Commentary: Kindness comforts while dog finds his way home
My dog is lying upside down right now on an oversized chair in my home office. It's ridiculous to look over and see this 70-pound goldendoodle beast all sprawled out like she owns the place.
She does this almost every morning, and it always makes me smile. I never get tired of my constant companion.
There is something about a dog that is good for the soul, regardless of the age of the dog or the human. A woman recently sent me this story about the quick bond that was formed between her grandfather and his new friend.
"Grandpa Gordy is 90 years old and after Grandma Lou died 12 years ago, he adopted a rat terrier dog named Ruben. Ruben passed away last fall after living an amazing life, but Gordy was so sad and lonely this winter. We were on the hunt to find another furry friend for him and found Tiger through a local dog rescue.
"I got to take a little road trip with this 90-year-old man to pick up his new dog. As soon as Gordy saw Tiger, he said 'That's my dog.' The day was very meaningful and it was precious to see him get so excited about Tiger. According to Grandpa Gordy, 'There are not many more firsts when you are 90.' Tiger was on his lap the entire ride home with Gordy patting him.
"A few nights later, we got a call. Tiger had slipped out of his collar and had run away. My heart sank and we immediately went out to look for him. We called the police, put a post on social media and recruited the neighbors' help. The search went on for hours and long into the night. At one point, Tiger was spotted more than 2 miles from the house.
"Gordy lives out in the country and he went door to door to all of his neighbors with a return label address and his phone number on an index card in case anyone found him. That's Grandpa Gordy's version of social media. Family and friends were all on the hunt for this 12-pound dog and many cars were slowly circling the neighborhood.
"As we were out with our flashlights looking for Tiger, it felt like we were looking for a needle in a haystack. Gordy was advised by the dog adoption agency to leave food out and the garage door open, so that's what he did.
"At 4:30 in the morning, I got a text saying Tiger had been found. He had come home! When I called Gordy to check in, he was overjoyed. He said he even cooked a 'wiener' for him because he knew he would be hungry."
Yep, dogs can sure find a way into our hearts quickly. Even if it wasn't the neighbors and family members who found the lost dog, I bet their kindness was a big comfort to Grandpa Gordy while Tiger was making his way home.
Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107.
Nicole J. Phillips is a speaker, author and host of The Kindness Podcast. She lives in Athens, Ohio with her three children and her husband, Saul, who is the men's head basketball coach at Ohio University. Her column runs every Friday. You can visit Nicole at nicolejphillips.com.