img_1618Last week I took some time off work, but I have a bad habit of tending to just one or two things regardless. On Tuesday, I needed to slip into work to handle a quick task. My plan was to arrive during staff meeting, ghost in and out, and no one would be the wiser.

Except I took my dog.

And instead of a five-minute task, the download I wanted to install on my computer took 15 minutes. And I checked some e-mail. And I made a call.

Thistle, who had been very good and patient all this while, heard footsteps outside my closed office door. She tilted her head to one side, then the other, then she whimpered. Oh! That whimper. How can I not give her what she wants??

Especially when all she wanted was to go out and say hello. So I wrapped up my download and gave in to the inevitable. Apparently, I would have to speak to people in order to appease my dog.

So we made the rounds. She greeted co-workers in the main office, ran up and down the stairs a few times (she LOVES stairs), then out to the parking lot where there were MANY smells. Next we headed down to the garage where the farm crew stores fresh eggs. As long as I was seeing people, might as well get a dozen fresh eggs–right? She greeted a volunteer and checked the mowers.

Then we stopped by the community room to leave dinner in the fridge for a friend who recently had a baby. There was an impromptu meeting going on and Thistle circled the table, saying hello to each person, getting pats and scratches behind the ears.

And here’s what I noticed:

Pretty much everyone Thistle greeted broke out into a smile. There I was, hoarding my precious moments of time away from work, trying to avoid people I actually like and care about just because I was “off.”

Not Thistle. That dog adores people. People give her doggie joy. And I think it must be catching. Because most everyone who knows her is glad to see her. Smiles break out and hearts seem to lighten.

Oh, to be half the person my dog is.