TL and I were doing one of our routine trips to our favorite store, Costco, and something happened that I will not soon forget.
As we made our way around the middle section of the store that is filled with very low aisles, we saw a mom and her son with their dog. The son was in a motorized wheel chair, obviously because of a serious injury he suffered. He was unable to talk, but his facial expressions were still recognizable.
As we turned the corner on the aisle, I saw the sweet dog. A beautiful golden retriever, clean cut, and looking as sweet as can be. At first I thought it was a service dog, and as a general rule, remembered you don't pet service dogs. I made a motion to TL, as well as the family about the dog. The mom perked right up and said 'Oh, thank you!'
What happened next was just one of those moments that you experience that warms your entire soul... the son (probably late teens) drove his wheelchair right over to me to allow me to pet the dog.
But, I'm not saying he just drove the dog over... no, he knew what I was saying and responded immediately by saying with out words... "here, pet my dog!". He had the biggest smile on his face... he was beaming. This dog was his best buddy - and rather than staring at him in his chair... people notice the dog and the relationship between them. That dog is his way of communicating. The dog was tied firmly to his chair and went everywhere he went.
Instead of paying all my attention to the dog... I responded to his smile - his sweet, genuine, true smile. I asked him if it was his buddy and what his name was. His mom stepped in and answered my questions... and he nodded his head with his wide, ear-to-ear grin.
Everything about our meeting with this family was touching. The way the mom handled her son, his compassion, and the adorable dog.
It's amazing to me that a dog can create such a relationship between strangers, that a dog can be such a special light in some one's life.
As soon as we said goodbye to the trio, a few steps further and I bursted out in tears. They were such a sweet family - and I wasn't crying because I felt bad for them, but because they really reminded me about the true things in life - how we deal with the cards we are dealt... and that life is about the relationships we build - whether between people, or animals - friends, family, strangers. It was very touching.
And as we were leaving Costco, I saw the boy and his dog waiting for mom at the exit. A young family with a child in the front of the cart walked in. The dad pointed to his young daughter to look at the dog... and within seconds... the boy and his dog were right next to the family so they could pet him. The family responded so well, petting the dog, and talking to him.
And the boy just smiled - but that was enough for anyone to know exactly how he felt.
Sorry for the long story... but I had to share.
I wish you could have been there.
What a sweet reminder.