I loved my Labrador, Bella, to the ends of the universe and back, and she helped in so many ways. She stayed faithfully by my side through my brother’s death, my divorce, my sister’s death, and she was my closest companion when I left a life-long dream and found myself wondering who I was and what I was going to do with my life. Yet, as much as she helped me on her own, another part of her healing magic was her role as a bridge to other people. I love travelling to new places, talking with and meeting new people; it’s a favourite part of life for me. However, it can be hard to approach new people in this modern world of individualism.
We are often so locked into our own worlds, our own jobs, our own missions that we can’t be distracted from. Yet, we can all make time to stop and pet a smiling Labrador or watch a Border Collie do a trick. Then, we can meet the human who belongs to the dog and share our stories, share our commonalities, talk about life, love, and loss. Once we’ve dropped our guards to allow those conversations to flow smoothly and without fear of embarrassment, then we are able to see each other for who we truly are. If that’s someone that is a bit broken and in need of mending, that’s okay. Once you talk to enough people, you find that you’re not alone in the struggle. In fact, you may just be surprised to learn just how many people are in the same boat as you, all rowing in different directions trying to get out of the ocean. When we see that we are in it together, that we are all on this blue and green speck trying to make sense of this ever-changing world, then we can take a breath, band together, and start rowing in unison, toward our true north.
So, don’t be afraid to get outside, take your dog, meet other people, let them pet your dog, learn their stories, and tell them yours. You may just make a friend that you didn’t even know you needed.