When Gestures of Gratitude Go a Long Way
Yesterday afternoon, I was surprised to see this lovely card and a box of Mary Grace (one of my all-time favorite restaurants!) pastries on our dining table. When I found out that it was dropped off by Trisha, a young lady I had just met that morning, I was so touched. Nothing like a personal, thoughtful gesture of thanks to make you glad you do what do you.
The day before, I came home from fetching my daughter to see this Chow Chow in our garage, his leash tied to the fence. Our helper said that she saw this dog slowly walking on our street in the mid-afternoon heat. The dog was alone, wearing a collar and dragging along his leash. She gently led him into our garage and gave him some water that he eagerly drank. As soon as I closed our garage gate, I slowly approached the Chow Chow to gauge his disposition. He didn’t bark, growl or show any aggression. We let him loose from his leash so he could be free to lie down and walk around the garage and garden.
He started exploring, sniffing and peeing. We were surprised to notice that he was walking weakly, his legs very unstable. He struggled to walk up or down a step. Broke my heart to see this dog looking so frail. I hoped that he was just old or tired, not sick. I came near him, crouched down to be level with him and to look him in the eyes. I spoke gently to let him know that I didn’t mean him any harm. When I slowly brought my hand close to the front of his head, he let out a low growl and was starting to show his teeth. I pulled back, kept talking gently, then brought up my hand to the side of his head. He relaxed and finally let me pet him on the head. Yes, perhaps we could be friends.
I called our village administration office to let them know that a lost Chow Chow was in my house, and asked them to tell whoever would look for him to come to our address.
The Chow Chow drank plenty of water but we still worried about him. He refused to eat. We offered kibbles, then kibbles with wet dog food, then rice with wet dog food. But he just wanted to sniff around, drink water and sleep. And he was still moving very weakly. That night, I went to bed hoping that I would see him moving and walking better the next morning. And in my mind, I was planning how to have a vet see him if his owner didn’t claim him the next day.
The next morning was all good news. The Chow Chow eagerly ate the dog food our helper gave. He was moving about with more energy, even trying to interact with our dog Matty. Then his owner, a young lady named Trisha, came to pick him up. We learned that his name is Zeus, that he is 5 years old and is the baby of the family. Trisha told me how Zeus got out when their garage gate was accidentally left open. They looked for him around their nearby streets and vacant lots, but it turned out that Zeus had wandered many blocks away from his house and to our street, then probably couldn’t figure out how to go home (and he seemed exhausted from the heat). Trisha’s family was up till 3AM, worrying about Zeus. They inquired with the village office the next morning and learned that Zeus was in our house.
It was a happy reunion, and Trisha was so thankful that we gave Zeus a safe place for the night. I explained that it wasn’t the first time we took in a lost or wandering dog as it’s dangerous to just let them go about on their own. Luckily, Zeus was no trouble as a guest and was even sprightly when he had eaten and had his owner nearby.
To Trisha and family, thank you. The appreciation you showed my family when you came to get Zeus, followed by the sweet box of pastries and the sweeter personal note of thanks really made my day. Zeus, thank you for letting me pet you and briefly care for you. Your gratitude goes a long way with this humble dog lover.