Sharing the lessons along the way…

It Helps to Know…


Out of the blue one day, my cell phone rings.  I don’t recognize the number, but decide to answer it anyway.  On the other end of my “hello” is a man telling me who he is and asking if I remember him.  Of course I do, so he proceeds to tell me the reason for his call.

“I wanted to let you know what a difference you and Duke made in my life while I was living at HEP.  I also could see the difference you were making in the lives of everyone there,” he went on to say.  “Duke is this beacon of love, and you are a bright shining light with your smile around there,” he added.

I thanked him for calling to tell me, and I promised to pass it along to Duke.  This person also had an impact on my life, so I made sure he knew that and knew his presence was missed now that he was doing well out on his own.

Since that first call, I have received several others that were quite similar.  My most recent one thanked me for being so open about my own challenges with pain and chronic illness.

Duke and I have seen quite a few folks come and go since 2010.  Some have our business card with our phone numbers and call to check in now and again.

My days with Duke at the Homeless Emergency Project (HEP) make a difference in my world.  I am confident they make a difference in Duke’s life too.  Each individual we meet leaves a mark on the hearts of both of us.

It does help to know that we make a difference. Fortunately, Duke takes the lead and sets the stage for everyone around him to stop and pay attention.  Once he has accomplished this, he goes off to lie down until we need reminded again (or until he hears something that might be food).

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Comments on: "It Helps to Know…" (4)

  1. That’s the kind of story to make a person jump up and down, pointing and saying, “That’s what life’s all about!”

    … and then settling back on the couch with a full smile.

  2. Harry Steinman said:

    Great tale. What goes on in the mind of Dog, we will likely never know. What Duke and Zippy (once a therapy dog) and others do is manifestly miraculous. Thanks for being a great handler!

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