A few years ago right after I turned 50 a friend of mine said,
” Me and you are like a couple of ugly mutts, we’re not like ( hey, no names here ) she’s like a show dog. Not us though. WE are mutts. The kinds that don’t get forever homes”
At the time my so called friend knew I was being treated for severe depression and that I was actually working my way through it. I was taking care of my health. I thought I was actually starting to look a little attractive.
” You know what else?”
I saw my anti-depressants and therapy waving to me from the curb as I was sped away by the crazy talk on wheels my friend was spewing.
I said no. What I wanted to say was shut the hell up you nutter, but I didn’t.
” Now that you’re fifty you can say goodbye to getting a nice seat at restaurants unless you’re with a man. You’re in the invisible club now. ”
She did say that I was a ‘ Crone ‘ now and that I should embrace that. I should let my hair go gray and that I should hang out with other Crones too. Oh and when menopause hit, my life was going to be hell.
By the time she shut her Pie Hole I had pretty much decided to never speak to this person again ( which took a couple of months ).
Me Just After I Turned 50 Four Years Ago.
So why did I tolerate this bitter, selfish, clueless person in my life for another few months? Oh who knows. It wasn’t a single thing I can point to. But then she truly crossed a line and poof- she was gone.
She insulted my dog.
I had just got a puppy and one day she out of the blue said that my puppy wasn’t like her friend’s Lab who was very ” Zen ” and relaxed. We were with another person who apparently knew this ” Zen” dog and she looked as surprised as hell to her it called a Zen and relaxed dog.
Later out of the blue she made it clear that my dog was NEVER allowed in her car.
I was confused because I didn’t realize that there were any plans for my pup to be in her car. In fact, the few times Hamish had seen her it was painfully obvious that Hamish didn’t like her.
When she showed up at the house or we saw her on the street he’d pull at his leash and want to get away. He didn’t want her to pet him and when she said his name and tried to get his attention he’d snap his head to the side and look for a bug to eat.
Hamish has two people on his S*&@ list and she was the first one.
When I got Hamish a lot of things changed for me- I got a grip better grip on my depression. I started to get out and socialize more. My self confidence and over all health improved.
My attitude about life changed for the better.
It took me a few years after that to figure out why she hated my dog so much.
Hamish was vibrant and alive. He made me laugh. He made other people laugh. He was fun and goofy. He ate cat poop if he could find it and if you leaned over to tell him he was a sweet little puppy he’d stick his tongue in your ear.
Hamish was no where near giving up on life, he was a Puppy and the world was his Oyster-or Kong Toy.
Every day was a new adventure for Hamish. He wakes up wagging his tail- he started that when he was 12 weeks old and now at almost four he STILL does that.
His zest for life rubbed off on me.
Hamish was the reason this termagant was going to be one friend short on her road to Dullsville. That’s why she hated him. She saw what he represented and she couldn’t tolerate it.
Photo of Hamish Macbeth by A.M. Moscoso
So my dog is a Purebred Chocolate Labrador Retriever with an impressive bloodline and he’s registered with the AKC.
I was a cur who was running in bad company and he bumped over to another path. He didn’t pull or push or hound me. He sort of said, “Hey, wow…look at this!”
That’s what friends do when they see you falter. They give you that little nudge to help you get on your way. They don’t break your legs so you end up stranded with them on the side of the road where you spend the rest of your life hating people who get to keep exploring our imperfect yet morbidly amusing world.
The next time you feel yourself starting to stall remember Hamish- when you’re feeling threatened eat a bug, chase away the monsters and whatever you do-never get up in the morning without wagging your tail.
So friendly in fact that if you are renting one of those run around bikes you can dump it in a handicapped parking spot in a private parking lot and your friends can jam their bikes so close to the handicapped spot that there is no way anyone could use the passenger doors to let anyone out of the car or van without a care in your head because
YOU ARE DOING YOUR PART TO SAVE THE WORLD…
no matter how many people with mobility issues that you have to screw over to do it.
Once upon a time my Dad’s Mother looked at me and said, ” not everyone can be pretty or beautiful. ”
My cousin who was sitting next to her was pale and blond and from what I understood- a beautiful child.
I had dark hair, dark skin. I was refrered to at times by her as ” sallow” and slow.
“You should work on a talent.”
I decided to take my Grandmother’s advice and I decided to sing.
I learned songs from the radio, I learned all of the songs I heard my family sing. I even made up my own songs. I asked for my own record player and went to church with my friend so I could sing in the Children’s Choir.
One day I decided to sing a few songs for my Grandmother and she sat there until I was done and then she smiled and then she laughed and then she said,
” Maybe you should work on your personality.”
I was seven years old at the time.
I didn’t know what ” personality” was but I was sure I probably didn’t have that either.