Meet Peanut…she’s the dog in this picture. When I approached and asked if I could take a picture, she practically jumped out of the cart to greet me. Her owner, the one pushing her chariot, said she loves people…especially at this big box home improvement store.  When she sees the car pull into the parking lot she gets all excited and starts jumping around in the car…she can’t wait to get around the people. I love the irony of this tool, handy man pushing around his little dog so she can shop. He was very proud to tell me all about her while she licked me into submission. 

Isn’t that the great thing about dogs…they are always glad to see you. No matter who you are or how long you have been gone, they greet you with a ‘smile’, a lick and usually a tail that won’t stop moving. Dogs have no concept of time so when they see you it’s like you’ve been gone forever. Dogs are loyal and kind and warm and friendly…no matter the weather or time of day. They always greet you with enthusiasm. 

Well, I guess that is true for most dogs. Some dogs unfortunately have mean owners who are cruel and unkind, and that impacts the pooch. Those dogs become fearful and timid and shy. Sometimes cruel owners make the dog mean, and loud and vicious. My real observation here is the that way the dog behaves is a huge reflection on the way they have been treated. Sweet owner, sweet dog…cruel owner, cruel dog. 

Isn’t that true for people as well? How we treat them is how they develop. When people are encouraged and allowed to dream and fail with a safe place to land, they are more likely to spread their wings and fly again. When people are criticized or micromanaged or picked on, they become fearful and timid and silent. When you choke the dream out of someone you have basically sucked away their lifeblood. 

Now comes the reality check. If people around you are not behaving the way you want…is it them or you? Are they free to be themselves no matter what that means? Or do you require that they do what YOU want and if they don’t, watch out. Like little Peanut in this photo, she is a great reflection of the kind man who enjoys pushing her around the store while he shops for hardware. He enjoys the people they meet as much as she does. Take a lesson from this well suited pair, treat people the way you want to be treated AND always greet them with enthusiasm…life is like shopping with Peanut, you get what you give.