Friday, January 15, 2010

We Could Learn A Lot From a Dog

This picture made me smile. In case it's difficult for you to view, it's a photo of a mother dog nursing her five puppies. Nothing too unusual about that except that an orphaned squirrel needed a home and was subsequently "adopted" by this caring mamma dog. According to the captions, the baby squirrel nurses right alongside the pups, sleeps with them, and even plays with them at intervals throughout the day.

I'm amazed because relationships like this don't happen every day, at least they don't occur in my little world. I have to admit that there are times when I could be a little more compassionate, or show more patience towards others. As much as I try, there are days when I just want to get my errands completed. Just today, as I pushed my grocery cart around the aisles of the store, I'd found myself at a standstill as the little old man - probably close to 80 years old - stopped in front of me, leaned in closely to a shelf to examine a particular item, and in the process, created a cart jam. I couldn't move forward, and the people coming from the opposite direction couldn't squeeze past the old man. He didn't even know that I was there, standing patiently by my cart, trying to appear polite, and hoping that he'd find the box of cereal he was searching for and move on. I wanted him to move on quickly so that I could get back to my errands and my world. This guy was disrupting my pace, and I was getting annoyed.

I could learn a lot from this mamma dog. She not only accepted this little squirrel into her brood, but she took the time to nurse it, to coddle it and to allow it to be part of her family. She didn't push it aside, although she could have done so and no one would have blamed her for it. I, on the other hand, had figuratively pushed the little old man from my "path," and I did so because I was the one in a hurry and I was the one being selfish. Impatience. Why are we inclined to be so impatient sometimes?

The old man finally found what he was looking for, placed the box tenderly into his cart, and pushed his cart forward, never realizing that there were at least three other people trying to get through that aisle but were halted as they, too, waited for him to move on. I smiled, though, as he went on his way. I smiled because he never saw the impatient looks on the faces of the others in that grocery aisle. And I hope that if I reach the ripe old age of that man, others will allow me to pass along at my own pace, too, and that I'll not see the impatience written all over their faces. That mamma dog didn't cast out another creature simply because it didn't fit in with her agenda or her own pace.

We could learn a lot from a dog.

1 comment:

Daria said...

What a heartwarming picture ...