I have been going to my college, Wilkes University, ever since freshman year. I am now a senior, and have become pretty understanding of my environment, and the people that live here. Obviously, this is mostly a college town, with another college (Kings College) right down the road, so many of the people that live here are students.
Wilkes-Barre has this reputation of being thick with crime and most of the locals, well, seem out of their minds. But I will not go into detail. I have always tried to give people the benefit of the doubt, and never judging a book by its cover, but just about two weeks ago I realized that, subconsciously, I have been judging the same middle aged guy ever since I was a freshman.
Here goes the story.
It was freshman year when I first saw the pit bull puppy. He had one green eye, and one brown eye, with dark markings all over his body. He was probably the most beautiful dog I had ever seen, and every day that I passed him sitting on the porch I wanted to steal him, but calmly refrained myself. I had only seen the owner a couple of times, but he seemed like a very quiet guy, and always had an angry attitude, or so it seemed.
The years following the dog kept getting bigger, but seemed so sad. I had all these horror stories stuck in my mind like “That man is probably abusive” and “This dog is just locked outside all the time”. I would only go up and pet the dog when the man wasn’t around, and found myself feeling extremely uncomfortable when I had to pass him.
A couple weeks ago I was talking to one of my friends about how adorable the dog was, and how I wanted to kidnap him because the owner was so awful. My friend interjected by explaining that the man was one of the nicest people he had ever met, and he always stopped over to visit him and the dog. I felt so awful because I stereotyped this guy into the typical “scary locals” that usually inhabit Wilkes-Barre.
So the next day I passed him sitting there with his dog, and made my way over. His eyes lit up and right then I could tell he just wanted some company. As I made my way over he said, “Finally got the guts to pet the dog with me here, huh?” And I laughed, awkwardly. Turns out, he rescued the puppy from a previous owner because he was abused, and the dog had been that way since he got him. I could tell how much he loved him just by the way he was talking.
I felt so bad because I had formed these ideas and opinions about this guy, when I pride myself on never judging. I was really angry with myself, but I have learned from that, and I know never to judge a book by its cover.
Now I make it a point to always go and say hi to the man and his adorable puppy.
Ps. I know I keep saying puppy but the dog IS HUGE!