I’m there to help them wake up in the morning. I’m there to keep them company in the bathroom while they ready for the day. I’m there to (albeit grudgingly) see them off to that place called work. And so it begins. The daily routine many of us canines with working parents adjust to over time. It may seem mundane to those without dogs, but I would argue our job as canine housekeeper is incredibly important.
It reminds me a bit of one of those people conversations that I occasionally overhear. My sensitive senses are finely tuned to human emotion, so I can usually tell something is going on with person one before person two knows to ask what’s wrong. And when person two does ask, I can’t say I condone the way the conversation unfolds. “I’m here for you,” person two says to person one, who is generally comforted by the statement.
My issue is not with the statement itself, but in its aftermath. What does it mean to “be there” for someone anyway? As observers of people, we all know not all of our best intentions come to fruition. We also know that being with a person physically doesn’t always mean you’re with them mentally, emotionally, spiritually or in whatever way they need you in that particular moment. Being “there” sounds to me like a mighty tall emotional promise that shouldn’t really be made if it isn’t sincere.
But I also know being there, sincerely and honestly being there, is also one of the most priceless gifts we can give a person. And sometimes it is actually as easy as sitting with a person in complete silence. Or offering them a hug. Or, in a dog’s life, giving them a big sloppy slobbery (albeit unwelcome) kiss. Or nudging into the tiniest little space on the couch for a cuddle session.
“True friendship isn’t about being there when it’s convenient,” suggested Dutch-born Catholic priest Henri Nouwen, “it’s about being there when it it’s not.” Being there, sincerely and honestly being there, is arguably one of the best things I can think of about being a dog. It’s amongst our reasons for living, and helps define our purpose in life.
And so the days draw to an end. I’m there to greet my people when they return from the place called work. I’m there to make sure we get our playtime after dinner. I’m there to cuddle them to sleep at night. And as I drift to sleep I give thanks for the peace in my heart that tells me now — and always — I’ll be there.
This post is dedicated to my dear friend HuntMode, who shared with me a gem of a video today I’d like to share with you.
What a pawsome video Wiley! You truly know what it means to be there! Woooowoooooo, Ku
As do you, dear friend! Lots of love to you and the fam!
I love Henri Nouwen. A Jesuit priest, intellectual +, spent years living in a Christian L’Arche community in Toronto, Canada when he had a melt down. living in coummunity with mentally challenged adults changed his spirituality radically.
I love comeback stories like his…second, third, fourth chances….they are real!
Wyles! All I can say is the closest I can get to being able to thank you in your language: So, I’m going to gift you again – there’s an Al Jareau song that goes with this post – “I will be here for you…” (it was my wedding song – there’s a story there! of waiting seven long years to dance to it) – here’s the youtube link:
This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing and yet again bringing your sunshine into my day. 😉
The video is pure awesome 🙂
Pure pawsome, some might say! 🙂
Aww…I love this video, Wiley! Definitely pure pawsome and the snuggling part really got to me! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
I know – I love snuggles! 🙂
Reblogged this on Wiley's Wisdom and commented:
What does “I’m here for you” mean to you?