Last Saturday, my wife and I took our 3-year-old Golden Retriever, Hope, to the National Mall to participate in the Best Buddies Friendship Walk. We did the walk to support our son who, with a group of friends from school, is starting a Best Buddies program at his school.
Best Buddies mission is “dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).”
My expectation when I got there was that I would enjoy a morning walk on the National Mall. What I experienced, though, was unexpected. As most dog owners know, kids always want to pet your dog. Sure enough, just as the walk was starting, Stephanie, a teenager with Down syndrome, approached us. But Stephanie didn’t want to pet Hope, she wanted to walk Hope. So, for the next hour, to the delight of her father, Stephanie walked Hope around the National Mall.
Seeing Stephanie’s joy while walking Hope was the highlight of my weekend and completely unexpected. I’m sure all of us, at times, allow our expectations to dictate whether we attend events or gatherings. But sometimes, having no expectations and seeing what happens can make the reality that much sweeter.
Take care and stay safe.
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