RUNNING TRAILS

“Congenial conversation—what a pleasure! The right word at the right time—beautiful!” Proverbs 15:23 The Message

“Get that animal away from me!” A fellow trail walker screamed.

At six months old our golden/rottweiler mix was clearly a puppy. I pulled on her leash to calm the irate stranger.  “Okay.”

Enraged, the woman turned around and moved back towards myself and my dog, Layla. “I have been attacked by dogs. You should keep that dog away.” 

My family and I had just purchased the bouncing ball of fur from a local mennonite family. The picture of friendliness, we found her wandering near an adorable toddler boy dressed in full button down white shirt, shorts and black hat and we fell in love with her. 

On the trail I moved as fast as I could in the opposite direction from the woman. I  intended on leaving and not returning.  

At the end of the path we encountered another dog owner crouched down with her three cocker spaniels. 

 She looked up. “Can he play?”

I eased up on the leash and watched Layla scamper towards one of her dogs. 

We talked about the weather and the recreational area. I mentioned that I’d come to explore the trail for exercise and relayed the incident. 

“Oh honey, everybody brings their dogs here. Don’t mind her.” She waved her hand as if it was nothing.

I listened to the kind woman’s words that day and continue to enjoy the beautiful trail with our frisky pup.

It has been three years since we first visited the park. And, in that time, Layla has been trained while I’ve lost 25 pounds as a side benefit. It’s my peaceful place to pray and listen to the Lord. 

You never know what a kind word will do for someone. It may mean the difference between a bad experience or blessings that continue in their lives for years to come.