(from The Front Porch...)
As you pass us by on the road, you would think our family was bigger than it really is. A lot of times you would see Keith, I, and our dog Sadie…along with Bella and Myshka.
Bella and Myshka are our next door canine neighbors. Bella is a very friendly, high energy, playful, black lab. Myshka is a more reserved, layed back, beautiful, husky/collie mix. They are very different from one another, just like people.
Bella became our friend right off the bat. Myshka took about a year to get close to us. She would come over but not close enough for us to touch her. We let them know they were welcomed on our front porch. After about a year, Myshka decided we weren’t so bad and one day came all the way to us and let us pet her. Now we felt like we were a second family. Every time we came out to our porch, here they would come. Our own dog Sadie, part golden retriever, was skittish around them in the beginning, but over time they got to know each other and became friends. Keith always said Sadie didn’t know she was a dog, or how to be a dog, until Bella and Myshka taught her. Sadie never left the perimeters of our yard until the canine neighbors showed her the world was bigger than our yard. She discovered the woods and the tall grasses and now she comes back from romps very happy and covered in stickers. Sadie never used to like to get her paws wet, let alone her whole body. Bella loved the water and would jump into any pool of water on the side of the road or into a pond. One day while Keith and I were walking with Sadie, we came upon a pond and she dived right in. I couldn’t believe it! When a deer was hit on our road and died, Sadie learned to roll around on it getting herself very stinky with her friends, and discovered new bones to chew on. Oh brother! She was a full fledged dog now, thank you very much Bella and Myshka!
But you know what? She was just being what God created her to be, a dog. And since befriending her new neighbors, she seems to be a much happier dog.
God said it was not good for man to be alone. He knew there needed to be companionship. I think it’s the same for dogs.
Even though I now have to brush her more, pick off hundreds of stickers from her coat, bathe her more often, she is one happy dog.
We all need friends to romp around with, to learn from, to teach, to splash in the puddles with and just be ourselves. God has blessed me with many wonderful friends who have all been such a blessing. They have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly and are still around.
They have romped with me, taught me, picked off the stickers of doubt, sadness, and depression and have shown me a bigger world than what I had known. One of my dearest friends is Bella and Myshka’s human mom. She is a real treat! You will meet her next time.
I am a happier person because of my friends. I am very blessed, just like Sadie.
So if you are skittish about making new friends, to open up with someone, don’t. Jump out there in the pool of life and take a risk. Discover all the blessings you not only will receive but you yourself can be a blessing to others. Isn’t that, after all what Jesus wants us to do?
My commandment is this: Love each other as I have loved you.