Empathy

Last night my son and I decided we should go spend some time with his puppy at his dad’s house. The puppy had been home most of the day alone for a multitude of reasons that don’t matter to the story. So off Steve and I went for yet another meal out this week to have dinner with the pup. 

The pup while playing outside must have either eaten or got bit be a bee and she started swelling up. While I was starting to kind of freak out a bit realizing that I am going to have to 1) find an emergency vet 2) take Steve with me and 3) his Dad has no chance in hell of helping in anyway since he is at the UCLA game with our daughter. 

At first Steve had trouble helping me. The puppy DID look “creepy weird” as he said. She did. Period. But I guess my sense of urgency got through and he snapped into “do what mom needs mode.” Did he go anywhere near the dog, no. Was I able to rant out commands and have him follow along, yes! 

Steve, put on your shoes. Steve, grab my purse. Steve, lock the door. Steve, unlock the car. Steve, buckle up and hold her tight. 

Once at the doctor he leans over and kisses his puppy as they are about to take her back. “I love you puppy,” he says. 

While waiting, he realizes the UCLA game is on the TV. He connects. He knows his dad is THERE. He knows he can’t be here, if he is THERE. He calms more staring at the screen. 

When he asks if he can use my phone to play, I had to say no. Something I NEVER would have even thought of doing even a year ago in a situation such as this. My battery was at 23 % I needed to save it for the moment I could reach his dad. I said No. He said ok,turned and stared at the game on TV. 

Another dog soon came out and was slowly meandering his way around the waiting room. A pug who may as well had been a baby pig, so short compact and round. Steve starts to run over. About to stop him, Steve stopped himself and looked up at the owner and said, “I am sure he is sick or he wouldn’t be here, would it be ok if I pet him?” Wait… Whaaaaaaaat? Is that…. EMPATHY????

Steve sat and played with the dog, Pumpkin. Never taking my eyes off him standing over him for the split second thought of a mean move… Steve just kindly, gently rubbed Pumpkins back. Then I hear Steve, so why is he here? Our dog, well my dog and my sisters dog, this is my mom but she doesn’t live at dads house anymore so it’s really OUR dog but mom helps out with her sometimes….. I just dropped into the chair, yep….that’s my Steve. 

In came another dog after Pumpkins departure and again I hear, I know he’s not well or he wouldn’t be here do you know why MY dog is here….and another, and another and another. 

We were there for a couple of hours time and  time again, Steve floored me.  Always supportive to the animal. Always kind to the owner, asking permission before petting. Always wondering and asking if his puppy is okay. 

So… Whoever says autistic people have no empathy… They can kiss my ass!!!

My little man was one of the kindest most empathetic and supportive people in the world last night, especially to his incredibly scared mother. 

~me

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