To See Inside Others’ Hearts

Edie the Dog looks unapproachable. Photographed by Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York.Don’t mess with me.
I am not who you think I am.

I crawled all over the floor trying to get Edie The Dog to look at me. Later, when I examined the photos I’d taken, I thought I recognized something in her eyes.

You think I look mad and unapproachable. You stick your camera smack in my face and try to get me to smile. But I won’t smile. Today, all I can think about is what I’m missing.
You don’t know my story. The story that might make you cry, or maybe cringe. If it makes you uncomfortable, consider how it makes me feel.

How you feel, how I feel. I don’t care.

Then I found the shot that reminded me of my own dog, and all the love and emotional support she gives me. And I wondered if maybe we could better read what’s inside others’ hearts by first remembering what’s in our own. Because we all struggle with sadness, pain, worries, and fears. And we all have known hope and joy.

Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, photographs Edie The Dog looking up lovingly at the one who loves her.How much kinder the world would be if we all stopped to see what others’ stories entailed, and then treated each other with respect and compassion. Suddenly I understood something different from Edie The Dog’s eyes.

This is who I am now. Look at me.

And if you show me you care, I will be your friend forever.


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10 thoughts on “To See Inside Others’ Hearts

  1. Elaine Mansfield

    Who is this dog, Robin? Did you adopt a new dog? Maybe you were caring for a friend’s dog? It doesn’t matter really, but all these questions came up, so I’m asking them. I was happy to pick Willow up at the kennel today. Probably happier than she was because she got to play with other dogs every day. Now she’s waiting for an afternoon walk. Such dear friends. Do you have an on-going relationship with Edie? More questions… The video goes to an unavailable link, Robin, so you might want to check into that.

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Edie is my friend’s sister-in-law’s dog who comes to Ithaca about twice a year. When she is in town, I love it when we all parade with the three dogs, around a country block. It’s just jolly – no other word for it, I think. And while we were waiting for our dinner to be cooked, I hung with Edie trying to get her to smile for the camera. It was going to be a huge post if I explained exactly who she was. Cheers.

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Thank you, Loretta. Edie is a neat friend I only get to see a couple of times a year. But she’s a sweetie. And a good sport for putting up with me shoving the camera in her face. Welcome to my online home and thanks for responding.

  2. Lucy Bergström

    Dear Robin,
    This reminds me of the story you told me recently about Suki. When you go on hikes, and she spots a group of young people, she approaches them eagerly, hoping and expecting to find Marika. It is incomprehensible to a dog or a small child when someone they love vanishes. Jill Swenson’s dog Daisy misses her sister, Dolly. What a wonderful idea she had, to try and come up with the sister’s name. It is basically incomprehensible to all of us, when someone we love vanishes, of whatever species, even though we know the reason. We just don’t accept reasons!

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      I loved Jill’s story about Daisy too. Did you see that heartwarming video I linked to on the blog? It’s so incredible when people stop to consider others’ situations and reasons for their actions and outlooks. When you think you shouldn’t mention something because it might upset someone, it may be the very thing they can’t get out of their mind and are aching to hear about and talk about. Cheers to you, Lucy.

  3. Jill Swenson

    This reminds me of my adopted dog Daisy. After a couple of months in her new home I learned she had come into the shelter with a sister. The other dog had been put down with a terminal diagnosis. I sat with Daisy on the floor and asked her about it. She looked at me with the same kind of look. Then I asked her what her sister’s name was. She didn’t answer immediately so I started saying girl dog names out loud. Maggie. Susie. Ginger. No response from Daisy. Then I thought about names that might be a good match to hers. Poppy. Iris. Rose. Nothing. “Dolly?” Suddenly Daisy was on top of me, licking my face, and peering deep into my eyes. Dolly was her sister and Daisy missed her.

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      OMG Jill. You have me in tears. On my own site. What a story. Yeah, these dogs are really precious if you take the time to listen to them and love them. Thank you for this. And for teaching me so much about writing. And for being out there in the writing world. I decided to put off querying until September. Every time I go back to the manuscript and the marketing proposal I think of you. I wish you were back in Ithaca. But from what I see on your blogs and FB posts, it looks like you’re in a good place. Cheers!


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