I had a crazy friend a long time ago who gave me silly gifts for no reason. One time a certificate for a free golf cart rental. Once he sent a picnic basket filled with those bottles of bubbles kids blow outside on beautiful summer days. Once he invited me on a picnic…it was about 27 degrees outside and we had hot dogs roasted over an open fire and champagne. This guy blew up buildings for a living but his other side was soft and surprising. He once cooked lobsters for me and some girlfriends in a cabin at a state park…he had custom made shirts and handmade western boots. He spoke more than one language and once handed over $40,000.00 in chips at a Vegas Casino to an irate ex-wife who found him there. He was a comforting shoulder for me and my friends to go to with our boyfriend troubles and his breezy attitude about love and life was refreshing. His larger than life existence made him someone I will never forget, and I’ve kept a gift he gave me that I don’t think I ever got the meaning of until I got Sadie.
We were riding around the country looking for deer and he handed me a poster. When I unrolled it there was this beautiful picture of a German Shepherd with the saddest look on his face and the caption said…”People shouldn’t Bite.”
I asked my friend what this was all about and he said just to think about it…it was about whatever it would come to mean to me. Little did he know. Dogs don’t deserve any type of ill treatment from humans. My dog Sadie doesn’t understand it when people raise their voices or get angry. I noticed this early on when she was a puppy. A driver did something I can’t even remember that made me react typically with words I won’t write and in a tone of voice that scared her. She withdrew to the far side of the car and cowered. I felt terrible that I had scared her and vowed to change this behavior.
People shouldn’t bite…and sometimes the bites are through angry words…loud words…words that just can’t be taken back once they are out there. Sadie taught me to be a more tender person…more forgiving…more tolerant…not skills easily acquired by a Type A+ personality…but ones most valuable.