Unexpected Friendships-How to Stay Open to What Life Brings Your Way
Sometimes a friend shows up in unexpected ways
She’s having a birthday this December, but it escapes me how old she really is. I know we will celebrate that, I’m just not certain how. Maybe we’ll go out for a walk…or we may try to make her wear a party hat, like we did last year, (she wasn’t having any of our shenanigans).
She is a devoted and loving friend who can always pick up my spirits. She is just like that; always there with a smile and cheery disposition. And, she keeps close watch on me-she knows when I’ve left town and can’t wait until my return.
She is our family dog…well, my nephew’s dog who came to live with me at the same time he did. One cannot separate a boy and his dog-that would be too harsh. In J’s world, he’s had more than his lifetime’s share of abandonment, deaths, and losses for one person to bear. I willingly paid the extra security deposit required for pets in this rental property.Beauty is the one constant in the sometimes very tense household. Living with J and his emotional problems is like being on a rollercoaster: thrills, chills, screams and plenty of ups, downs and fast curves that want to throw you out of your seat. I have a good idea about his basic disposition and ability to handle the unexpected, yet there are always those surprises that pop up.
Thankfully, Beauty is there to offer a friendly wag of her tail or lick of the face-even when I resist! I laugh to myself whenever I have one of those ‘Lucy’ moments. Remember Lucy? She is the Charlie Brown character who hated ‘dog kisses’, and boy, did Snoopy get her every time!
Ugh! Dog Kisses!
Black BeautyClick thumbnail to view full-size
I grew up with animals in my home. If you read my hub: 'A Dozen Positive Parenting Tips' ( http://denisehandlon.hubpages.com/hub/Mothers-Day-Madness ) you will note the opening paragraph…there was quite a menagerie in our home with six kids and all wanting a pet of some sort for their own. Well, after that experience I did not care if I EVER had another pet in my lifetime.
Yet, I was not the kind of parent who denied my children the experience either. So, first to arrive, despite my protests, was a soft, furry puppy that my soon-to-be-second-husband brought home from his cousin’s farm. I was completely against it and argued for days, mainly because I was in nursing school and did not want the extra work of training it; also, because it was not our home and the landlady forbade pets of any sort.
But, his rationale was that the girls needed something they could bond with, having just been torn from their father in a divorce. He lived five hundred miles away and John wanted them to have something to help them over their separation from him and their beagle, Snowshoe.
I reluctantly relinquished providing he did the training, and we went about the task of naming this cute fur ball. My name was chosen…whether it was truly because they liked the choice, (Bandit, for the black encircling her eyes like a mask), or they were hoping to win me over is uncertain. But, it wasn’t long before Bandit stole my heart.
Lady and Sahara
The next two dogs came after Bandit passed away. Lady was a tricolor collie we brought home from the Rescue Shelter. She was beautiful and tried to fit in, but had been abused and was quite skittish and kept trying to get free to roam the streets.
With one new dog in the house I had no intention on adding to the confusion by bringing in a second one. But, my youngest daughter, Christa, began the campaign when a friend from school showed her pictures of his dog’s litter. “Please, mom,” she would beg me at the dinner table, “Just look at them…We HAVE to get one or they will be killed at the shelter!”
For a long time I resisted taking a peek at the photos and knew doggone well that those cuties would never make it as far as the shelter’s door. She finally won me over and again, the name game began to decide what to call our latest family member. Hmmm, they liked the name I chose-is there a pattern here?
Sahara was a gorgeous, long, red haired dog that was a mix. She was the size of a Cocker Spaniel, (mother), and the color of an Irish Setter, (father). Originally, she was a sandy blonde, thus the naming after the Sahara Desert. She eventually grew into her copper tone color which I envied, and we became fast friends. My frequent lament, “Why does this dog have to go everywhere I go” was always followed by, “because she LOVES you.”
There is a wonderful feeling that comes from taking care of a pet. Pet therapy is a widely recognized tool in helping patients, particularly the children and the elderly overcome their illness, fears, and loneliness. Although I never intentionally seek out dogs to have as a pet they come into my life and I’ve enjoyed each one.
Reasons why dogs make good pets
The most important reason I feel that dogs make wonderful pets is for companionship. A child loves to roll around in the grass wrestling with a puppy, enticing it to chase after him. There is a special bond between 'man's best friend' and its owner-no matter how old that owner is.
Having a dog in the home can alert the homeowners of strangers approaching. This may be especially important for people, such as the elderly or women, who live alone and feel unprotected. Our dog happens to bark at anyone whose scent she does not recognize.
Some people own dogs for show, others for sport. People who show their dogs often do so with pedigree breeds. Dogs don't need a pedigree to enjoy the thrill of the hunt...just a reliable nose. Here in the south hunting is a huge sport and the hounds can be seen travelling in the back of trucks in large cargo carriers.