426 Lumpy

We have no right to save our own skin at another person’s expense. (AA p74)

One day I took a walk through my neighborhood to the store.  On the way there I encountered a dog.  He came up to me and let me pet him.  His owner was nowhere in sight.  He was very old and tired looking.  His eyes looked like those of a blind dog.  He had a ragged black coat and was covered with cysts.  He may have been the ugliest dog I had ever petted.  He smelled pretty bad, too.  He had a tag that said Lumpy and listed the owner's contact information.  I said to him, "No wonder you're tired, you came all the way from San Antonio!"

I walked the rest of the way to the store, leaving him behind.  On the way back, I saw him again.  He walked happily toward me.  I petted him again and talked to him, then continued home.  Lumpy followed me.  I figured he would follow me all the way home, so I decided to guide him by the collar, lest he be run over crossing the street.  He was unable to go up the stairs to my house, or the hill to my fenced in back yard (arthritis or blindness, I guess), so I put him in my garage.  I gave him water, a bagel, and cooked scrapple.  I did not have any dog food.  Each time I came down to the garage he was happy to see me.  I petted him and then washed the smell off my hands.

I called the owner's number but got no answer.  I called the dog pound to have them come get him.  After they took him away, I thought about the experience.  I learned that I am capable of loving someone unconditionally.  I treated this smelly, ugly old dog with unconditional love from the moment I saw him.  So why cannot I treat my family, coworkers, and friends (most of which smell better and are more attractive) the same way?

God, help me to be considerate of others.