My family has 3 dogs. All are mutts that we adopted from rescue organizations. One is a tripawd meaning he has only 3 legs. We rescued him that way.
A few weeks ago, Ethan and I were flying back into town from visiting a college. Marcy picked us up from the airport and had to deliver the news that earlier that evening “my” dog had been hit by a car. We say that she is my dog because she is the one that is most attached to me and who is my favorite. She was at the hospital awaiting care and we would be going straight there.
She is 11 years old and while she is in great shape, she had sustained significant lacerations and a broken ankle. She would require surgery to put in a metal plate and several screws. Amputation was a real possibility.
The emotions I experienced over the next 72 hours until we knew that surgery had saved her leg, that she should make a full recovery and would be able to come home, were daunting. I was distraught, I was angry, I was nervous awaiting the outcome of the surgery. You know that a pet will eventually die. You may struggle with the financial resources you are willing to commit and what lengths you are willing to go to save it. As things stabilized for my dog, I thought about people; no one in particular, that were going through the same emotions I was, but for a loved one, a child or a spouse, and I realized how blessed I am. I confess that up until then I had been busy with work, busy with shul and family obligations, and this was the event that gently put things back in perspective.
We’ve all known people who have something tragic happen or are going through a rough patch. We may be supportive and helpful in the beginning and then we’ve gone back to our own lives. I’m sharing this event here to remind me, and perhaps others, that bad things can happen to any of us and that we need to look out for each other. I challenge you to check in on your neighbor that’s been sick. Call your college roommate just to check-in. Hold the door for someone or help them carry their groceries. You don’t know what someone is going through just by looking at them. But by taking a moment to be kind, you just might be the bright light that they need.