The other day I went over to take Molly, the Schnoodle pup who just celebrated her 12th birthday, for a walk and then on to my house for a change of scenery.
(Scroll down and check out my Instragram feed of Molly’s head on my leg, preventing me from getting up and doing just about anything that day…)
Her female human is recuperating from a lengthy medical procedure and appreciated my offer to sit the pooch. The male human was at work.
As I entered the house, we exchanged some chit chat while simultaneously paying attention to a very barky Molly. Then, on my way out the door, my friend handed me a Tupperware container full of food.
“Please, could you just drop this off across the street for the little old lady?” she said.
The little old lady is 88 and still lives in her little bungalow by herself. She used to be Molly’s dog walker back in the day. The container was full of food from my friend’s meal last night, ready to be popped into the microwave.
I took the container and the dog and walked across the street. I knocked and the little old lady opened the door right away. She was expecting me as my friend had called her to let her know I was coming.
Molly of course immediately anticipated a treat. The little old lady, even though she no longer walks Molly, had a bag of treats on her kitchen table and happily fed one to the dog.
After a brief conversation about the cold weather, we left. I felt happy that the little old lady will have a hot, home-cooked meal to eat tonight on that very frigid winter’s day.
My point to this little anecdote has in actual fact nothing to do with the dog, or the dog walking. It does however bring forward this idea of looking out for someone when you can. Here is my friend, battling her own illness, and still making a hot meal for a senior citizen living in the ‘hood. Keeping an eye on her so that she can continue to live in her house instead of somewhere less desirable.
Sometimes, it’s a little thing that makes such a big difference.
This idea is not new. I have stumbled across some bloggers myself who talk about doing something small but nonetheless extraordinary just because they could. For example, Julie down in Texas paid for someone’s meal in a restaurant:
There was this elderly man sitting alone at another table. I felt bad for him being alone so I paid his bill.
LA in New York took a neighbour to the hospital for a procedure when she seemed to have no one to turn to or ask.
And K E Garland out in Florida created this post where she talked about paying it forward all year once Christmas has past. Check out number 7 as one example…
There are many others…
Wandering home with Molly I reflected on my own actions. Am I doing enough with all this endless pet sitting, and dog walking?
It’s true that I turned dog walking into a little side business. I have a teenager to feed in this house, after all. 🙂 But we continue to look after our friends’ pets when they need us to. We do this without any expectations of reimbursement. Just recently we’ve had our first experience with a hamster and my daughter was absolutely delighted (and
we are I am in in agreement that hamsters make great temporary pets who can visit us for the short term and no we will not be getting a hamster). 😜
But we also do other, non-animal-related volunteering.
We have and continue to shovel snow off of neighbours’ driveways if we happen to be out there doing ours and we don’t see them around at the time.
We volunteer at lot, at school and in sports. Volunteering is a huge occupation when you have children in elementary school and youth sports. Most youth sports is run by parent volunteers…without all of us contributing, the kids would not have the positive experiences they do. It all counts, whether it’s admin related in scheduling activities, to helping other parents bring kids to and from venues when they themselves are delayed or unavailable, to fundraising, coaching or supporting coaches when some are absent and a slew of other things.
But is there more we can do? My mom does more…a lot more.
I will have to start spending more time observing my immediate surroundings to see if we can find other ways to be helpful to others.
Your turn to share. Do you find ways to help someone out, or pay it forward as people tend to call it? What are your ideas?