12 Jan Dog Lessons for the Sisterhood
It is no wonder that I am the person on a plane to move my seat closer to the service dog. I cherish those wonderful cold noses and all that snuggly friendliness. When possible, I donate my time to the shelters and have rehabilitated a dog or two. There is something so naturally reassuring about a dog’s unconditional love.
I am also reeled into Facebook videos of dogs and deployed soldiers reuniting and, through the tears, marvel at the timelessness of their bond. How long was the separation that all sense of time and space disappear, and joy simply takes over? Do they need to readjust to one another or do they fall easily into the old and comfortable patterns?
Recently chatting away with a friend over a glass of wine, I was startled by the parallels of the soldier and dog and my deepest connections. Some of my dearest friendships cannot be measured by the frequency of conversations through the years, but more by the depth of the bond.
Sipping red wine and avoiding the chill hurling outside the restaurant, hours passed as we laughed, giggled and cried while we filled in the blurred blanks caused by too much space and time. Life had once again gobbled us up like an undercurrent. Jobs, children, geography, sick parents and all the reasons we put ourselves on the back burner are the same reasons for the imposed space in our friendship. It was not the first time we had promised to see each other more often.
Not every friendship is destined to survive the distance. Some friends are meant to only touch our lives briefly. Others remain. Those enduring friendships seem to survive in an effortless sort of way. Like the lessons learned from the dog and soldier reuniting, there is no judgment, anger, or hurt feelings. There is simply a gentle acceptance that we both “know” we were just doing what we had to while apart. There is also a confidence that no matter the time that passes we are always here for one another and can be called into service at any point. It just takes a call with that familiar voice on the other side to spur into action.
So, maybe it is the magic of unconditional love that we can learn from our beloved dogs. Maybe they are teaching us to simply share the joy in our hearts without reservation.
Either way, the lessons from our four-legged companions are clear. Cherish the bonds, honor the distance and nurture the friendships that age with us. Enjoy more and judge less. Share your heart enthusiastically. Wag your tail!
For now, I am going to sip a glass of Cabernet and share my lap with my timeless buddy who keeps teaching me how to be a better friend.
Cheers to the Enduring Sisterhood!