February 10, 2010

A Friend in Need…

If you follow this blog daily, you know I’ve had a rough week. My tummy hasn’t been exactly normal as of late and today, I had to go back to the vet. Bummer. The doctor’s really nice and everything, but man, do I hate it when they put that thermometer where it really shouldn’t go. Turns out, I do have a bit of a fever and so the doctor prescribed antibiotics along with more probiotics and doggy Pepto.

But today’s visit to the vet wasn’t as horrible as it could have been because Gretchen brought Monty with us. Monty doesn’t mind the vet. In fact, Monty doesn’t really mind much of anything (except maybe having his tail brushed out) so it was comforting to have his steady presence holding my paw when the doctor put that thermometer where I begged her not to.

Anyway, the whole experience got me to thinking about the importance of friends. Ironically, this came up in class this morning with Gretchen’s students. “Sometimes,” Gretchen told her class, “Sometimes you get settled in your friendships, which isn’t a bad thing, but it means that you often don’t reach out to others, you don’t take risks to get to know someone else.”

Nini, her teaching partner added, “Remember how we talk about how the things you do aren’t nearly as powerful as the things you don’t do?” All the students nodded because it’s been a theme for the past month. “Well, when you don’t reach out to others, it can send unintended message.”

"Hey, Oshi...where are the cheerleaders?"

With that little introduction, the students wrote down three other students in class they’d like to get to know a little better. The plan is, over the next few weeks, to create opportunities to sit next to, work with, and perhaps even plan some out of school play time with these new people.

"Hey, how'd you score better seats?"
"Monty! Don't move!!!"

While I think this is admirable, it made me realize how many really good friends I have — human and canine. Being a dog dog walker means I get to expand my zone of friendships all the time welcoming in new dogs with every new client. True, we haven’t taken on too many new clients of late, but I have no doubt that once the school year is over, we’ll sign on some new dog friends and I’ll have the opportunity to expand my circle of friends.

Still, the whole friendship discussion this morning, spending the day playing with my friends today, and then having my best and oldest friend support me in my stressful visit to the vet clinic got me thinking about the importance of old friends as well as new ones. Monty made me feel a whole later better this afternoon and I know that that’s not only a testament to friendship, but a it’s also a testament to the affable quality of Monty…or, as we like to call him, Uncle Monty. Everyone loves him and he, in turn, loves everyone and everything.

A newer friend on my shoulder!
Playing with the younger set!
Everybody's Uncle Monty!

For instance, when the vet tech met him today, he nuzzled her hand out of her pocket (where there were treats) and then gave his goofiest, friendliest look. The vet tech laughed and turned to me and said, “I can see why you such a friendly guy around, Rubin.” It’s true. Monty makes every moment special and frankly, that’s what good friends do whether they be newly met or long-time buddies.

Your friends always want what you've got.
The old man still has the moves!
Yeah, I know Saber is figuring out if he can fit through my legs to get to the ball. Fat chance, buddy!
I might be a bit under the weather, but friends can sure make me feel better!

I didn’t talk much about today, but hopefully the photos and the captions explain it all!

Until tomorrow,


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