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Give Me A Hand

October 8, 2018

One of my new roommates is a sweet dog named Reggie. He’s a beagle/lab mix, which is as cute as you might imagine – a half-sized lab with round sea lion eyes.

He started his life with some bad people, and was apparently tied up in a garage. When my friend got him, he was almost hairless from allergies and skin diseases. She nursed him back to health and he is furry as can be. Despite his history he is as sweet as a sugar cookie – gentle and waggy and just a very, very good boy.

He also has some quirks. He won’t walk on slick floors. The house is a patchwork of area rugs, so Reggie can make his way from spot to spot. It’s not a problem around here, but the veterinarian is another story.

I decided to take Reggie to the vet to help my friend out. She works during the day, and I’m off, so I packed him and three carpet squares up and headed to the new vet’s, knowing this might be…challenging.

I opened the door of the veterinarian’s and laid down the carpet squares. Two staff members sat behind the front desk, staring at me. Reggie balked on the end of his leash, bracing his legs. I told them “He’s afraid of slick floors.” They continued to stare, wordless. I eventually persuaded Reggie to come in as far as the second carpet square, so we could sit in the waiting room.

When they tried to take us to an exam room, Reggie went into terror mode again. The staff just stood there with their paperwork, looking irritated.

Eventually the vet came out and, seeing the situation, kindly offered to examine Reggie outside where he would be comfortable. Easy peasy. She was great. He got his meds and we were on our way.

Why couldn’t the staff members have been more welcoming or warm? Why did they have to sit there so coldly and judgmentally? They made an awkward situation more awkward. They could see I was in a difficult situation – a frightened dog, a vast expanse of linoleum – and they did nothing whatsoever to help. They could have made a little joke or said a kind word or even smiled, but nope.

If I have one mission, it is that I want the whole world to be a more welcoming place. Look at people. Look in their eyes. Say hello. Say thank you. Ask how they are. Say “Welcome to…” wherever. Greet them. This stuff is basic. It’s important. It’s how we create our world and how we make friends. It’s worth asking: what kind of world do we want?

And how could you not welcome me and this dear dog? I mean, LOOK at his face. Such a good boy.

A tan mixed-breed dog faces the camera while lying down and chewing a red toy. He is wagging his tail.

  1. October 9, 2018 05:41

    If I saw a doggie who needed carpet squares to walk across linoleum, I would think the whole thing was so adorable that I’d probably try to steal him from you. Also, his name is REGGIE. Come on. That’s a good dog. That’s a dog who is doing his best. Reggie > office staff. At least the vet had some sense.

    • October 9, 2018 07:09

      He is SUCH a good boy.

    • October 10, 2018 08:51

      Same. So very much the same. Those eyes! And the whole floor quirk is adorable! Reggie’s equivalent of the “floor is lava” game that kids play.

  2. October 10, 2018 08:52

    “They made an awkward situation more awkward.” I’m becoming more and more self-aware of this, as this is exactly what I want to avoid doing whenever possible.

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