I have a new way to discern attitude. Won’t make any self-help books, let alone my next novel. [Although I shouldn’t rule that out, because the plot’s marinating.]
But, my attitude-definer works every time.
Comes with walking our dog, Gracie. Physically, that is, by breed, Gracie’s a silky terrier, maybe nine pounds, soaking wet. But, emotionally you could never convince her she’s not the largest, most able dog in the world.
You know how that goes, I am sure.
When we walk, Gracie, who’s never had a “be friendly and loving” by-pass, loves to greet strangers with a non-stopping tail-wag. She particularly loves children and they reciprocate with gentle petting.
I have a one-liner when she approaches a stranger, “You’re just fine; she’s not put anyone in the hospital.”
Smiles. Nodding. Appreciation.
Except yesterday morning. We walked on her favorite neighborhood street, a lady parked, took a couple packages and as she left her car to the front door of the house, we came along. Gracie did her extravagant hospitality/welcome dance, the lady looked down. I looked at the wincing brow and tried to assure her with my one-liner about not being put in the hospital.
She didn’t hesitate, looked at me with far more judgment than understanding let alone appreciation, and with a scolding tone said, “Not yet.”
Oh boy. An attitude?
Which says a lot to each of us, I imagine, about how we greet others, let alone the day. And for the record, the response is reflective, one voice of transparency that cannot be muted.
Gracie and I continued…and later two joggers stopped, heard the one-liner, smiled and said, “That’s great. A beautiful dog.”
They interrupted their jogging, came over and gave Gracie justification for wagging her tail. And. All was right with the world, an actual pet-a-thon.
They left…”Oh, she’s great.”
I thought, And ladies? So is your attitude. And I bet it goes beyond a 9 pound dog!