In the face of a lot of bad world news recently, Jimmydog’s Chief Canine Officer Freddie contemplates the need for more loving kindness—and discovers some of the best examples in her own home, among her very own people, who just happen to be celebrating a big wedding anniversary.
These days, I’ve been taking a lot of my meals in bed. Don’t worry. I’m not sick. It’s just so much easier that way. Mealtime often comes when I’m otherwise busy napping upstairs in one of the variety of beds available to me and with my 13.6 year old legs, it can be hard to walk all the way down two flights of stairs to where Joey and I always had our dinner. Time for a talk with my people, Stephanie and Todd Belcher, (otherwise known as the best people ever) and we agreed that there was no reason I couldn’t have dinner in whichever bed I happen to be napping.
So, when it’s time for me to eat, Todd prepares my meal, brings it to me and we have a chat while I dine. Because it’s important for a pack to eat together, Stephanie joins us when she can. Later, when Stephanie and Todd they have their own dinner at their big people table, I’ll join them and they give me special doggie treats while I rest at their feet. (No people food for me: Stephanie says it’s not good for my tummy.)
This is the kind of people Stephanie and Todd are—so generous and loving. Some people might tell their dog to just get up and go downstairs to eat, but Stephanie and Todd know that I’m happier eating in bed so they make the accommodation. And, honestly, I think they like the new arrangement, too. It’s a nice to spend this extra time together.
It’s not just me that Stephanie and Todd treat me so well. Through his work as a custom portrait artist specializing in pets, Todd brings joy to people every day. And the two of them devote a lot of time to helping other animals—many they never even meet—through many volunteer and advocacy efforts. They have really big hearts.
I think they have so much love to give because they start with so much love between them. They are celebrating their 31st wedding anniversary this week and they set a good example by being so caring and considerate of each other. (It seems like 31 years is a very long time when it comes to people marriages so congratulations are definitely in order. Now that I think about it, I should probably get them a gift. Do you think they’d like a photo of me? Of course, they would. Who wouldn’t?) All in all, our house is a very loving place.
When my brother Joey got sick two years ago, Stephanie and Todd did everything they possibly could to keep him happy and comfortable. In his last few months with us before he crossed over the Rainbow Bridge, he really struggled to walk as his hind end and back legs gave out. All his hobbling around put pressure on his front legs, which made them hurt, and he was prone to painful irritations on his all paws. Stephanie talked with vets and spent lots of time searching for wraps, bandages, ointments, medications, nutritional supplements—anything she could find to help him. And every morning, she’d get up early to soothe his sores and wrap his legs to give him extra support. When he could no longer walk any real distance, Todd would still load him up in the car every day to take him to the park. While Todd and I explored our favorite trails, Stephanie and Joey would sit in the car or on a picnic table and just enjoy each other’s company.
Stephanie and Todd do their best to protect me from all the bad news in the world, but I’m a smart dog. I overhear them talk and catch snippets of news on the TV box. People can be terribly cruel—to animals, to strangers, to people they say they love—and it all can be very depressing and discouraging because it never seems to end.
If I start to get pulled down by the sadness of it all, I think of something I once heard Mr. Rogers say, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
Fortunate for me, I don’t have to look very far. My favorite loving helpers are usually right next to me, where I need them most.
Yours in dogness,