gibson is a beautiful springer spaniel
The man instantly changed his demeanor from open and friendly to slightly abashed. It was subtle but clear as if someone dumped water on his face. I also corrected him in front of his young son. I was hit with a big ol' stick of realization...
This wasn't life-saving information, nor was it something that would show up in a voting booth or grocery list. He was not a dog professor or trainer, making a living off wrong information. And it's not like he was about to enter a game show and someone would flash dogs on a screen, and knowing what a border collie was by sight would win him a million dollar prize...
I had no reason to correct him so why did I do it? He was being perfectly happy and polite. If a 40-year-old man can't tell a springer spaniel from a sheepdog then he probably doesn't need to know (or care about) the difference. All I did in pointing out his mistake was possibly stop him from complimenting the next dog he saw. Possibly make him consider being friendly to the next stranger he meets with a puppy. That's a damn shame, to possibly stop a flow of kindness from a person. Already we are so rarely nice and open to strangers in this country. So many rarely go out of our way to tell people on the street kind things. And there I was, smiling through a smarmy rejoinder, correcting a stranger just because I could.
I just corrected someone in the post below because they called my hay straw. Why the heck did I need to do that? Soon as I saw it posted in reply my chest fell. There I go again... What if it stops that reader from commenting again, or another reader who was considering commenting stop because they don't want to make a mistake? We worry so much about perceptions already nowadays. Why am I adding to it?
Growing up takes the whole time, doesn't it?
The next time a person tells me I have a beautiful setter or pointer or mutt I am going to thank them and compliment them on their hair cut. This world needs a lot more sweetness in it.
Gibson really is a beautiful springer spaniel.