Spread the love on Valentine’s Day — even to those you aren’t that fond of

Dodger took the initiative to give Grace a kiss, despite the normal cold reception that he usually receives for his efforts to get close. Grace didn’t back off or push Dodger away, maybe she decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day in her own way!

Today, of course, is Valentine’s Day. It’s an occasion that encourages us to devote time to those closest to us — and to tell them that we care.

Dogs and cats probably don’t have today on their social calendar. Nor do co-workers. We think of it as only a romantic celebration.

But why not expand our thinking and bend the parameters a bit? What would be the harm in offering that kind, caring, focused attention to everyone? Not just to those we like, but even to those that may get the hairs on the back of our neck standing up from time to time.

You may recall that Grace has a fierce jealousy of her canine brothers. Yet Dodger remains undeterred in his efforts to be inquisitive and eager to be around her. This weekend, I caught this exchange, where once again, Dodger edged his body close to Grace, sniffing, being curious and — could it be — even affectionate?

Perhaps Grace caught the nuance of it, too, as there was no curling of the upper lip, or low rumbling to warn him off, as is often the case. Grace allowed the two to touch. And later that same day, while the two vied for the attention of my husband for the umpteenth time that day, Grace leaned down and licked Dodger’s ears. I had never seen that before. Could it be that one good gesture beget another?

Today, like any day, is as good a day as any, to notice the good things about everyone around you. And to show that appreciation in whatever way is comfortable for you.

Spread the love today on Valentine’s Day. At home and at work. You may find that it comes back to you, too.

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  1. Laurie Bartolo on February 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Robin, this is a lovely post and reminds me of how Daisy and our old lab Chester did not get along. She was young when we got her, and Chester was near the end of his life and annoyed with the new, cute pup that had joined our family. Sadly, they never became friends, despite Daisy’s attempts to reach out to him. He continually spurned her and it was painful to watch. She continued to try, even after several serious fights. I was always amazed at her continued efforts to befriend him, despite how mean he was to her. He was just too old and too set in his ways to be receptive and frankly, in quite poor health. Being receptive is just as important as reaching out. So, if someone is trying and making that effort, give them a chance. I hope Grace is giving Dodger a chance, and that their friendship continues to blossom. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  2. PeopleSense Consulting LLC on February 14, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    I so agree — that being receptive is just as important as reaching out. It makes it ever so hard to continue to reach out when someone is “barking” all the time! Sounds like Chester had reason to be disgruntled, but still not easy on anyone. I hope Grace softens a little, too, as I think Oliver and Dodger would be much more willing to be a friend.

  3. LeeAnn on February 14, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Robin – what a great picture!! Your post is such a wonderfully gentle reminder for us all to continue to show kindness, even if our kindness is not immediately welcomed or reciprocated – something that is not easy to do. My guess is that Grace will soften over time – I hope so. My Gracie and Oprah get so much from their relationship with each other – I love watching them together. Happy Valentine’s Day!!

    • PeopleSense Consulting LLC on February 14, 2012 at 6:55 pm

      Thanks, LeeAnn, it is very difficult to be kind when it’s not well received, isn’t it? But probably one of the best things we can do for ourselves, as well as others. Thanks for recognizing that key point. I also find so much enjoyment in watching them all interact. It’s quite funny and fascinating! Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too, and your entire family!

  4. kathy0422 on February 17, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Robin–I just read through your posts and love them. You hit on so many important themes. I am reminded reading your insights that “people want to know that they matter…that they make a difference…” and it is up to each of us to let them know that they do matter! That we all matter and make important contributions. Thanks! Kathy

    • PeopleSense Consulting LLC on February 17, 2012 at 10:55 am

      Kathy, thanks for coming by here. Your message in itself makes me feel good; I so appreciate you taking the time to comment. I came home Wednesday from your workshop all filled with excitement about what I learned about data visualization from you. You have a very effective way of teaching and sharing your deep knowledge and views and I feel grateful to have attended. I envy all the people in healthcare who get to work with you; it’s such an important arena and I know you are definitely making a difference through your work.

  5. didiwright on February 20, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Lovely post, Robin…And I’m thrilled that little Dodger’s efforts were rewarded and he received a bit of ear licking love from Gracie…:)

  6. Kas on February 20, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Wonderful post, Robin! 🙂 I know that Grace is so full of love for you all, as you are for her.

  7. spiderpaw on February 27, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Love the photo Robin. Our Sia is the same way with the cats, yet they just don’t care and rub all over her anyway. I’m glad to hear that Grace is warming up to Dodger. Kudos to him for putting his best nose forward despite the fact that the outcome may not have been as good.

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