Saying goodbye to a loyal companion of 15 years...that was something I never was prepared for. Java, my perfect childhood chocolate lab was going to live forever. And by perfect I mean ate everything in sight, pawed the door to get let in and out every hour, had the occasional accident in the house, ran away, stole the neighbors garbage and so much more. She came from a beautiful, award winning, champion pure Labrador family, but naturally we picked the runt of the family (she was the cutest, just saying)..obviously the mischievous one. I'm sure many of you had a childhood dog that was just right and no other pet can truly live up to those expectations.
Looking back, she was truly my best friend.
“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive.” - Gilda Radner.
Friendships come and go, and more often than not the older we get the more friendships disintegrate. From the ages 0-30 we change so much as individuals hopefully all for the better. We are always evolving into better versions of ourselves every day. you may be one of the lucky ones who has that childhood friend that has always been your go to person, but not all of us have that privilege. Some of us are lucky to have a sibling that is always our go to person, like I am blessed with. We go through so many changes in those crucial evolving years of our lives that our 'best friend' can change about as quick as a hangry girl can change her mood when her boyfriend brings back pizza. In an ever changing world of friendships, There was 1 common denominator over those 15 years. Java. She always wanted to be my friend, listen and love me no matter the circumstances.
It is surprising how a dog could teach us so much about friendship...I never realized how fortunate I was to grow up with a dog, and certainly never thought I would learn something so valuable from that stinky, rascal of a dog.
There are givers and takers in this world, wise words from my mother. Some of us may not like to admit it, but moms know a lot, a lot more than we give credit for sometimes. This goes for all relationships; they should not be circumstantial, based on what you can receive from that person, taken for granted, or replaceable. In my ladder years I have retained some pretty incredible 'human' friends, but it took a lot of learning the hard way. I am blessed to have the people in my life that I do now. And I have surrounded myself with fellow givers which has made a world a difference. Java really taught me what it was like to be a true giver. Although, I work hard to be selfless just as my precious childhood dog was, I remain far from true selflessness.
I challenge you to be more like a dog, a giver in a world that is saturated with takers.
As I reminisce about my 'dog' best friend, I will certainly never forget the lessons she instilled in me. Never take people for granted you may wake up one day and they could be gone. Always treat others how you want to be treated. Not everyone is going to like you, and you are not going to like everyone...but you can always be nice. Never expect, and you will never be disappointed. Show excitement and enthusiasm, even when you may be having a bad day. Always give without expecting anything in return.
Sometimes we don't know what we have until it's gone, for good.
“The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.” - M.K. Clinton
Your Girl Next Door and So Much More,