Louie is one smart dog. I know most dog owners say that about their dog, but truly…this little guy is amazing.
For instance, we’ll be taking a long walk, and typically Louie can walk quite a distance. But sometimes, if he’s been on a long run with his friend and walker, Mary, he’ll let me know he’s tired. He’ll slow down, lower his head, and look straight into my eyes as if to say, “Can we slow it down a bit?”
I’ll ask him if he wants to go home and he’ll spin right around and trot back toward our home, with a sudden burst of newfound energy.
He does this quite a bit, but what gives me pause as I reflect on this inter-change is how Louie locks eyes with me. He doesn’t just look at me, he actually locks eyes with me and then seemingly communicates his message. He does this often. Not a word passes between us, not a hand signal, not a sound, and yet he understands me and I understand him. Now that is an amazing dog.
Other times as we walk, he’ll just reach up with his mouth to touch my hand. I’ll look at him and again, he’ll lock eyes as if to say, “I just wanted you to know I’m still here.”
Then I started to take note of how often Louie locks eyes, not only with me, but with others as well:
- When he comes across a dog that he is unfamiliar with, he will stare, lock eyes, and possibly challenge.
- When someone comes into my home, he will stare, lock eyes, and definitely challenge them.
- When I am in the kitchen cooking, he will stare, hoping to lock eyes with me so that I will fall into his trance and hear him say, “Give me a piece of the food you are preparing that smells so wonderful.
That’s right, just drop it on the floor, and I will love you forever.”
- He locks eyes with me during my quiet time with God in the mornings and seems to sense a peace and calm. I’ll look over at him on his bed, and we’ll lock eyes as if to say, “All is well!”
- He locks eyes with Mea and Evi when they give belly rubs.
- And he locks eyes with the drivers in big black trucks that he mistakenly believes is my son-in-law delivering Mea and Evi to my home
I could go on because he has this very uncanny way of locking eyes and communicating a message that takes no words.
My mom and dad always taught me to lock eyes with people because they matter. That resonated with me then and still does today.
Leaders who have honed their relational skills and are extremely effective and successful have practiced the small and seemingly insignificant behaviors that let others know they are valued and loved. In our very superficial world where most of the people we pass have their faces plastered against their phones, take a few minutes to truly lock eyes with someone and let them know they matter. You can significantly shift a person’s world for the better.
Louie loves to communicate with his eyes and so far, I am the blessed recipient of his “lock and load ’em up with love” big brown eyes! Yep, I feel loved!