other, yet, when we read the news, it’s the opposite. When I gushed to my mom about how kind that was, she shrugged it off. However, those seemingly small acts of kindness help people get through the day. So, today, I’d like to spotlight the organizations and likely many people I’ll never meet who brought my colorful, sensitive, oh-so-sweet boy to me.
Gavin started his journey to me in Chicago. The story is that he lived with a drug dealer who was arrested, and the family didn’t want him, so they tied him and his brother outside. I don’t think his person mistreated him. Gavin’s eyes sparkled with joy, and his tail helicoptered with happiness at everyone he met. But he became more exuberant when he saw tall dudes in hoodies. My silly dog was an anomaly in so many ways.
When Gavin was at Chicago Animal Care and Control, Safe Humane Chicago assessed his temperament while looking for the rescue, Alive, that would bring me my shiny smile and snuggle bug boy. I can only imagine Gavin’s scrunchy face and wiggle-butt jiggle every time a volunteer went to feed, potty, or love on him.
I fell so in love with Safe Humane that Gavin became an Ambassador Dog and went on to volunteer in schools. I still remember the honor and humility I felt the first time sitting there with him in a classroom filled with kindergarteners, watching teenagers from the same at-risk neighborhood give a presentation about dog body language, how to keep themselves safe around animals, and why it’s essential to be kind and compassionate to all living beings.
When it came time for the children to practice proper greetings with the lifesize stuffed dog before they approached Gavin, I watched some hesitant and walk away. Yet, when a child paused and found a sliver of courage with the inanimate dog before deciding if they were ready to pet Gavin the way they were taught, I watched even more carefully. My role wasn’t then to stand over Gavin, so his happy whip-tail didn’t whack them. My job was to let them decide, in their own time, if they trusted my dog and me not to perpetuate their fears but let their love for animals blossom if that’s what was meant to be.
I loved volunteering with Gavin, and he loved it too.
I’m unsure what this blog will turn into, but I know I love writing about dogs, love, and the many lessons they teach us, and my heart isn’t ready to love another dog. I trust I’ll know when it’s time. I also understand that this isn’t the forum to chronicle my grief. So, if anyone out there wants to schedule a chat, let’s talk about your love for your dogs and make something beautiful together.
Spreading love balances the unsavory, so I’m continuing to donate 10% to the Live Like Roo Foundation for every purchase made through midnight tonight. And, for any of you who are already referring people my way (thank you!) I hope to finalize the affiliate program in the next couple of weeks so you can earn money for your referrals.