Degrees of Friendship

The rain and drizzle have finally stopped and we were able to get out to our beloved dog park the past three days.  Ah, to be outside unencumbered by a leash, just free to run around with my canine comrades is pure joy!  I saw a couple of old friends today and made acquaintances with some new chaps.

dogpark friends

When we returned home mama received a call from an old golfing buddy, Driver, and put him on speaker phone.  You see, I love his boisterous voice and nearly unrecognizable English (is he really speaking English?) through his thick South African accent.  I especially love Driver’s nickname for mama and the way he pronounces it; Chopper.  Or, as Driver would say, “Choppa!!”.  Since they are golfing chums you can imagine what that nickname says about mama’s golf game!

Do you remember that old childhood song that goes “make old friends but keep the old… one is silver and the other gold..”?  That little ditty popped into my head today as I was playing with new and old friends and listening to mama chat it up with her longtime sports sidekick and I’ve been thinking about friendship all day.

I think for all of us beings, dogs and humans, we have derived different categories for our friends.  Some folks are just to have fun with… you know what I mean.  Those friends who will run around the park and are good for a quick outing and maybe a giggle.  There may not be a lot of depth to these friendships, but they are still important part of my social circle.  These are my activity allies.

There are those transient friends who float in and out of our lives, but always with meaning.  It can be months or even years since we last connected but we can ease right back into our relationship to the point when we last parted.   These are my reconnect cronies.

friends I follow...

I am immensely pleased that I have a blogger-buddy group who, through the wonders of wireless and virtual worlds, have been great supporters and inspiration to mama and I.  Fearless and open wordsmiths who share their worlds with me and participate in mine.  These friends are my internet inspiration and have transferred into “real life” friends as well.  My internet intimates are deeply treasured and they include Laine Dakin, Judy Stone-Goldman, Louise Edington, Brandy Mychals, Franziska San Pedro, Darcie Newton, Donna McCord, Bruce Barone, Steve and Renee Ludwigs, Jen DucheneCandace Davenport & Julia Lindsay and Fiona Stoltz, to name just a few.

And then we have the tier-one group of friends, which for most pups and peeps is a short list.  These continually concerned comrades are few and far between but their worth is priceless.  To be a highest tier friend requires tolerance and acceptance.  It’s easy to be with our friends when they are happy and upbeat, only shining their brightest selves.  But it takes a committed confidante to stick around when our darker sides emerge and to understand that we all have a shadow side that very few are privy to view.

It takes a vast amount of trust to let others see you for exactly who you are, and many will shy away from controversy or darker subjects and affectations.  This is why the tier-one list will be quite short for most of us.

best friends - wilbur, the Z's and mama

During my recent attack ordeal, a number of friends drifted away as they could not handle seeing their bubbly buddy feeling frustrated and angry.  I suppose some folks would rather have a one-dimensional acquaintance than a fully-feeling friend, and that’s ok, but those relationships will always be superficial.

I long for greater depths in my interactions and hold dearest and most treasured my friends who can readily accept both my upbeat and upset emotions.  I love and appreciate all my friends, in whatever form or category, but it is those tier-one individuals who have my greatest respect, love and appreciation.