Archive for July, 2011

Kids & Canines

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

My eyes are heavy tonight. I’ve been averaging about six hours of sleep for about the last month. I don’t have a good reason why I’m not sleeping that much. It seems like the hands on the clock are sprinting around the dial and before I know it the hours are gone. I guess in some ways that’s how life goes as well.

I’ve often thought about things that have come up in my life that brought a new way of thinking along with them. Sometimes I just happened to get engulfed in unexpected events and other times I’ve had chance meetings give me a different outlook on things. No matter what the case may be, I’m sure that almost everyone out there can relate to what I’m talking about. I wonder if people are able to realize how much they change when something new pops up in their lives.

Last spring one of my good friends decided to buy a puppy. My friend has lived alone for about the last eight years. She went on a few dates here and there after she got divorced, but she has never welcomed anyone into her life. Instead, she put up an impenetrable wall that she hides behind. Sometimes I’m not even sure if she has ever seen what exists on the other side of the wall. She’s so afraid of opening up to anyone that she plods along and pretends that she doesn’t need anyone or want anyone. I can see beyond the front. There’s not a human being out there who doesn’t want to be loved by another person.

My friend stood people up, shut down emotionally and never let anyone inside. She got consumed in her work and let it control her life to an extent. Then, one day, out of the blue, she told me that she was going to get a dog. I kind of laughed to myself at first because I knew how rigid her schedule was. Everything was so regimented that I couldn’t see where a dog would fit too well into her life.

It has been about four months since she took her puppy home. She named him Kobe. He’s a cute little fella and he will always be little. The change I saw in her was amazing after she got her dog. One night she told me that she couldn’t believe how much she loved him and how much he brought into her life. She explained how she follows a schedule to make sure he eats on time and goes out to go to the bathroom. I can hear the joy in her voice when she’s talks about him.

When I see the way she acts with him I find it amazing that she leaves the wall up to everyone else. It seems that she has a lot of love to give, but refuses to follow through and make it happen. I’m not sure if she’s afraid or if she thinks that she’s not worthy of someone. It’s hard to tell and it’s really none of my business, but I sense a huge void in her life. It may be a void that she doesn’t even know exists, but it is there. It’s as visible to everyone around her just as the wall is that stands so high in front of her. I just hope that her little dog shows her the way, so that she can enjoy life again.

When I thought about the dog and how it has changed her perspective on a lot of things, I also thought about another friend of mine who has always been somewhat emotionally challenged. That is coming directly from her, not me.

She has always kept people at a distance, even the ones she loves. She told me it’s better that way because after you get hurt a few times there’s no reason to let your guard down and open yourself up to that possibility again. She never really wanted a child, but she ended up having one. A new person was born after her child was born. It was the person that she always tried not to be. The child pushed over the wall and allowed her to finally love unconditionally. I’ve seen a lot of interaction between the two of them and it’s simply amazing to observe.

It’s hard for me to imagine that this girl is the same person who puts a front up when other people come into her life, especially with the amount of love and attention she gives to her child. When I see the two of the them together it’s easy to see that she could share a wonderful relationship with the right person if she allows herself to take time, make good choices and find someone to compliment her personality.

At this day in age many of us get a second chance to make things right. Every ending is a new beginning. It’s a chance to improve upon what we’ve had and it’s a chance to find what we need. We need to accept people as they are, not what we want them to be. If we can remember that, over time, we can very easily be happy. Instead of focusing on the small things that bother us, we have to focus on the positive things that make us feel good. If we feel that the train is running off the track sometimes all it takes is a nice walk someplace in the peace and quiet or maybe even a short car ride that allows us to gaze over some majestic scenery.

I’ve written many times in the past about people having the ability to love their partners like they love their children or their pets. The experience that I’ve had over the last few months with both of my friends is simply awesome. My friend calls herself “emotionally challenged” but I firmly believe that her kid will help to bring that wall down. If she finds the right person and lets them inside her world and allows herself to love them just as she loves her kid, she will find herself in a special place. Since she’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met I really do hope that it happens for her because she deserves it.

We have to remember that we get what we receive and we give what we get. If you love your children and give them a lot of attention they will learn from that and do the same when they become adults. The foundation that you lay as a parent goes well beyond the here and now. It becomes the model that your child will follow. While childhood is supposed to be one of the most wonderful times of our lives, far too many people spend the rest of their lives trying to recover from their childhood.

Since I have no clue about the childhood of either of my friends I do know that their own pet and child couldn’t have come at a better time. I almost can sense that both of them have found something that they didn’t know existed. They’ve both told me how much better they feel about themselves just because of what’s going in their lives.  It’s a joy to listen to the excitement when my friend talks about her child. I hope that one day she can talk the same way about her partner when she decides to head down that road again.

Kids and canines have an amazing ability to keep us grounded. They bring us back to the simple things. They show us how to love. They make us realize that life shouldn’t be so stressful. We should slow down, enjoy the moment and take everything one day at a time.

There are many days during the summer months when it’s hazy in the morning. Almost in the turn of a switch the haze is gone and the sun is shining. You can hear the birds chirping and a nice breeze blows through the treetops. It’s those simple things that we sometimes miss when we get too far ahead of ourselves. One foot goes in front of the other as we breathe in and breathe out. Enjoy each individual step instead of trying to enjoy the walk as a whole. You might be amazed where your feet will bring you if you allow them to carry you without any interference.