Dog is Good has always valued being a “force for good,” and this past week we were inspired by a beautiful Chesapeake Bay Retriever named Toby.  Toby and his parents, Chris and Charmaine Hammond, comprise Team Toby.  Together, they have been travelling thousands of miles across Canada and down into the US to share their mission of “A Million Acts of Kindness”.  In support of their mission, the crew at Dog is Good ventured out to do a few of their own random acts of kindness.  

I stand firm in my belief that kindness is a virtue to be expressed and shared every day.  A simple smile to a stranger,  a wave hello to a neighbor, a thank you note to an employee acknowledging the impact they have on a business, listening intently without looking at a cell phone while someone is talking to you, etc…are all things we should not have to even think about.  To be kind and aware of others around you is the essence of humanity and dogs provide great way to catalyze bringing people together in this regard.

As we went around gifting people special things, sometimes anonymously and at other times with a surprise visit, I became very aware of the warm, heartfelt sensation that came over me.  The ability to make someone else shine and feel appreciated was the best thing I could have been doing in those moments.  I loved surprising our local fire station with lunch to give thanks.  Their reaction and warm welcome to their firehouse was very memorable.  I loved the look on one little girl’s face when the Barista at Starbucks told her to put back the wad of dollar bills she had out on the counter because she had just been gifted a drink.  Not sure why she needed a venti Frappucino with whipped cream and caramel (she looked about 9 years old), but the excitement in her smile and eyes was worth it (not sure how she got a wad of bills at that age either).

Team Toby and the Million Acts of Kindness Tour have a lofty mission, but it is an important one.  In our high tech, fast-paced world we just don’t stop long enough to lift our eyes away from our cell phones to notice what is going on in the world immediately around us.  We are so wired to our jobs or social media that offering a helping hand or taking 2 extra minutes to do something special and nice for others is often overlooked.

What if we could make others feel that same unique sense of joy that our dogs bring to our lives every day?  The fact of the matter is that we impact people everyday.  If you stop for a moment and become keenly cognizant of your behaviors and how they impact the world around you, you will see that both kindness – and lack thereof – either touches people positively or negatively.  Those encounters carry on with individuals throughout the course of their day.  What you do has a ripple effect.  Imagine if the ripple effect you created was the same as a puppy walking into a room full of dog lovers!  Kindness is Powerful…Pass it On!