Be Positive…

I teach high school.  This year, we are really pushing these 3 concepts: Be Positive, Be Respectful, Be Involved.  So, I made signs to hang up in my classroom.  It was easy to find pictures for being respectful and being involved to go along with the statements, but when I got to “be positive”, I hit a block.  My screen saver came on, and this picture of the Chili Dawg came on the screen.

How could you not smile and be positive when you’re looking at a picture of a smiling, three-legged golden retriever?  So, I put his picture on the sign and hung it up in my room.

A couple days into the first week, a student asked me, “How’s ‘Be Positive’?”  Me: “Huh?”  Student: “How’s ‘Be Positive’?”  Me: “Who is ‘Be Positive’?”  Student: “That’s your dog on the sign isn’t it?”  Me: “Yes.”  Student: “Isn’t his name, ‘Be Positive’?”  My co-teacher and I laughed pretty hard at that one, because honestly, who would name a dog, “Be Positive”?  In that period, it became a running joke that Chili Dawg’s name was “Be Positive”.

Well, this week is Homecoming Week, and today’s dress up day was pajama day (one of my favorite days, because I get to participate).  So, I was wearing my pajama pants with golden retrievers all over them & my “I love my tripawd” t-shirt.  I walked into 7th period, and at least 8 kids yelled out, “Hey, ‘Be Positive’ is all over your jammies!”  Well, I hadn’t told them that Chili Dawg’s cancer had come back or that we had had to put him to sleep, because it was so early in the school year and we hadn’t gotten to know each other that well, so I had to explain why I got a little teary eyed.

So, in the spirit of the Chili Dawg and my 7th period REI Chemistry class, “Be Positive”.

10 thoughts on “Be Positive…”

  1. Awwww. Be Postive now has a whole new meaning! Very sweet story. With a little bittersweet thrown in for ‘real life’ effect.

  2. The lessons our tripawds teach us and others continue to amaze me! Beautiful story.
    I know those first few months after I lost Mag- it was hard when someone asked me how she was doing. Well, actually it happens once and awhile still…. but mostly smiles now.


    Karen and the pugapalooza

  3. Awwww. Sweet story. Nice to know that the life lessons our tripawds teach us are helping teach the “yutes” of today as well!

    The positive spirit of Chili Dawg lives on!

    hugs and kisses from me and Abby

  4. wow, wonderful story!!! thanks for being a teacher (especially high school), we need good roll models for kids and you and spirit chili are setting the bar high!!

    charon & gayle

  5. What a wonderful, heartfelt story Jenna! Kids are just so honest and so sweet… yes ~the positive spirit of Chili Dawg lives on and through you always! I am wearing a tripawd tank today proudly and will continue to be proud of our tripawd heroes!! The ones are who are with us now and the sweet angels that we carry in our hearts…. With love and tears…

    ♥ The Spirit of Indiana’s mom ~ Carol~♥

  6. Awwwww, I’m getting all teary-eyed just reading this.

    Yeah, it’s hard when anyone asks about the biggest hero in your life and you know you have to give that answer. But now you have the “Be Positive” story to help lighten the load.

    Oh Chili, your smile will always light up a room, and our hearts.

  7. A wonderful story Jenna! I think Chili Dawg can be an awesome learning experience to your students when you are ready to share!

    I’m relatively new here and I wasn’t a member for Chili Dawg’s journey, but I wanted to extend my sympathies for your loss of Chili. He was a very beautiful boy and his picture brought a smile to my face. My Charley also has OSA and he’s a L front leg amp.

    On another note, I’m a pediatric occupational therapist that works with children and my specialty is oral-motor and feeding. I see a lot of kiddos that don’t like to eat or have problems eating. If you have any questions about your daughter that I could answer or help you with, just ask and I’d be glad to help.

    Hugs and chocolate kisses,
    Ellen & Charley

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