Tenderness

On our way home

It’s one of my favorite qualities, especially when least expected.

Our dog Jubi and I were finishing a mid-day walk. The white cotton ball on four legs, as someone once called Jubi, was trotting expectantly toward home and lunch, when I caught sight of an elderly gentleman coming toward us. He was making his way slowly and deliberately down the sidewalk supporting his frail frame on a cane. I had never seen him before and would probably have passed by with a “hello.” But as we approached and the man saw Jubi, he paused, eyes brightening. “Oooooh!” he exclaimed and tried haltingly to bend over and touch her. Seeing his difficulty in moving, I scooped up Jubi and held her close to him. He extended a thin hand and stroked her gently. Then leaning on his cane he stretched his neck forward to feel Jubi’s face against his. Responding with licks of affection toward this stranger, her ‘kisses’ evoked peals of laughter from him. Looking into her eyes, he breathed aloud, “God bless you!”

Blessed indeed! That’s how I felt too as we introduced ourselves, shook hands and bid each other farewell. The pure delight and joy in my new friend’s face as he felt Jubi’s tender kisses made my own heart soar. Yes, we’re all blessed by these expressions of tenderness that open our hearts and unify the human (and animal) family. I resolved then and there to look for more expressions of tenderness in my day…it feels so good!

15 thoughts on “Tenderness

  1. I had such a parallel experience just a few weeks ago…quite similar neighbor as well…he used to care for the animals at a local farm for over 30 yrs….He adores my puppalove Berkeley and caresses him each time we pass him. I find it so humbling that his exclaiming “look at your bundle of love” woke me up outa overthinkering about something…and with a snapping out of it, I was able to welcome this neighbor’s ‘tenderness’ as you describe it. Indeed it feels good. 🙂

  2. This brought up a relatively happy memory. My grandma when she was 97 and on her last legs was living in Las Angeles. My wife, son and I went to visit her she was full of happiness when we brought my uncle’s white puppy with us for the visit. She called the dog her “Poopy”. The joy that she felt by seeing both my son, wife, Poopy, (and my wife giving her a pedicure) brought a renewed hope and vibrancy to her face and withered body. We flew back to Annapolis and she passed the next week. I think that the Poopy, and our visit gave her and us a wonderful memory. Dogs have a Sprit-Sense indeed.

  3. Thank you, Karyn. I really enjoyed this post and can completely relate as I reflect on my experiences with Ginger, my sweet canine baby. She has introduced me to my best friends in the neighborhood. Dogs break the ice, when humans are not able or willing. We can learn so much from them! I look forward to reading more about your experiences with Jubi! Carson (I’m the red head in the Friday Writer’s Group…)

    • Hi Carson,
      Think of all the people who’ve connected with each other because of their dogs! It brings a smile to my face. Thank you for sharing.
      Love to you and your sweet Ginger,
      Karyn

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