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!


About Mark H Miller

Diane and I live in Leander, Texas. This past June 17, 2015 I celebrated the 49th anniversary of my ordination. We returned to Texas after three years in Washington, during which I served as interim minister in Bellevue/Eastgate and Mercer Island. Am planning to begin a 5th novel that will have my protagonist, Tricia Gleason, serve a year in licensed ministry in Snoqualmie, Washington. The novel, "The Lemon Drop Didn't Melt," will find Tricia wrestling with ministry challenges. None of which more daunting than someone wanting her breathing to stop. All the published novels are available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle under Mark Henry Miller. A primary goal in our return to Texas is to make sure grandchildren get lots of attention--here and in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Traveling is definitely an activity that will not slow down. With that, of course, fishing will happen. To that the t-shirt is apt, "I fish; therefore I am." In addition to novels, the book of Blogs, "Voice Of My Heart," is also available on Amazon.
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