Being Respectful To Others

Large chipper hat
sign in to favorite this post

Back when I was training to become a certified therapy dog, I visited a group home for disabled young adults. I met several new friends, and they were very nice to me. Everything was going great until a guy in a wheelchair kicked me for no reason. It caught me off guard, but the only thing that got hurt was my feelings. The staff quickly reassured me that I shouldn't take it personally because Ernie kicked everybody. He was ornery, they said, but he didn't know any better.

Most of us do know better than to kick our friends, but sometimes we say and do things that aren't very nice. Here are three ways that we can show respect toward our friends, family, and co-workers.

1) Don't talk behind your friend's back. If you don't like something about somebody, keep it to yourself or talk to that person directly. That's how I would want someone to treat me. If another dog didn't like me, I would hope that he would just growl at me instead of telling everybody at the dog park that I'm a jerk.

2) Don't invade anybody's space. In the dog world, when you introduce yourself to a four-legged friend, you're not supposed to just charge right up to him like an idiot. You're supposed to approach slowly, avoid eye contact, and let him sniff your butt. (This is the first thing I teach our foster puppies from the shelter. The second thing I teach them is to stay away from my food bowl.) Now I'm not suggesting that you should start sniffing people's butts, but I do think it's important to respect the personal space of others. You can show respect by not calling people too early in the morning or too late at night. Some people don't mind if you show up at their house uninvited, but make sure you don't assume it's okay. Another form of respect is to avoid offering unwanted advice or asking intrusive questions.

3) Apologize for being mean. Sometimes we say or do something ugly because we are feeling tired, hungry, or overwhelmed. I myself have woken up on the wrong side of the doggy bed many times. None of us are perfect robots, so it's no surprise that sometimes we treat our friends and family like junk. When that happens, it's important to say 'I'm Sorry.'

Together we can make the world a kinder place by treating others the way we would like to be treated: with respect!

Chipper is a therapy dog dropout and author who lives in Bailey, Colorado. Her autobiDOGraphy, which teaches that you don't have to be perfect to make a difference, has been featured in American Dog Magazine. To learn more about Chipper, visit and follow her on .

Other posts you might like to read:

NEW Thumb tell the story

Choose Kindness in Disagreement

There was a moment on my journey when I felt and thought and chose very differently than those around me. Those feelings and thoughts and choices were far outside of the earlier...

Read More
NEW Thumb make kindness the norm

Make kindness the norm.

After recently celebrating my seven year anniversary at The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, I reflected back on my initial interview for the job. I remember being asked, “How do you think...

Read More
Thumb kindness post

Kindness: A Peek Inside the Power of This Simple Action

A casual exploration of what kindness actually is, and how you can easily use it to improve your life and the lives of others.

Read More
Thumb spending time with kids

Parent/Child Time: Acts of Kindness That Can Go a Long Way

Ever heard the quote 'You are who you spend time with'? This is especially true for kids.

Read More
See All Kind Blog Posts