3 Ways Your Dog Can Serve The Community
It may not be on your radar yet, but after this quick read you’ll definitely be aware of a holiday worth celebrating! February 17th is Random Acts of Kindness Day. While I try to seize opportunities to be kind year round, it’s still a pleasant reminder to ask ourselves what we’ve done to show unsolicited kindness to our family, friends, and neighbors.
Kindness shows compassion, encourages togetherness, serves where nothing else can, and brings joy to those it touches. If that doesn’t spell D.O.G. then I don’t know what does. There are very few beings who understand how to show kindness as unabashedly as our four-legged friends.
While you’re planning your day of kindness with surprise cookies, volunteer work, and simply noticing those in need of a helping hand, include Fido! Tell him to load up and take him with you on your quest to spread kindness. Still not sure how he can help? Here are three ways your dog can help your community.
Pet sharing started a number of years back to help pet owners in situations of limited finances, time, and resources be able to still benefit from having a pet in their lives. Pet sharers basically have shared custody of the pet; the pet benefits from more time with their humans, and their humans can care for their pet in a way more suited to their needs.
This, of course, is not for everyone.
However, the concept of sharing your dog’s company with those that may not have the resources to care for one themselves can have positive effects on your immediate community. Sharing the company of your dog doesn’t mean you give them up either! You can be present the entire time and see the joy spread by your four-legged friend.
These opportunities appear any time you walk out the front door with your trusted companion by your side and you probably didn’t even know it!
From the stranger who stops and smiles as he gives Fido a scratch behind the ears to the kids at the park who ask if it would be alright to throw a stick for him a few times; these happy moments provided by your companion have positive effects on members of your community.
You may even choose to share the company of your dog on a prearranged meetup. Perhaps a friend whose own dog passed recently needs a little fur-time or the neighbor you see walking alone every morning could use the company of you and yours.
Simply put, while you share your time and company with those around you bring Fido along so he can have some of the joy in spreading kindness throughout your community.
If Fido has one of those temperaments suitable for all peoples and an unmatched dog-human intuition, consider bringing him along on some more official volunteer-oriented visits. While volunteering your time and services to a local hospital, retirement home, or school, ask if your dog can accompany you.
Reading and talking with those who may need a little bit of extra kindness and attention is a selfless and wonderful thing to do. Bringing Fido can make a great day into a magnificent day. For those in need, your company plus having someone to pet, hold, love, and snuggle can do so much more than words alone!
Even though we, as humans, know how to care for and love each other, sometimes our dogs just do it better! But don’t worry, your company is still appreciated, wanted and needed! Your efforts to be kind are exactly what this world needs.
Let’s not forget some of the most special members of our communities: the dogs themselves. As we reach out to our human friends to show love, understanding, service, and togetherness, we should also recognize those same needs and desires in our pets. Our dogs are social beings, and while they find our companionship incredibly fulfilling, the company of other canines and the sense of community runs strong through their veins as well.
Seek out opportunities to improve the doggy community by attending events for dogs, utilizing the dog parks, taking them to the dog friendly bars and bistros on a Friday night, and basically taking advantage of every opportunity you can find to encourage pet involvement. Without participation and support, these wonderful events, facilities, and open doors may close for good.
So get out and get involved! Not only does it provide planned and unplanned playdates for our furry family members, it helps to build a community of togetherness where members and families of all shapes and sizes can feel welcome, included, and appreciated. And isn’t that what it’s all about?