We adopted a dog for my son’s Christmas present in 2015. I had never lived with a dog before, but I was super excited to walk her, take her to the park, and do all the things that dog parents do.
Recently, I was reminiscing about some difficult situations I had with the dog (Biscuit) after we adopted her.
In one incident…
I took Biscuit on a walk at Memorial Park. We had walked that trail with my husband several times before, but this time, I was alone with Biscuit. There is a particularly narrow part of the trail (on one side, it was really close to the road where cars are whizzing by and on the other side, there was a wooden fence blocking a small ravine).
As we walked by, Biscuit tried to go under the fence towards the ravine. I was struggling to get a good grasp of her since she was on the other side of the fence, and she was pulling so hard, that her collar had started to slip over her head. I panicked. Fortunately, I was able to grab her. Once I got her back on the trail, she refused to budge, so I ended up having to carry her back to the car. Wow.
In another situation, we were at a dog park. I saw a dog trying to hump mine (doggy-style…), and I approached a couple nearby. I (rudely) asked (or yelled at) them, “Is this your dog?” They timidly replied, “no, ma’am.” My husband tried to walk away pretending like he didn’t know me…
It’s easy to laugh at these situations today and chalk it up to #newdogmomfail.
However, three years ago, I didn’t know I was the one who needed progress. Yes, my dog is no longer scared at the narrow part of the trail, but any dog owner 3 years ago could’ve spotted what I was doing wrong.
When I think back at my rookie mistakes, I remember with 100% clarity that I didn’t think I was at fault for either incident. I didn’t think I needed to change or learn.
It’s funny how life works that way. We are conditioned to want to be right – at the expense of personal growth. This is pervasive through every aspect of our lives – from trying to #win at work to arguing with our spouse or kids.
How often are we engaged in an interaction where our intent is for the best outcome for all parties? How often do we choose kindness over being right?
Luckily, I didn’t lose my son’s dog. Hopefully, the poor couple survived being yelled at by a crazy, strange woman. I am optimistic that I can continue to learn from my mistakes and practice humility.
As we approach the 4th quarter, with black Friday madness and end-of-the-year quotas, I encourage you to consider choosing kindness.
Choosing kindness may not be the right option every time, but neither is fighting to be right.