Tim Foolery

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Du bist ein schöner Hund – A Lesson in Stopping to Enjoy the Little Things

While in Vienna during one of our walks around the Innere Stadt, we came across this elderly woman, likely in her early 80s. She was dressed very well – not fancy or in expensive clothes, but she obviously took care of herself and cared about her appearance. We saw her leaving a bakery, with a huge bag full of treats. As she stepped out into the street, she had a grin on her face, which quickly grew until her smile took over her entire face.

She sets her bag of baked goods on the ground, drops to one knee and begins to says “Du bist ein schöner Hund…Du bist ein schöner Hund!” While still kneeling, she grabbed the head of a large grey standard poodle, scratching his chin. She stayed kneeling, repeating that simple phrase. She was so happy. The dog’s owner also had a huge smile. The dog’s tail wagged vigorously.

You didn’t really need any German language study to understand what was going on here.  This cute elderly woman talking directly to a dog and telling him that “You are a beautiful dog” was so heartwarming.

This scene lasted at most 30 seconds, but brought smiles and laughter to the three directly involved (owner, dog and woman) and the dozens of people walking past this display. We stopped and watched  smiled and felt really happy.

It is these small things that happen every single day that we often would pass by and wouldn’t notice. I’d likely have ignored it myself, if it hadn’t been for this elderly Austrian woman, saying words that I easily understood in a foreign language. Take a few moments to observe your surroundings at home and while traveling. Don’t be in such a hurry to hit the next location on your list of must-see spots. Stop and pet derHund.

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