Our four legged friends
January 18, 2010 § 8 Comments
Last fall, David asked me for my opinion and some ideas on a piece about pets. The library in Grande Prairie does a writing competition every year, and this year pets were the topics. I’ve always felt that pets are an important part of a person’s life for those of us that have them. They can bring us great joy, they can disarm even the most protected person, and we can learn so much from them.
It was my last at home (home being my mom’s place) over the holidays before heading back to Calgary. I had just returned home from Edmonton and there was a cute waggily tail waiting to greet me at the back door. I let Tetris into the back porch so we could properly greet one another without the discomforts of the cold outdoors. That waggily tail continued to wag, and as usual, Tetris was beside herself with joy to see me. She eventually calmed down and became the sweetest dog in the world (and no I’m not biased at all).
As I sat in the doorway petting her and scratching her belly, I noticed just how relaxed and at peace I was with her. It’s taken me a long time to become that way with other human beings, but with a pet it’s just so natural. I remembered a friend in Calgary mentioning once that she wished she could be as at home with herself with the rest of the world as she is when she’s hanging out with her four legged friend. What is it about a pet that can only bring out the best in us?
A dog operates from only one place. They don’t know how to lie or deceive, they are easily hurt, but trust again just as readily. They will always be home to greet you, even on the days you may have parted on a harsh word because they left a spot on your tie… or chewed up one of your favourite shoes. And yet, they remain a source of love and affection. That’s what being on the receiving end of unconditional love is like. Imagine if most people operated from the same plane. Where those you interact with are not a source of distrust or stress, but such an unfathomably endless well of joyful emotion, that you know no matter what you do, they love you anyway.
This is the lesson I learn and relearn from Tetris every time I’m back home. The ability to open myself up and accept her the way she is… holes in the backyard, mud on my jeans and everything… and allow her to accept me the way I am… messy apartment, laundry that’s never done… and everything. It is easier done with a dog, they don’t have the capacity to judge. But what if we refrained from judging one another as well? How much easier would it be? How much farther ahead would the world be because we trusted one another and weren’t scared to be who we are?