At Marmalead, we’re always hoping that our users will come to our blog or social media groups and find some helpful encouragement. This encouragement can take many forms. Sometimes it’s an article focused on helping you better understand our tools and finding more Etsy shop success. Sometimes it’s a dose of positivity with a blog post that might include Buddy the Basset, or maybe just a quick meme or anecdote posted to social media. Whatever it is, we always try to give you a mix between the technical information and the positivity, both of which we all need at times.
One really important piece of the puzzle for us is striving to remember that in life, we’re all connected. Showing one another a little kindness can truly change the course of someone’s path. Often in much bigger ways than we might know.
So what does all of this have to do with today’s post? Well, today I’m going to skip the technical post and share a story with you. One that I hope reminds all of us just how much difference an act of kindness can make.
Last week, I received a call from my Dad. I immediately knew from the tone of his voice that something was very wrong. He told me that their (my parents) 8-year-old Basset Hound “Buddy” had somehow pushed through their back gate and was now lost in Chattanooga, TN. My parents live in downtown Chattanooga, and honestly, there isn’t a quiet street in the neighborhood. There’s always a lot of traffic in front of their house and the highway is literally just around the corner. The bottom line is, it’s not a safe place for any animal to be wandering, much less an older and disoriented Bassett Hound.
To say this was devastating news for my parents is an understatement. For all you animal lovers out there, you know just how MUCH our animals mean to us. Our pets are truly members of our family. So knowing your family member is lost, disoriented and possibly in danger is the worst kind of feeling.
Of course we couldn’t just sit and do nothing knowing sweet Buddy was out there somewhere lost and possibly hurt. And the worst possible thoughts started running through our minds. My parents were already out searching and so Lisa and I quickly volunteered to help. We jumped in the car and drove straight to their neighborhood in order to cover more ground as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Like I said, my parents live right downtown and they happen to live within walking distance of the University of Tennessee Chattanooga (UTC). So they reached out to UTC Campus Safety and had them put out an all points bulletin on Buddy the Basset, letting everyone on campus know to keep an eye out for him.
I’ve only been in this city for a few months now, but I have to say, watching my parent’s community come together for this lost Basset Hound was something special. It makes you realize there are good people in this world.
Becky, my parent’s mail carrier, was out looking on foot with a pocket full of treats. My parent’s neighbors were so concerned and immediately volunteered their support. One of the UTC police officers who could have easily dismissed the report of a lost dog instead reached out and took down a description of Buddy from my mom and kept an eye out while she was patrolling that day.
The day my parents lost Buddy, these small acts of kindness felt huge. And really, they were huge. Because we all know, a little kindness can have a big impact. In a world that can feel full of darkness, and at times might even seem hopeless, there are every day, really very regular superheroes that we call our family, neighbors, and friends.
These are your people. The people who will drop everything when you’re in distress. It doesn’t have to be a lost pet. It might be the friend that drops by with coffee, or the neighbor who makes sure your Sunday paper isn’t in the bushes. Maybe it’s the person you call when you’re down who simply listens to whatever is going on in your life. An act of kindness can be any number of things. But all of them make a difference, whatever they are, because kindness and concern REALLY matter!
Buddy the Basset’s Grand Adventure
So, what happened to Buddy the basset and where did his grand adventure take him? After wandering out the back gate he freaked out when the housekeeper tried to gently call him back. Instead of heading home, he made a mad dash towards the local Jewish Synagogue. From there, he apparently decided that hanging out in the neighborhood wasn’t his cup of tea. I mean, if you’re going to give your humans a heart attack, you might as well make it worth their while, right?
So Buddy proceeded to run THREE MILES, eventually crossing over at least one four-lane highway to make it down to the Tennessee River. How do we know he crossed a four-lane highway? I guess it isn’t every day that a Basset Hound stops traffic, and a few calls were made by concerned motorists.
But Buddy wasn’t ready for home just yet. Apparently, he had his heart set on the banks of the Tennessee River! He intended to perhaps take a quick dip or maybe just lap up a little frigid February water. Either way, it had been raining for weeks. The river had risen and was flowing far too swiftly for Buddy who (being a Bassett) was never destined for any swimming medals and whose overall endurance was less than stellar. Buddy managed to get caught in a stand of half-submerged bushes and finally realized he might be in over his head.
Now if you know anything about Bassett Hounds, you know they’re not much for swimming, but barking? That’s a whole other thing! Here, Buddy’s talents saved his day. It was at this point that a nearby construction crew heard the commotion and wandered over to the river to see what all the commotion was about. But he was pretty hidden and was working himself further and further into the thicket.
Finally, they spotted Buddy the basset and thought, “yeah, that doesn’t look like some random stray dog.” Not sure why…must have been the ears that gave him away. Now, Buddy is a sweet and good boy. He’s just isn’t a fan of strangers unless he’s in the company of his own humans. So, a rescue of epic proportions got underway as this group of everyday superheroes worked to maneuver their way from the riverbank into the water and over to the thicket where Buddy had lodged himself until further notice.
These guys spent hours trying to locate and then rescue Buddy so that they could try and figure out where the heck he’d actually come from in the first place. And so it went…Buddy’s grand adventure ended up as a Tennessee River rescue mission that ensured his rescuer would have to get as cold and wet as he was in those mid-February temperatures. But, you know what? The construction crew didn’t even blink. They lowered one of their own into the river and pulled old Bud out of the drink without a second thought. An act of incredible kindness!
Buddy the Basset is a Celebrity
Buddy’s story touched not just his family (though we’re SO glad to have him back) but was picked up in the local news and then the national news. His story was shared all over social media and the response was crazy for us to watch! But the bottom line is this: we all crave hearing about kindness. I think at our core we truly desire to know that things aren’t as bad as the media portrays them to be. And that there are more kind souls in this world than there are bad ones.
I tend to be a bit of a pessimist when it comes to this. I feel like so often people are unkind and can even be cruel. I’m sure our Marmalead community can recognize and relate to these feelings as well. It can be extremely hard to receive a nasty Etsy review or deal with a difficult customer. But, it’s important for us to remember that each of us is fighting an unseen battle. With this in mind, let’s be like those men who got in the river to save Buddy. Whenever possible, let’s do the same for those around us.
If you’re interested in watching Buddy’s rescue, you can watch the video below, or read the news story here. We’d also love to hear how someone has been kind to you or your family lately! So, please leave your comments below! Or, if you’ve had an experience with a customer in your Etsy shop where kindness turned the situation around, we’d definitely love to hear all about that as well!
Let’s start our week off on the right foot! Encourage one another to (as I often say) throw kindness around like confetti!
Happy being super positive, everyone!