My little dog, Teddy, tugged on his leash, interrupting my thoughts as we walked through my condo complex. The mornings were our time together and Teddy, a Lhasa Apo, got impatient if he didn’t have my full, undivided attention.
“Sorry, Teddy,” I said with a small smile. My thoughts were all over the place this morning. The public school where I worked as a special education teacher was on break. I was thankful for the time off, but I felt completely stressed about the prospect of returning to work. My job was challenging. Too challenging sometimes. Resources were limited. Class sizes were big. I felt all alone in the classroom, like I had no support. How long could I keep going on like this? I was watching out for my students. But who was watching out for me? Teddy and I cut through one of the parking lots on the complex grounds. I caught sight of one of my neighbors, Mr. Simon. He was retired, but still got up early every morning to check on one of the businesses he owned. I caught his eye and waved.
I felt the leash tug again. Teddy wanted up on the grass embankment just behind where Mr. Simon’s car was parked. I let him up, reached into my coat for a plastic bag and ….