My Close Encounter With The Three-Legged Dog

Early this evening, I was putting out some recycling when a lady from the neighborhood walked by with her dog.

The dog was a beautiful Golden Retriever and appeared to be about seven or eight years old. He was slightly odd in that his front left leg was nowhere to be seen. But he was hopping along like it was business as usual.

I guess a dog who has lost a leg or perhaps was born with only three instead of the usual four doesn’t really think of himself as unusual, he just carries on and learns to deal with it.

The three-legged dog stopped at the bottom of my driveway and looked at me. I looked at him. The lady looked at me and smiled then released the leash she was holding.

The dog came up the driveway so say hello. I rubbed his head a bit and patted him on the side. The dog just looked up at me like a I was some sort of long lost friend. His tail was wagging link crazy and he was enjoying the hell out of this encounter…as was I.

I could tell the lady was used to doing this on her walks with the three-legged dog. She probably allowed extra time on these walks so her dog could say hi to lots of people.

This got me thinking, as you can tell, about dogs.

It has occurred to me that the way dogs generally behave with each other is something we humans could learn a lot from.

When you see dogs in one of those dog parks or when you see a bunch of them being hustled around by a dog walker, you never really sense that any one dog has any animosity towards the other dogs.

I used to notice this a lot when I had my Kerry Blue terrier, Lucy. She was pretty high strung and Kerries are aggressive by nature, but when I took her up to Bowmore Road school to let her run with the other dogs, there was no drama. She just scoped out the pack and joined in, running this way and that, following whatever dog logic guides these animals.

She never seemed to disagree with any of the other dogs and they never disagreed with her. Dogs are like that. It doesn’t really matter what breed you are or what colour your fur is or even how big or how small you are. If there’s a pack happening, you’re free to joint and free to leave anytime you want. No obvious rules and no obligations.

Lucy would run around for a while and then, like a lot of the other dogs, would break away from the pack and come back to where I was standing, usually talking to my pal Bill Tibbles, who had an Airdale. Just checking to make sure I was OK.

Dogs seem to have that need. Like the three-legged dog in my driveway. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t just coming for the pats on the head and the body rubs. He was making sure I was OK. And I was.

23208f1ca92158f3b74da3ef43328473I don’t know what it is that makes the vast majority of dogs so very tolerant of other dogs, but we could learn a lot from watching them. In fact, if we we humans acted more like dogs did with each other, there would be no such thing as racism in this world.

We would all understand that the human race is all just a bunch of humans. Different breeds. Different colors. Sometimes different facial features or body structure, but all composed of the same basic stuff. And all members of the one pack that roams this planet.

Myself, I have always been like my dog Lucy. I get along with everybody, because I honestly see everybody, without exception, as part of the human pack.

So the next time you walk by a dog park, stop for a few minuted and watch what goes on there. What you’ll see is a perfect model for the ideal world.

JIM JAN 2016

I’m Jim Murray, the guy who wrote this. If you like it,
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12 thoughts on “My Close Encounter With The Three-Legged Dog

  1. Jim, Very well written and certainly it makes you stop and think about how the human race could learn by watching the behaviors of dogs. Thank you for spreading your kindness of good thoughts through you Onwords and Upwords blog. Hoping you will be visited again by your 3-legged dog friend soon as he was your inspiration for writing your article (dog treats in order…) 😉

    1. Thanks very much Kathy. I spent the last two years writing businessy stuff on LinkedIn. It’s nice to be back in the real world and write about other things.

      Cheers, Jim

      1. Jim, I look forward to reading all things you will be writing in sync with life’s reality check!
        Until next, BEST – Kathy 😉

  2. The thing I liked about this story is how we can see challenges and differences reflected in our actions. You Jim are okay with everyone and situations which my appear challenging but are not that bad once embraced. A three legged dog is still a dog. For dog lovers / animal loves you see the whole not the parts present….I like that. Made me think about how we treat each other’s differences. I’m still thinking about it, so my response is not completed, but it makes me think.. Thanks for this!

    1. You’re welcome. This post arrived in the hour before going to sleep. We encounter dogs all the time, and never really think much about it. But this time I did. Funny what happens when you actually think about what things could mean. I’ve been away from that king of thinking for a couple of years Playing the LumpedIn game. And I can’t tell you what a great feeling it is to get back to myself again.

    2. Almost every problem that humans have with each other is based on perceived differences. It irony is that we are all the same.

  3. Reblogged this on Dwordslayer and commented:
    Jim Murray shares a beautiful story with remarkable insights and some wisdom on living! He is one of my favorite Bloggers- whimsical, fanatical, realistic, practical wisdom with some humor thrown in. This three legged dog could be anyone of us needing a hug and some affection! I encourage you to read this and have a look at his blogs..cause I’m always inspired 🙂

  4. I’ve never noticed this about dogs. But, yes. They tend to be quite tolerant of other breeds or sizes. I’ve actually never seen any toy dogs bullied by large breeds. I had always just assumed the larger ones were well trained.

    1. I think most animals are instinctually peaceful, except of course when they are hungry. But I’ve always believed that dogs (generally) understand other dogs are dogs that it’s easier to just get along that it is to start a war.

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