Friend Rules

My dog Zoey and I were out on a walk two months ago on a spring-like day. We saw three geese dosing on a landscaped section of grass in a Fort Collins office plaza. We barreled off the sidewalk and headed toward the geese with me restraining my 8.6-pound daschund as she chased her new friends. They fluttered their wings and waddled a few feet away.

Zoey walked faster, and I pulled harder, trying to keep her far enough away from the wild creatures. I didnít know if they would snap their beaks or squabble, teaching her that not everyone, animal and human alike, is eager for friendship.

In repetitive fashion, Zoey pulled and the geese hopped away, but after a few times of this, ìthe potential friendsî gave up their comfortable grass and flew halfway across the parking lot we had just reached. Zoey kept trying, and to me, it felt like she was saying, ìBut they can be my friends.î

The same goes with the feral cat hiding under a shed at my fatherís house. Every time Zoey goes out in the yard when we visit, the first place she runs is to the shed. ìIs the cat there?î she seems to ask. ìI know there is a friend somewhere in there,î she says.

Zoey reminds me of myself as a child, wanting friends and not knowing the difference between those who could be mean and the genuine kind ones who can love you for who you are.

For me, it took a lot of hurts and taunts and whatever else girls do to each other before I realized that friends are hard to find. You canít look for them underneath a shed or in the grass or in the air. Or maybe you can. Maybe Zoey knows more than me about friendship with her happy hope that everyone loves her, if not now, soon once they see how cute she is and what a good girl she can be, only if.

3 Responses to “Friend Rules”

  1. says:

    I love and admire Zoe's Happy Hope. If only more of the world was such...thanks for sharing.

  2. Helen Colella says:

    We should all be so optimistic!

  3. Fay Ulanoff says:

    How cute is that?

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