Lessons from Igor

If Igor had her way, I’d be scratching behind her ears and rubbing her belly 24/7. I could say that she is a very demanding dog in that way, but that wouldn’t be any different than any other canine out there — right dog-owners?

But the truth is I more often than not pass by my needy pooch without so much as a glance.

I think she has a strategy against my lack of attention — she tends to place herself in the path of everywhere I seem to be going.

It’s those moments when I do notice that I’ve ignored her that I look into her eyes and there is almost a hurt countenance to her beautiful border collie/Australian cattle dog face. The eyes never lie, and with dogs, it’s one of the ways they best communicate their emotions.

It’s also those times when I stop what I’m doing to give her a bit of loving — something she thrives on, especially from the alpha dog.

It makes me think of all the times I do that to the people around me as well.

There is no doubt my life seems busier than a Super Bowl ring-maker for the New England Patriots (I had to get that in somehow). How many times is someone looking for a minute of my time; for a smile; for a hug; for a pat on the back; or even for a simple glance?

Through the years I’ve learned that it doesn’t take much to make human beings feel wanted, needed and loved. We’re like dogs in that way. So many times in my life, someone has performed a seemingly small, random act of kindness that has changed the outlook of my day.

But after getting the “Dad, I need a little attention” look from Igor, I have a gnawing feeling that I haven’t quite dished out my share of random acts of kindness.

The difference between dogs and humans, other than the obvious, is that humans don’t always wear their hearts on their sleeves, or in their eyes.

Maybe this Lent, I can make an extra concerted effort to start passing out those acts of random kindness (or ARK as so marvelously portrayed in “Evan Almighty”) with the hopes of brightening someone else’s day.

So if you see me walk on past you, and you need a little ARK, give me the Igor look, and I’ll make things right. Just don’t expect a belly rub or a scratch behind the ears.


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