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Accidentally spreading cheer

As she often does, Lilly went shopping with me on Saturday. Many of the little stores on our “main street” allow dogs, so while I cruised for a few final gifts, Lilly came along. She befriended a woman in one particular store, delivering a gentle POKE with her nose to the woman’s hand when offered and accepting being petted and praised. Hey, who wouldn’t want that? Then, as the woman left the store, she said something that brought tears to my eyes.

After one last connection with Lilly, she said something like, “This has been the best part of my day. You have no idea.”

Simply by being herself, Lilly improved someone’s day.

The only reply I could come up with at the time was this: “I don’t know what I would do without her. I really don’t.”

Perhaps down the road Lilly will be able to pass the exams to become an official service dog of some sort — letting kids read to her, visiting nursing homes, whatever.

But, until then, I’ll bask into the glory of her quiet work … just being Lilly … and remember that she makes my days a million percent better too.

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

Roxanne Hawn - December 5, 2007

I love that Strummer story. See … dogs can help a lot … just by being themselves.

Elayne - December 4, 2007

What a great story. It’s amazing the effects our dogs can have on total strangers. I was walking Strummer through an underpass near my house where the homeless sometimes hang out when the weather is bad and as we walked past Strummer started wagging his whole body at one of the homeless men. The man asked if he could pet Strummer and I said of course so Strummer proceeded to mob him and cover him with big wet doggie kisses, wagging his whole body the whole time. The man put his arms around Strummer and started crying. He’d just found out he’d lost his son in Iraq and Strummer reminded him of a dog he used to have and happier times. He thanked me and said he was so thankful for that happy little moment. Dogs are pretty awesome little critters.

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