Tuesday, September 21, 2010
One of the great pleasures of my job is watching puppies play at our daycare. There's nothing more joyful for me. They leave all their stresses and anxieties behind and just run, romp and wrestle their cares away. Today there was a new addition to the day care group, a sweet 12 week old puppy. It didn't hurt any that he was one of the most beautiful German Shepherd puppies I've ever seen (a close second to my own Nyxie). It was intriguing to watch him navigate the doggy "playground" so to speak. Sniffing bottoms, testing limits, avoiding the humpers...all with great natural dexterity.
Poor Nyxie never had this ease - when we took her to puppy play group at Planet Dog in Portland, she hurled herself at the gate until we were asked to take her outside for a "time out". Red-faced, we picked our little girl out of the pen of romping puppies and dutifully took her outside and into the cold Maine air. She showered us with kisses for the rescue. She despised being penned in and was placed in the "shy" puppy group. Still, no luck.
The dog park was her salvation! She was able to get away from strange dogs there, hang out with the playmates that were her friends (Vinnie and Napoleon -that means you!) and run, run, run. She'd run so fast, she'd tumble over her own legs and then hop up and run some more, her still-floppy ears bouncing. Memories...
So today's puppy made me consider our need for friends, companionship and kindred spirits. Like this puppy, we need to find our place amongst our peers. We need safety and comfort. We need to be corrected and we need to be bolstered. We need understanding and appreciation. We need love. I don't know if I always give love as I should, but I try. There are moments when we feel pulled under as in quicksand and that lifeline gets tossed out. Like those first few moments of arriving on the playground, we're unsure and vulnerable. We take a chance and open up. Friendship.