Thursday, September 22, 2005

Loving Well

Our "kids" love people; it's a standard trait in Labradors and one for which I'm thankful. When we return home, whether we've been gone five minutes, five hours, or five days, they greet us with the same unbridled enthusiasm (check out the kangaroo effect, especially with Elsie, in photo on left).

But Baxter, Ridge, and Elsie don't just greet us well; they come alongside us well as faithful companions. Their intuition in this regard amazes me. They seem to know the difference between jumping-off-the-ground-over-the-top-boisterous affection and quiet-sit-by-your-side faithfulness. They "know" when we want to be bowled over with sloppy kisses or when we need them to just rest their heads upon our knees. Oh sure, they can work and train and play and romp and wrassle with the best of them, but they also know when to show restraint. I'm not sure how they know, but they do.

I wish people were more like Labs. I wish we were more intuitive and more willing to do what we're called upon to do for those around us. I wish we could better "read" each others' moods, to know when to play, when to work, and when to just sit quietly with each other. I wish I were more like a Lab: I think I'd be a better wife, mom, sister, daughter, friend, and co-laborer for it.

But since I'm not a Lab, maybe I can learn from them. Like my canine kids, I can to learn to pay attention. I can make the effort to read others well, to take my eyes off my agenda, desires, and responsibilities long enough to sense another's need. And then I can learn to respond more appropriately: to play when it's time to play, to work when it's time to work, and come alongside and sit quietly when a loved needs companionship (not counsel or action).

I can learn to offer what another needs. It make take training and self-sacrifice, but I can learn.

I suppose it's something we all could do more of.

'Til next time,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My coon hound lived on her own part of the time as a puppy. She is leary of other dogs and thinks they are out to seize her items. We greeted 2 labs once while walking the neighborhood. I held her muzzle and told her they were "nice". Her eyes were rolling all around. But ALL these labs wanted to do was greet and smell. She learned other dogs can be super friendly and now she greets them better. YEA, labs!!!!