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Beautiful Encounters

Beautiful Encounters

Beautiful Encounters

It’s amazing how the dog(s) in our life helps us find and become the people we’re meant to be. When Finn was still here, our walks were long and fast. My lug loved to move. And, while he liked people, he was more interested in the walk, so he breezed past human pedestrians with a happy glance. I needed the silence, I was training dogs at the time, and our walks were time to replenish my introverted energy. 

Gavin, on the other hand, loves him some people. Anytime, anywhere. And, I enjoy the random encounters we have after a nice stranger indulges his need to wiggle, smack them with his tail, and love on them because now my job requires a lot of alone and focused time.

Wednesday morning, Gavin and I had just finished his ten-minute decompression time/water break/snuggle session at the park when I noticed a man walking towards us with a woman in a wheelchair. The woman and Gavin both were so excited to meet each other that I could barely contain Gavin as I walked towards the sidewalk where they stopped. The man’s eyes sparkled, and he had one of those smiles that seemed so natural, that he may not have even been aware he was beaming. 

I learned that her name is Robin, and she has aphasia (a condition affecting her ability to communicate). When Gavin approached her, she grinned, leaned over, and petted him like they were old friends. Gavin continued his usual wiggle-shimmy-I-love-you dance while she rubbed his side and then looked toward me. She pointed at my leggings, which had photos of dogs on them, including Gavin. I explained that they were part of a fundraiser for Faithful Forgotten Best Friends, an organization run by a lifelong family friend that helps homeless and low-income people by providing food and medical care for their pets. Robin’s smile grew bigger. The man’s eyes sparkled more. And Gavin continued to show them what a lovebug he is.

We said our goodbyes, and Gavin and I walked a bit further, and I stopped again to give him more water. As I sat on the grass, under the shade of a tree with Gavin, I turned around, not knowing why. And, I saw Robin waving emphatically from the window as the smiling, sparkling man drove them out of the park. 

If it weren’t for my amiable dog, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet those two beautiful people. May your next encounter be just as joyous. 
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