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A Simple Act of Kindness

A Simple Act of Kindness

On a recent trip to the dog park area at Sunnybrook Park, Maggie lost her dog tag. “Argh” I exclaimed, literally, as I was loading Maggie and Gunner back into the car to head home. As I unclipped her from the leash, I noticed her little black nametag was missing.

I considered going to look for it, but the dog park at Sunnybrook is quite large. We had been there for some time and the dogs had a really good run. In the course of playing and charging around with the 20+ other dogs that had been there, Maggie and Gunner had covered most of the park. “Perhaps she lost it just as we were leaving,” I said to myself. We had exited through the gate furthest from the parking lot. I could just just go back and check the trail from the gate to the car.  That’s what I did. I walked that stretch of trail twice, trying to remember where the dogs had stopped to sniff. No luck.

Now, in the big scheme of things, this wasn’t huge deal, and not all that important. It wasn’t her license tag and it wasn’t her rabies vaccination tag and Maggie is microchipped so it’s not like she couldn’t be identified if she managed to become lost.  It was her nametag. The tag that identifies her quickly and has my email address on the back. It was the dog tag that gives me that small peace of mind feeling that she can be returned quickly if she ever gets lost. “Damn…” “Oh well,” I thought. “The next time I go to Petsmart, I’ll have to pick up a replacement.

That was almost three weeks ago. I won’t say I had forgotten about getting a replacement, but I had somewhat avoided running out to pick one up. It’s a busy time of year and I wasn’t eager to go to any more stores than absolutely necessary. As I was walking the dogs Sunday afternoon, consider my delight when I received the following email on my phone.

Hi, I know this is a small item, however I remember my dog losing her tag and the mild annoyance of having to get a new one. In the case that your back at Sunnybrook park I have left the tag on top of the ‘Sunnybrook Park Habitat Enhancement’ sign post next to the large tree and concrete seating.

Hope this helps,
Nat

Wow! Nat had pegged it. A mild annoyance is the exact description of the situation. It wasn’t the cost (I’m now going to make an extra donation to my favourite dog rescue equal to the price of a new dog tag). It was the annoyance of the whole thing. It was the nuisance of having to make another trip to the pet store, fiddle around with tokens and tags, and typing all the details into that silly machine.

I quickly emailed Nat to thank her. Then thought about how her simple act of kindness, the few moments she took to place the dog tag somewhere distinct, and then email me the location really made my day. Now, given it’s the holiday season, here is a short list of things you can do for your fellow dog lovers:

  • Be a dog tag hero. If you find a dog tag, dog leash, dog booties, chew toy, or even someone’s jacket when you’re walking your dog take a few moments to pick it up and place it somewhere safe and distinct. If there’s some identifying information, take a couple of minutes to contact the owner.
  • Give a poop. We’ve all been there. You look over and there’s your pet dropping a huge bomb right in the middle of the dog park. You stuff your hand into your pocket and wriggle it around. No poop bags. Your hands pat down the rest of your pockets like an airport screening as you desperately search for a baggie. You feel as though the eyes of everyone else in the dog park are on you. Well… they are. Sometimes that poor soul isn’t you. Help them out. Just walk over, without judgement and offer up a bag.
  • Grab a poop. It’s gross and it sucks but you’re going to pick up hundreds of dog poops in your lifetime, what’s one more. The next time you walk buy that abandoned poop in the dog park, pull out a baggie and dispose of it.
  • Drinks for everyone. If you bring water to the dog park, bring a little extra. If there are empty bowls, as some parks have, fill them with your leftover water before you go.
  • Close the gate. Few things are more annoying than carefully unhitching your dog between the gates and letting them into the dog park, only to have run across the park and out the open gate on the other side. It only takes a few moments to ensure the gates are closed behind you. While you’re in the dog park, walk the perimeter, close gates as needed, and make note of any damage or holes in the fence. Be sure to report it to the city.

… Thanks again Nat!

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