I had to go to the vet this morning to drop off a “specimen.” As I was waiting for the lab results, I noticed the electronic candles at the check-in desk became lit. I looked closer and read that when the lights are on, it means someone is saying goodbye to their beloved pet. It was a reminder to be respectful and to keep voices low in a very tough moment. We had been in this predicament at this same vet just 2.5 years ago when we had to put my German Shepherd/Lab, Sofie down after a sudden and catastrophic illness. I immediately felt helpless knowing someone was going through the agonizing pain of watching their furry companion take their last breath. 

The lab results were taking longer than they realized so I was sent home, but not before I realized I still had some kindness rocks in my car with little notes of encouragement attached. I left one with a ladybug for whoever was having a very difficult day in the room just beyond the wall from where I stood. 

As I drove home, it made me think about how once again I don’t believe it was a “coincidence” that I “happened” to be there at that very moment and how I hoped the small gesture made a tiny shred of warmth appear amidst their heavy sorrow.

The 9th is coming up and I thought I would share this experience in hopes that you will be thinking of ways to bring someone a bit of compassion as well. We have something really exciting planned, but if you have little ones who love to draw endless pictures, maybe they could create sympathy cards for people who will bring their four-legged family members in to the vet but walk out with an empty leash or collar. Print out the “Rainbow Bridge” poem and one of the kindness message templates to include with each card. As your kids are busy writing their wish lists and circling everything they want for Christmas from toy catalogs, have them spend an extra few minutes spreading the true Christmas spirit to people in need of cheer. Crayons and paper are cheap, and kindness is free.