Recognizing your weaknesses. Acknowledging your prejudices. Knowing your limits.
Every Thursday throughout the summer we have Lunch on the Square, where a local musician plays music, the food trucks descend and people fill the square and enjoy lunch al fresco. We also bring a couple of adoptable dogs from the SPCA to strut their adoptable stuff and hopefully find a home. After one
Recently during some extreme heat, I decided to sign up at the last minute for a Lunch date and showed up to collect my date. I knew it was probably a bad idea because of the heat. I knew there were several dogs that I wanted to spend some time with and if I went to Lunch I would forego their company.
I was paired with a long haired small dog who pancakes when being taken out of the kennel but is a happy little wiggle butt when outside. I had my doubts. I felt apprehensive. This dog walked in swirly little circles in front of me. This dog jumped at noises.
We arrived at a parking garage and had to park on the uppermost level. This dog doesn't do stairs or elevators so we walked down the ramp to the street level. She sat for a few pets then hid under the park bench and quivered so I knew that since neither of us were having fun, we should head back.
I felt horrible because this dog is literally one of the sweetest little gals ever, but in my breed specific prejudice, she started out with a strike, in my mind. The hot day and my disappointment at not being with one of my big-heads made me small and mean spirited, but also taught me a little bit more about myself. I knew this wasn't a good idea with the heat and a slightly hesitant dog, so I should have felt confident enough to express myself. I should have acknowledged that staying close to the shelter and going for short walks would have been the best option for all involved.
A lesson learned.