I reminded myself of happy Christmas events in an attempt to scatter the impending clouds.
There’s a ray of sunshine that never dims. A silky, furred angel who warms my heart and widens my smile. Daily. Enough to drive any cloud away.
And so it was on Christmas Day, my angel and I celebrated Christmas together – chauffeured and welcomed to festivities in a house that delegates dogs to the outdoors. Special dispensation was given for my angel with paws to stay inside.
That was the first kindness.
Like all good angels secretly walking among us, mine understood the enormity of the exception made on her behalf and quietly surveyed celebrations from her bed or unobtrusively mingled around guests. Except the turkey! She investigated to within a millimetre but, thankfully, resisted the earthly drive of the body she inhabited to taste or devour it.
“It’s OK. She’s scared of the crackers. I can feel her flinch at the sound.”
And that’s where she stayed, resting her head on the knees of a man who prefers dogs outdoors.
That was the second kindness.
A few minutes later, no more crackers to be heard, she felt comforted and returned to her bed for her own Christmas dinner.
I doubt if he realized the power of his actions. I wanted to explain to him how soothing it would have felt to Zuri. What it meant to me. How his quiet acceptance of her inside and then intruding on his space at the table was a reassuring hug. A message, “See? Christmas really is OK.” A dark cloud was dissipated completely by a kindness shown to my dog: Because a kindness to my dog is also a kindness to me.
© Sonya Bevan 2016
Sonya Bevan is an avid dog lover with a Bachelor of Science degree in physiotherapy. This combination lead to seeking science based information on how to teach dogs and she commenced further study to complete a Diploma of Canine Behaviour Science and Technology. Dog training is both a science and an art. When based on solid principles of behavioural science, teaching also allows creativity when applied to each unique dog. Most of all, it should be fun for both participants and a way to bond with these special animals we love so much.