Recently I went on an afternoon walk around my neighborhood with my pup, Penny. For context, my dog is not a fan of other dogs. We think it's because she thinks she's human. She loves people! Loves them! She'll sit next to an older person for hours, and rolls on her belly for toddlers. She's a fierce snuggler, and licks my tears from my face when I'm crying. She is a seriously rad dog! On our walk we passed by and elderly woman who was standing outside in her driveway in the sun. The woman commented about my dog being beautiful. I asked if she'd like to pet her. She smiled and walked toward us. Penny, in true Penny fashion, let the lady pet her while she tried to sniff and kiss her all over. I'm always so proud in these moments! And because my girl brings so much joy to others, I always stop when people (especially the elderly and children) look like they'd like to pet her.
Most of my friends are "baby people." My friend Lynsey works miracles
with toddlers, and my friend Amy can get even the crankiest baby to
sleep. But that's never been my thing... I'd much rather chat with
someone in their 80's or play with a doggy. My doggy was a gateway to a conversation with this little lady, who's name was Margaret. Pen and I chatted with the lady for 15 minutes. She was knowledgeable about the history of our town, and lovely spirit. I've always had a soft spot for the elderly. And Margaret was just what I needed that day.
Anywhoodles, nearing the end of our conversation I told Margaret that she had beautiful blue eyes and that I really appreciated her chatting with me. You'd have thought I gave her a million dollars. She put her hand to her face, feeling the wrinkles at her finger tips, as if if to acknowledge her obvious age. Her face lit up and her eyes began to tear. She shared that she appreciated someone just giving her the time of day (and I was thinking, I appreciate you giving me the time of day too!).
I imagine, in our culture that glorifies youth and beauty, that being elderly can be isolating. Penny was the bridge for this sweet little lady to connect with someone in the world. It was a magical experience... and I feel so lucky to have a new friend in Margaret! We look for her every time we pass her house now, and I can't wait to chat with her again, and R.A.C.K. (Random Acts of Christmas Kindness) her this holiday season!