I've had a lousy couple of weeks lately, stressing about this and that. Just life, you know. The usual.
But that's why two separate gestures from women I hardly know touched me so. They couldn't have guessed how I was feeling, or how such simple actions would help lift my spirits.
The first occured last Sunday at the Golden State Greyhound Adoption (GSGA) annual picnic. Earlier this year, when my sweet pup, Elvis lost his battle with cancer, I heard from hundreds of readers who follow this blog, as well as my Pet Tales column in the San Francisco Chronicle. I also heard from many greyhound guardians who belong to GSGA.
One such person was a woman named Catherine, who had emailed me, saying: "Providing updates on Elvis over the years has no doubt led to many Greyhound adoptions and presented a loving snapshot of what these wonderful animals contribute once they are released from race track slavery. Your grief is felt....."
At Sunday's picnic, I met Catherine who was as nice in person as her email implied. After talking a bit, she said she had a gift for me "...to celebrate Olivia's homecoming," she explained, handing me a stylishly simple ribbon bracelet with one single bead. "Think of your new dog every time you wear this bracelet."
Tongue-tied, I stammered an awkward "thank you," not really conveying how moved I was by the thoughtful gesture. But I wore the bracelet a couple times this week, and each time I glanced at it, I'd remember my goofy, loving, delirously joyful dog waiting for me at home and I'd smile. The bracelet, Olivia's token, achieved exactly what Catherine meant for it to do.
The second gesture came at Wednesday's book club meeting. There we were, sitting in a cozy circle in Anne's living room, chatting about movies, men, work, and, oh yes, the occasional book, when Susan said she had something for me. Now bear in mind, I've only socialized with Susan in our book club. She's always been warm and friendly, but I've never had the opportunity to get to know her better.
Anyway, she reached into her purse and pulled out a small ceramic Greyhound statue. It had belonged to her daughter, she explained, who has always wanted a Greyhound. She left the statue behind when she moved out and Susan knew if there was anyone who would appreciate this item, it would be me.
The statue looks just like my sweet Elvis.
And so, now gracing my fireplace mantle is the Elvis statue circled with the Olivia token. Every time the two catch my eye, my heart is warmed: with love for my dogs past and present, as well as gratitude for the kindness of people who understand that love.