Saturday, January 19, 2008

"Let's be Friends!"

This is Belle, my son Christian’s new dog. She has starred in a few blog posts lately. Although she is almost 50 pounds she seems to think she’s a lap dog. She also lives under the delusion that our two cats, Lucia and Princess, want to be her friends. Lucia has warmed up to Belle a little but gets sick of the constant pestering. Princess has disliked the oversized intruder since Day 1. She hisses and arches her back whenever Belle comes within 20 feet of her personal space.

Princess’s new favorite routine is to sit on the highest shelf she can find in order to make herself taller and more threatening. But Belle refuses to give up. She is a needy dog with separation anxiety and wants companionship. She looks up at Princess with her big brown eyes as if to say, “Why can’t we all just get along? I’m really very nice.”

I even went so far as to remind Princess that she has no room to think of herself as superior. “You come from the same background, you know. Same shelter and everything.”

On Day 3 of Belle’s new life in the Hanscome house she and Princess had an inevitable standoff. They met unexpectedly in the laundry room. I noticed, right off the bat that Princess didn’t look quite as confident without the added height that a book shelf provided.

“Not feeling quite so cocky now, are you, Princess?” I teased.

She looked at me like she wanted to hiss, “Why don’t you shut up! Who is responsible for this creature anyway? I need to know whose shoe to cough up a hairball in tonight.”

Then, in one heart-stopping moment, Belle tried to take advantage and step a little closer, Princess made a run for it by jumping over Belle, Belle defended herself against the oncoming attack by standing to her full height, causing Princess to miss the hurdle, and she ended up clawing her way over Belle’s back. Both ran from the scene in a flurry of hisses and yelps.

For a week Belle trembled in fear at the sight of Princess. She didn’t even need to arch her back. Belle still gave her the sad eyes. She still wanted to be friends. And you guessed it, the fear has worn off and she is back to being the thing that won’t leave. Obviously, the attraction isn’t mutual and probably never will be. I can’t help wondering, why won’t Belle give up and just be happy with the idea that Lucia sorta likes her and has come within inches of touching noses with her? Lucia doesn’t hiss half as much (only when Belle tries too hard or barges in when Lucia is getting the affection—see, told you she was needy) and doesn’t have back-mauling claws like Princess does. Lucia is sweet; Princess is . . . I’m sorry to say . . . a little brat. Even when she gets cut down to size as she did in the laundry room, she still cops an attitude around the tender newcomer.

It reminded me of the times in sixth grade when I tried very hard to gain acceptance from the “cool group” in my class even though half those girls were snots. Then there was the time in high school dance class when a group of girls snubbed me for NOT snubbing someone else and I still wanted them as friends (again, because I considered them cool, even though, when I think about it now, they weren’t really, only good at making people think they were). And then there was the time when . . . Well, maybe I better stop. This is enough proof that I have a pretty pathetic background when it comes to one-sided friendships.

I almost want to say, “Belle, Honey, you deserve so much better. Give it up.” I’m sure she’ll continue to learn the hard way, as I did. But she is only a dog and I’m an adult human being who knows better. Watching Belle is a good reminder to take the precious friendships that God has sent me instead of attempting to hang on to something that is one-sided, or even damaging. Thankfully, there is nobody like that in my life now, but I’ve had more than my share. Praise God for learning experiences that showed me, “Don’t bother with those that hiss and arch there backs and claw their way over you. You deserve better!”

And so do you! How do your friendships and choices in who you try to get closer to reflect this?

Your Friend,


Debbie said...

When I was little (around 6 or 7), I didn't really have any friends at my school for whatever reason.

As I got older (12 or 13), I still found myself on the outside of most social circles. Again, the reason is unknown me but looking back, it was probably something incredibly shallow such as my dad didn't make as much money or I didn't dress as nice, etc, etc...

NOW (17) I wouldn't want to have been in social circles that were so exclusive.

It did hurt, but I'm GRATEFUL for those experiences because they make me want to reach out to others who might not be considered the "coolest" or "prettiest" or "smartest" really boardened my idea of what friendship was and what it's really about. :-)

I believe in looking at things in life that are unpleasant and even the things that are pleasant and asking myself, what's the deeper lesson here to learn?

Just my take on friendship, :-)

Anonymous said...

Looks like a super cute dog!

Dog Lover said...

That dog if so cute! Tell her I think that she sweet.

jonasbrothersfreak93 said...

Thanks for posting this. That dog is so cute. I am not usually a dog person~ but that one is cute.

It sounds like Princess isn't too glad that Belle is around the house now.

Anyway, thanks again!