Think you can’t make a difference in someone’s life? Think again. Everyone can make a difference, even dogs! This is Shelby, my registered therapy dog, sitting outside the school where we go read to the kindergarteners. You can see that she’s quite proud to be wearing her “I’m a School Visitor” badge. We visit here once a month and I think that we teach the kids that reading is fun and dogs are fun. And accepting. 

One boy is a student with special needs and each time we see him, his behavior is calmer. Last time he even sat with us and the other kids for a while. Now this may have nothing to do with Shelby but I can’t help but think she plays some small part.

I’ve taken other therapy dogs to a home for profoundly disabled children and I know for a fact that the dog calmed some of these children. Kids that aren’t normally verbal make sounds. And kids that don’t interact, pet the dog. I’ve seen the same reaction with older folks who don’t interact anymore. They will ask a question or call the dog over.

We all have a chance to make a difference in the lives of others every day. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture either. Just saying hello or sharing a smile can change the course of someone’s day. And you may never know. Your kind gesture affects someone so they are nicer to someone, and so on. Small acts can make big ripples.

If a dog can do it, so can you!