Friday, September 26, 2014

The Loyal Few

I was blessed last year by a family in Southern Missouri. They gifted me a beautiful dog. He is half Pyrenese and half Labrador. Now 110 pounds ago, he was the cutest puppy in the world. Now he is a large, protective, supportive part of our family. The kids named him Carbon. We love him.

I had been told years ago that a companion dog would come in handy. The therapist said that Labs and Golden Retrievers made great dogs for therapy and support. So I decided one day I would invest in one. However after a brief conversation via Facebook a very nice family told me they had a 10 pound puppy that would grow to be just right for what I needed. I was so excited.

Carbon is still a puppy even at his size. So he still acts very playful and very rambunctious. He knocks things over, He bombards his way through every room he wants to cuddle and play constantly. But what I have noticed is that Carbon is loyal without a doubt. My weakest side of my body is my left. You will find him on my left side most of the time. Just in case I need him, he is there.

He is still learning commands and understanding what is expected of him but he is a fast learner.I watch Carbon and I will admit that I am in awe of his loyalty. Even in a house with as many people as ours he pretty much has decided that he will protect us all, but he will never leave my side. He makes himself constantly AVAILABLE to me.

I have struggled a great deal lately trying to sift through my relationships with people. I think that is what makes me pay such close attention to the dog. He loves us so unconditionally and has decided that we belong to him in a way that he would do whatever to defend us. I look at my relationships with my friends and my enemies and I watch for that key that leads to my loyalty to them or theirs to me.In some cases that key was never present. Some were readily available but never loyal.

We deal with so many relationships and personalities in our lives that it is almost like juggling to keep everyone in their proper place. However there are a set few in our life that never waiver or move. We can depend on them to be honest and loyal and they can depend on us. We see these relationships as rock solid. Then there is the group that we probably could call on but their is enough doubt that they may not show up that we hesitate to call.

I have unfortunately found myself in the position lately where my rock solid group has began to become less and less solid. Now remember I am the person that will do every thing that I can before I bother someone else. I recently started having seizures so I have become more dependent on other people. I was sad at first. It was like more and more of that independence that I felt was the seed of my existence was shrinking away.

People will stand n your face 100 times a day and tell you 100 times a day that they will always be there if you need them. What they won't say is, "I hope you don't need me." It has very little to do with whether they love you or not and everything to do with the fact that we as humans do not want to be be depended upon for fear it will become expected. Or it will come to often.

I have a friend that is very sick with Lupus and Fibromyalgia. She has 4 kids and an ex husband that comes around sometimes. She also has two grandkids that are old enough to drive. She never has a ride to a doctor's appointment, ever. I use to take her sometimes before I started having to deal with my own health issues. Her sons usually are to busy or their wives say that they are. Her daughters just do not have time between boyfriends and social lives to run their mother around. She has two other friends besides me that she says were always around before she became disabled. They don't always answer their phone and sometimes one of them will honestly say, "I just cannot do  it today."

I spoke with her last night and we talked about the commitment of being loyal and trustworthy and dependable. I told her that I myself find it overwhelming for someone other than my children to depend on me to take them places or pick them up or feed them or look after them. I have anxiety over it at times. Not because I don't want to but because I am afraid that I will let them down or that I will be unavailable the one day that they do need me. That has nothing to do with my loyalty or my dependability.

Loyalty is defined in Webster's as  faithful to a private person to whom fidelity is due. I immediately being a spiritual person see the word faithful and think of my relationship with God. Sometimes it is quite lopsided. So is my relationship with some people. There are some that will stand and tell you that I have always been there for them. Then there are a few that will say I was not always available. The truth is depending on the time, the situation,, the need and the place I am in personally I may or may not have been as available as I cold have been.

I do not judge my friends by their availability because some of them live in different cities.  They have families and jobs and lives! Sometimes I need something done today and they are not available until tomorrow. When I look at whether my friends and family are loyal to me I always think of how they speak of me not what they do for me. We need to understand that we all over extend ourselves everyday and even if we could do all that we wanted for everyone we wanted to,...when would we have time for ourselves?

Yeah my dog Carbon, is like many dogs. He probably will stand next to me until the day I die. However, I would hope that he would run off to save one of my children if he saw they needed help. That does not change his loyalty to me. It changes his priority. It is my prayer that everyone reading this has a loyal few that they can call on 24 hours a day for whatever they need. But if you are one of the many that do not have that few, it probably has very little to do with you and everything to do with the fact that people usually promise before they process.

It takes a lot to "be there" when we are needed sometimes. So think availability before loyalty.The two are not the same .



  1. Val, as usual your eloquence astounds me. You have been able to clearly articulate something that I (as well as many others) certainly know to be true, but in no way could I have ever stated it so clearly.

    I know how frustrating it must be for you, who has always been "there" for other people to no longer be available because you need to concentrate on your own health and well-being. I hope that you will always have someone available to you that will be able to provide the assistance that you need, when you need it!

    I am sad to hear about the seizures, but incredibly happy to learn that Carbon (perfect name for that handsome dog) has joined your family and has instinctively realized what you, above all others, require!

  2. Connie my friend!!!!!
    Thank you so much. I love my big puppy. And I have had to make so many adjustments but I know that the only way to not win, is to quit. I love you and thank you so much for reading!!!