For over 14 years, I had the honor of taking care of an amazing dog. Bettis came to me as a young puppy and brought endless joy to my life. At a young age, she and I trained in agility because she had SO much energy. Running through mazes and figuring out numerous obstacles exhausted her physically and mentally. Which meant we both slept better at night!
Insert a proud dog-mom moment here. Once Bettis was presented with a first-place ribbon because she could follow my verbal commands AND sign language commands. One smart dog!
A few years later, she and I trained in a registered therapy dog program. Therapy dogs are the dogs that live with their owners; we just spread joy as a team. Bettis and I would visit the library on Tuesday nights so young kids could read to her. She loved visiting the local Alzheimer center. How the residents’ faces would light up at the sight of Bettis! She was a big hit with Brownie troops and after-school programs. Also, she was welcomed at church every Sunday.
Needless to say, she and I spent a lot of time together spreading joy – well, her more than me: she could spread joy just by sitting on command. Her intense eyes and her over-the-top personality shouted (or barked) JOY.
I didn’t realize the depth of her impact until she passed away a few weeks ago. Hearing of her passing, people sent cards and texts, flowers, a fur-ever dog bracelet, a book about dog angels, framed pictures of the two of us, and made donations to Haiti Deaf Outreach in memory of Bettis. Obviously, she was loved and appreciated.
We can learn so much from Bettis.
Let’s start spreading joy today! YOU AND ME. RIGHT NOW.
Regardless of where you are or what is on your to-do list. Take five minutes today to smile at someone, hold the door, share a devotion, call a friend, send a card, promise to pick someone up for church, pray with or for someone. The possibilities are endless and can be unique to your situation. However God leads you, spread joy today -in memory of Bettis.