Usually my bark is much bigger than my bite, but not this time.  Recently I attended a dog show with a longtime, very dear girlfriend.  Between the parading of some bizarre breeds, most of which I was not even slightly familiar, I had time to reflect.  Did my fetching insights occur during the presentation of the dogs with the amazing dreadlocks or the dogs that clearly had ingested an explosive device that ignited, providing them with a rather fried looking hairdo?  Not important. 

There I sat; sharing stories with this woman I had called my friend for over 33 years.  Our friendship sadly began when we both were experiencing the pain of divorce.  To say both of our soon to be “former” spouses were in the dog house understates the reality of their predicament.  When they referred to us as bitches they weren’t talking female dogs.  We bonded through grief, joy, intellect and young children. 

Much time has passed since those tailed beginnings.  Now our young children have pups of their own.  Our discussions have turned from other peoples short comings to how we, ourselves, can become better humans, from what we wanted to acquire to what we can provide others.  We are both in very different places now.  Many of our physical attributes have gone to the dogs or are at least headed that direction.  I feel eerily connected to the Shar-Pei across the ring.

As we conversed about the beautiful Afgan that just entered the ring, I warned her NEVER to get a dog that looks better in bed than we do.  She didn’t quite catch my message as her impaired hearing muted my muffled growls.  Both of us require the assistance of magnification to read the program.  I’ve already lost the parking stub, or have I just misplaced it?  She finds it on the floor. 

We have all heard the statistics espousing that one of the best strategies for longevity is dog ownership.  My own research recommends feeding and nurturing our friendships as if they were Best in Show, the results are the same.  My friend and I enjoyed a wonderful day with the canines, we laughed at ourselves, repeated a good chunk of each conversation we attempted and felt unleashed gratitude for the blessings we continue to bring to each other’s lives.

After the show we doggedly headed for food and a little wine to top off our day.  We behaved ourselves this time, though that hadn’t always been our conduct.  There were plenty of times in the history of our long friendship, when we were much younger, that we would have never survived our outings if it hadn’t been for a little “hair of the dog”.  Don’t ask which breed.





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