Tuesday, March 24, 2009

People With Fur

Please do not misunderstand me. I love cats. But dogs have a certain mythos. They have that "man's best friend" and "a boy and his dog" thing going for them. I was out the other day driving down one of the many country roads near Iron Acres, and caught a glimpse of something. In the middle of a driveway was a truck with tools and lumber, a makeshift cutting platform, and a carpenter hard at work. Laying near the platform was a dog. That picture touched something warm and fuzzy inside me.

Why? If it had been a cat it would have been an altogether different feeling. What is it about dogs?

We had a succession of them when I was growing up. The most memorable was a Chihuahua named Teensy. And she was. My first real experience with grief was the day 13 years later that she died. That little mutt really became a part of our family.

Our freecycle dog Misty is the current Iron Acres dog. She is smart, a little attention deficit, and all nose.

all nose

Misty can go for an hour walk and her nose never leave the ground. When she first came here, she was a year old, and not at all socialized to people or dogs. She was in her own world. My friend, the farmer with 12 plus dogs, assured me that all Misty needed was some attention and a good old dog to teach her the ropes. My farmer friend was right. After only a month, Beau taught Misty not only how to go for a walk with another dog, but also to be friendly. Beau led by example and patience.


He's a good old soul.


Now Misty has a new friend, Toby. We went for our first walk together today. Toby is cute, furry, and friendly, but not quite ready for the freedom Misty enjoys.

misty park

I believe we are all a bit like Misty and Toby. We need someone older and wiser to mentor us in life's journey. Someone to show us how to act around others, how to get along. Whether it be a parent, a teacher, or a good friend, we all need someone to look up to, someone to represent for us the kind of person we want to grow up to be, a model of what a responsible human being looks like.

A wise person once said we need three types of people in our lives: those older and wiser to give us counsel, those in the same life situation to give comfort, and someone younger to mentor.

Perhaps Beau, Misty, and Toby are just people with fur.