Who needs a security system when you have Poodles! Meet Josie & Dee Dee, the best little security system kibble can buy. They are loudly protecting their front porch and prove a very important point. It is not the size of the dog in the fight, it is the size of the fight in the dog. These little ladies do not think about how big they are, they think about being loud and protecting the important place they love. They may be small and easy to pick up, yet they get the job done. The whole scenario changes once you approach them, when you pet them they turn into mush!!! But they are still out there protecting their domicile the best way they know how.
I have to admire these little girls, they were loud and fierce for about ten seconds…then they became our best friends. They knew their job and responsibility was to protect and serve as an alarm for their Mom. Their instincts told them how to do it, how loud to bark, and how to jump around enough to prevent us from climbing the steps. They melted once we said hello, and they licked us within an inch of our lives, but for about ten seconds they were fierce.
These two remind me that no matter your size, age, or what people think of you, give it your all. Do what you know how to do with everything you have. If you are good at being loud, then be loud. If you are good at standing your ground, then stand your ground with passion and gusto. If you are experienced in working with a partner, then work it together every step of the way. Bring your best game everyday with all it’s force and every ounce of energy you have inside, even if on the outside you are a toy poodle protecting porch steps. Because again…it is not the size of the dog in the fight, it is the size of the fight in the dog. Never let your own estimation or your own negative thoughts prevent you from being you with gusto. Even a barking toy poodle can keep people off the steps for a period of time.
Meet Houdini or as we know her Holly. She is my brother’s dog who visited us over Memorial Day Weekend. We were out and about when my sister-in-law received this photo via text message. That’s our gal, but that is not our yard or sidewalk. Holly had pulled a Houdini and escaped from our house. Her mode of escape was the cat door, which she must have crammed herself through to get free. So she smiled for the camera and our neighbor that found her roaming on her sidewalk took her back to our house and let her back inside. We were thankful for good neighbors, ID tags, and text messaging. Technology and good people saved the day!
We live in rural Georgia, and know our neighbors by name. We also know our mail delivery woman by name, our garbage man by name, and the guy who runs the feed store. In this area people care for each other, watch out for each other, support each other through good and bad times. When someone gets hurt, we bring food and pray. When someone accomplishes something, we cheer them on. When death comes too quickly or as a final friend, we mourn together and celebrate the life we all have cherished. We are not up in each other’s business, we simply serve as good neighbors.
Tonight we were walking and the neighbor who found Holly was on her front porch. We stopped and talked about the story. She told us her side and we shared ours. We thanked her for being a good neighbor, and we laughed at Houdini Holly. We had fun trying to imagine how the dog got from our house to theirs, and her Dad began telling us stories of when he was growing up…about what it was like when he was eight years old and none of what is here now existed. We shared our upcoming adventures and they provided some good tips for making our activity go smoothly. It was good to see them both and share our worlds, if only for a moment.
That’s what neighbors do, they share a common space called a community. We may be spread out, yet we pitch in when needed. We watch each other’s houses and occasionally take the escaped dog home to safety. We share joy as the kids grow up and we marvel at the way things used to be. Being a good neighbor is a responsiblity and a blessing. One day your pet my need asssistance and a good neighbor could save the day. Be the neighbor you want others to be to you, the payback is worth it.
In too many areas of life we try to put people into categories in order to understand them. Democrats and Republicans, Cubs Fans or White Sox Fans, Nature Lovers or City Dwellers. The challenge with these one or the other categorizations is that they limit people to either or. It is assumed that people cannot be both, or at least relate to both. Which if you know many people is not really true. Most people can see both sides, depending upon the category, and can understand at least the other person’s point of view.
In our house we love both dogs and cats. My husband and I both grew up with pets, we currently have cats and hope to get puppies later this year. Most people think dogs and cats will not get along. I have seen them behave as frolicking friends, cuddle buddies and even protect each other when necessary. It all depends upon how they were raised. It doesn’t have to be an either or, it can be both.
We all grow up with preferences and beliefs. We learn them from our parents, teachers, coaches, troop leaders and may not remember as adults where we learned what we currently believe. We have thought this way for so long that we can’t remember not thinking this way. Our thought process has become our way of life. I also know that everyone has the capacity to change the way they think, if they want to change. It’s not that we can’t, it usually boils down to the fact that we won’t. Our way is right and the other way is wrong. We are comfortable with our world, it provides a way to categorize the rest of the world. And if people choose to be in the other category, it only confirms our beliefs about them.
If you have ever been put in a category by someone, either because they assumed or thought they knew you, you remember how limiting it felt. Your ideas, preferences, choices and identity were boiled down to fit into a categorical box. None of us can be defined by simply one word, one category, or one thought process. People are too dynamic to be defined by a single category. Be careful, if you put people in boxes they will eventually resist and exercise their right to be themselves. So whether you like cats or dogs or both, or maybe even neither…feel free to think and believe as you choose. Who is to say which way is right?