Try a Little Kindness (30 Days of Gratitude: Day 29)

Driving along a rural highway in northern Minnesota shortly after the sun rose, I noticed a beautiful dog standing on the shoulder, looking somewhat confused. He did not seem in distress, but he was nowhere near a driveway or somewhere that one would consider his home.

Helping a lost guy find his way home

Despite a scheduled meeting, I could not just drive by. I promised myself, as I slowed down and pulled on to the shoulder of the 2-lane highway, that if the dog ran or appeared scared when I got out of the car, I would not risk having him run into traffic and would get back in the car and continue on my way. But, as I stopped the car, the dog looked hopeful and his ears perked up. I exited the car and stood on the side closest to the ditch, about 20 feet away from the dog, and softly spoke to him: “Are you lost, boy? Do you want some help?” He started trotting toward me and I slowly opened the passenger door.

I was grateful that he required no significant encouragement to hop on in, where the seat cover was already in place for the four-legged companions I often travel with! I recalled a diner in the small town about a half-mile back, and drove there, as the husky quietly settled into the back seat.

I showed his photo to the waitress and table of guests at the diner. They did not recognize him, but the waitress (or perhaps owner, as well) was kind and generous, and did not skip a beat when I asked if there was any way the dog could possibly stay at the diner while I continued on to my meeting.  She called her son who lived nearby, and he found a tie-out for the dog, to secure him behind the diner. I posted a “found dog” message with the photo to a Facebook page for missing pets in the region, one of many such sites that are tireless in reuniting lost pets with their families.

I arrived a little late for my lunch meeting, after a morning of driving, and periodically checked the Facebook page for updates. Mid-afternoon, as I was ready to hit the road again, I saw the news I was hoping to see — “HOME SAFE!!”  Mutual friends saw the photo and let his owner know — they had been searching for him after his battery died on his electric fence collar, and he safely made it home again!

Gratitude for strangers who help others in need. The world would be a much better place if we all took a moment to be kind to each other, and to extend that reach of kindness to all living creatures who cross our paths.

~ Kat

Thanksgiving Reflection (30 Days of Gratitude: Day 23)

Thanksgiving — a classic day to reflect and be grateful.

May your day be full of good friends and family, or perhaps a quiet day with a good book and solitude – however you spend it, find a moment to consider your blessings. And if this day finds you struggling, know there is always someone out there willing to listen and wanting to help. We are all in this together.

~ Kat

Kat’s W.R.G.*: Civility and Compassion

* Weekly Reflection of Gratitude!

While I still encourage you to join in the challenge I issued earlier, to post your “30 Days of Blessings, Condensed” this month, the day after the election is a good day to reflect.  Our nation remains deeply divided – this is not something new to the past four years, although the venomous tone has increased dramatically during that time. While I am grateful for our freedom of speech, let that speech be tempered with compassion and civility.

President John Kennedy made this statement during his inaugural address in the context of world relations, but it applies equally to relations within our borders:

“So let us begin anew—remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.” ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, from his 1961 Inaugural Address (full text of that address can be found here)

columbine sunshine 5_31_10

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ciao! ~ Kat