An Afternoon at the Fort Tryon Dog Run

Today was my first opportunity to get out of the house and welcome spring which has finally arrived in New York. Kristin and I took our two dogs, Thelma and Louise – two Jack Russell/Chihauhau mixes, up to Fort Tryon park which is about a 20 minute up-hill walk. The girls (that’s Thelma and Louise) just love it.

While we were there I got to meet a young autistic boy named Jose who was there with his aunt and his sister. My own brother was born with Downs Syndrome and was taken care of by my Mother at home for his entire life. So I usually have a natural affinity when I meet people with such special needs. Jose was facinated by my camera and kept trying to pull it from my hands. He first approached us and first grabbed Kristin’s hands and put them to his chest. Then he came over to me and was putting his arms around by back. I knew his aunt was thinking “oh my God, how are these people going to react…” and I knew this from my own vast experince as a care-taker for my brother. I just smiled and said “What’s your name?” and assured his Aunt that it was all quite ok. After he reached for the camera several times (he kept going for the lens) I turned it around and showed him how to look through and then I snapped the picture which I showed to him. I’ve been so down in the dumps lately just wrapped up in my own problems and feeling like I don’t have anything to offer anybody. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to make Jose and his Aunt comfortable and perhaps show Jose some kindness and understanding too.

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