Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I picked up the telephone to give you a call this morning. You know how we’ve been doing this for years. I started pressing the same familiar numbers that I’ve always pressed. I know them by heart. The telephone begins to ring……one time, two times and three. Then I caught my breath and realized that you wouldn’t be picking up the telephone to answer my call today, nor tomorrow or the day after either. Nobodies home!

I just read on one of the lists yesterday of a few German Shepherd Dog people that were seriously ill and have been in the hospital. Glad to hear that one of them came home already. It made me stop to think especially in this season of family and loved ones gathered together to celebrate the holidays. Sometimes we get so busy rushing around here and there, buying gifts, planning the holiday menu and getting the house decorated that we don’t have time to reach out to others like we normally do.

During this holiday season, during this time in history, very few families are celebrating a time of “plenty.” Some families are lucky if they have a “little” to put on the table or under the tree. But if they have good health and one another, then they are truly blessed.

The years slip by so quickly. We take for granted that we have another day to extend good will and cheer to someone else. We meant to call Gertrude the lonely spinster in the next town. We meant to check up on Woodrow to see if he had enough heat in his house. Old Mr. Peterson asked us if we could join him for a little holiday cheer next time we were in his neighborhood. We passed his house several times promising ourselves the next time we are in this neck of the woods; we would take him up on his offer. Before we know it, another day, another year has passed us by. Then suddenly you remember old Mr. Peterson. We dial the telephone and are greeted by a recording saying “The number you have reached is no longer in service. No forwarding number is available.” Nobodies home!

How many people in our German Shepherd Dog community will be spending the holidays alone this year? Perhaps they no longer have a family left or their family has moved away. Will they have enough to put on their table this holiday? Will they have enough to feed their dogs? What is their health like? How are they doing mentally and physically? When’s the last time we picked up the phone to call someone to wish them well? Showing someone you care by reaching out to them can be the best gift that you can give to them. Maybe they need to hear a kind word or two and knowing you thought of them may just put the smile on their face that will make their day! You may be poor yourself and can’t afford to help someone financially, but a phone call will cost you nothing and the gift of your friendly voice to the receiver of that call will be well worth the few minutes it takes you to do it!

The holiday season normally finds some of us giving to charities like the Salvation Army volunteers that one can usually see and hear ringing their bells as you exit from your favorite grocery store. Maybe we could look at those in need in our own German Shepherd Dog community. Maybe you can bring a dish from your holiday table to a poor soul in need. How are their dogs doing? Are they out of the cold? Do they have a bowl of food to eat and a clean bowl of water to drink? Because of some people’s depression around this time of year and especially when money is scarce, they forget some of the very basic needs of their animals when their own needs are being sacrificed!

Funny how time slips away and all of a sudden the people that you expect to see or talk to are no longer there. It happens. It happens when we are so wrapped up in our own daily lives that we forget to pick up the telephone and say, “Hi, I was just thinking of you and wanted you to know that.” It happens until one day you finally decide “Alright, today is the day I give so and so a call.” But today, you dial the telephone and nobodies home!

From the book: "RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS BY ANIMALS".....Peaceful Kingdom chronicles amazing true stories of devotion and bravery from the animal world. Included are both well-publicized cases, such as the gorilla who tenderly carried an injured child to safety, and the more obscure--the German shepherd who visited the grave of his deceased owner every day at the same hour. Even ants are caught in heroic acts: they're observed pulling a thorn from an injured comrade. The animals in this book are viewed as compassionate, thinking creatures that experience real emotions--hardly news to animal lovers. Peaceful Kingdom also reflects human acts of kindness to animals. Edward Lear, the famous author of "The Owl and the Pussycat," built his new house as an exact replica of his old one to keep from traumatizing his beloved cat. Peaceful Kingdom is an intriguing and heartwarming journey into the lives of some astonishing animals.

From the book: "SAYING GOODBYE"...........Saying Goodbye is a collection of true stories about saying goodbye to the people, places and things in our lives. This is a powerful book that includes a number of sad stories, as well as some very funny ones. Taken together, the stories serve as amazing examples of people saying heartfelt goodbyes with grace, dignity, and good humor. Saying Goodbye includes stories contributed by thirty-one authors from the United States, Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere. These stories show that there is sadness in goodbyes, but there is also irony and humor. It s perfect for book groups that want stimulating conversations about saying goodbye a topic that touches us all in one way or another.

My rating: Showing kindness to one another not just during the holidays: (4)

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