Kindness Not Just for Humans: Kindness for our Doggy Neighbor
--by Dreamer, posted Nov 13, 2006
I was just thinking that kindness doesn't need to be restricted to human beings, and maybe can even extend to all of God's creatures.
The other day, I was playing soccer with our two puppies and my baby boy in the backyard. And all of the sudden I saw two sad little eyes peering through the neighbor's fence. There was this great, big, golden retriever girl "puppy" who was crying because she was tied up to a chain and usually left by herself in a concrete backyard. It broke my heart. I know the neighbor's are nice people, just a little out of touch with dogs.
And then, two ladies on the hill behind us started calling out to the puppy. Hey little puppy. (They could have said hey big puppy, if any of you know how large golden retrievers get in a year). I let them know the neighbor's next door are kind people, however they also have three little boys, and both have to work long hours for their jobs. The ladies said they could see the puppy sadly looking at our dogs as they played soccer and ran around. And that they saw the puppy tied up to a chain lying in the concrete floor everyday. That did it for me. I had to do something- this was happening in my own neighborhood.
Then I thought, hey spreading kindness isn't just about people. We need to be loving with all creatures on this earth. Now, my puppies can be a little distrusting of other dogs, so I thought I would make a game for all three puppies. Every time my puppies were willing to sniff at the other puppy through the fence in a nice and friendly manner- all the puppies would get a treat. And when I mean treat, for those of you who train dogs, I mean the real stuff- cheese, etc. Dog friendly food that doesn't interfere with real meals, yet makes them feel good.
For a brief time, I think we brought a touch of happiness to this pup's life. Actually, I think it was also a lesson for my son, me, and my pups. Now if we hear the pup crying, we try to jump outside to say hello, and commiserate around a cup of dog snacks rather than coffee ha ha ha and some conversation. Today even, the poor little girl pup was left on a metal chain in the rain. Soaking wet on the concrete all by herself.
Sometimes I don't understand how humans do this to other living beings, however, I am now trying to extend my compassion- and be caring regardless of the form the living being comes in. And one day, we will build the courage to ask if we can have the pup over to play in our backyard so she won't have to cry through the fence. This whole experience with kindness and puppies has really called into question my own treatment of animals, whether it be being non-vegetarian, etc.
I see we treat both infants and animals as less than they really are just because we don't understand their language- they have very intelligent thoughts, emotions, feelings etc. The lesson for us was kindness toward the little pup does count and was in fact very rewarding for all.