So often, we think of the Day of Love being a day to remember our Valentine with sweets, cards, flowers or other tangible offerings of our love and affection. But there is no need, really, to spend money when you can offer that same expression by sharing your love openly with those who often are often forgotten.
A few weeks ago, I took my new recruit, Finnegan, to visit the local firefighters. Finnegan is a puppy of 11 weeks now, who is my newest dog-in-training for hopefully becoming a Therapy Dog. Finnegan is an English Cream Golden Retriever, just like his sister dog, Piper. Finnegan has all the right ‘ingredients’ to become such a gift to others , as he is friendly, calm in his greetings of new people, loves meeting new friends and is just bubbling over with love for everyone he meets. As part of his socialization, we made a trip to the local Fire Department in Lebanon, Tennessee.
Finnegan was met with numerous firemen-some in uniform, some in plain clothes-perfect for him to welcome and be comfortable with all manner of dress. He was given pets, comments, praises, and very welcomed overall. He heard different voices, saw different faces, smelled different smells, saw glasses, hats, suspenders, and of course, the big fire truck! He was given the privilege of sitting on the big truck and had his picture taken. He saw and heard sights he had never heard before, and experienced a warm, open, and friendly welcome to the fire house. They also gave him prized affection, smiles, pets, hugs, and all the things that make a puppy feel loved. He, in turn, was able to give them some of his time and attention. His trip told the firemen that they were thought of. They were considered important enough to make the trip to meet them. He validated their importance in his world. This was first-hand love shared freely. They were so welcoming, that we made a second trip a next few days later so we could meet another shift of firefighters. Again, a very warm and welcome ‘homecoming.’
The point to this story is that it does not have to cost you the price of a dozen roses, or a box of chocolate to spread your care , compassion and respect for others. Just make a trip to show someone that they matter. Show them that you care. Share some of your time with someone, no matter if you know them well or not. A very small token of your time can make all the difference to someone else who does not often get thought about. Think about all the people who help make your life easier-firemen, police, physical therapists, pharmacists, hair stylists, the Librarian, to name a few.
Finnegan can tell you that his visit to Wilson County Lebanon Library was well worth the trip! Once again, he was welcomed with an outpouring of love and affection, hugs and kisses. He was able to visit the Memorial Section to see the book about his sister dog, Piper, displayed. He met several new ‘friends’ that he will hopefully see again someday when he becomes a READing Paws® dog who reads with striving readers at the Library.
So, this Valentine’s Day, do something different! Try just making a visit to those you care about and who care for you. Let them know they matter by taking the time to make them smile! You will feel the love come back to you-just like Finnegan did!