You know what happens when you throw a pebble out into a pond? That one pebble hits the water and makes lots of concentric rings that radiate out a vast distance. Each ring pushes a larger ring out away from it. All sorts of things happen that never would have otherwise happened. Micro-organisms in the water move. Sand shifts. Weeds bubble. The water temperature changes and becomes oxygenated.
That single pebble alters the course of nature.
An elderly friend came to visit us recently. He's on a soul-searching mission, questioning the meaning of life, his purpose for being here, and the value of the life he's thus far lived. He's thinking he never accomplished anything big and lasting, and that he wasted his life trying to attain vast wealth.
I don't have that anguish. I'm at peace assuming that "dogs" were my calling, and that I've affected a lot of people, relationships, families, etc., through helping them with "dog problems." The dogs, of course, are just instruments to help us all get closer to that state of Divine Love that defines all goodness and grace.
But maybe it's not the dogs. Maybe a stranger saw me for 10 seconds somewhere one day, maybe he heard me utter something insignificant that altered his life. Maybe I was wearing a coat that evoked memories...memories that made him change his life course. Maybe he saw me reading a book that peaked his curiosity, so he bought the book and it brought him closer to the answers he sought. I'll never know.
As dog people, we all have a greater-than-usual opportunity to influence people in ways we'll never even know. Someone will see you with your dog in the park today. They'll admire your dog, get one of their own, and their lives will evolve with brand new ripples. You'll never know them. You'll never even know they saw you and your dog today. But you made ripples and changed lives, just by living. That's pretty incredible, isn't it?