BEfriend #3: Cats, Dogs and Squirrels

Dec 17th 2009

This one isn’t necessarily profound or deep — but it is about being a friend.

There was a father, who was trying to soften the blow of the death of the family cat — especially for his daughter.  He took her in his arms and said,cat “Dear don’t be sad, Tabby is in heaven now.”  The little girl looked at her father with a “what-are-you-taking-about look on her face.  “Daddy,” she asked finally, “What in the world did God want with a dead cat?”

Sometimes when it comes to being a good friend, I feel a bit like a dead cat.  What does a dead cat have to offer anyone?

Now equal time for dog lovers.  Some time ago, a newspaper in Tacoma, Washington, carried the story of Tattoo, the basset hound.  If you can put yourself in Tatoo’s place…(not the doghouse) Tatoo was in his master’s good graces, as the lease was put around his neck, Tattoo could barely contain his enthusiasm.  He was going for a walk.  His walk…ended up being a run.  Tattoo hadn’t signed up for a run, but when his owner shut his leash in the car door and took off with Tattoo still outside the vehicle, he had no choice.   Motorcycle officer Terry Filbert was the next person to see Tatoo.  He noticed a passing vehicle with something that appeared to be dragging behind it. As he passed the vehicle, he saw the object was a basset hound on a leash.  “He was picking them up and putting them down as fast as he could,” said Filbert.  BassettHoundBandit2YearsHe chased the car to a stop and Tattoo was rescued, but not before the dog reached a speed of 20-25 mph and rolled over several times.  (The dog was fine but wasn’t interested in evening walks for a long time.)

Sometimes when it comes to being a good friend, I feel like Tattoo the basset hound.  I’m picking-em up and putting-em down just as fast as I can, but I just can’t keep up.

Then there’s the squirrel.  I’ve been watching a lot of squirrels this fall/winter.  This year there was an excellent nut harvest so the squirrels have been going nuts.  You know if you think about it, squirrels have to be one of the most persistent animals in creation.

Once Lynn watch a squirrel take a nut all the way up a tree, out on a branch…and then dropped the nut.  It didn’t even seem to faze the squirrel — back down the tree, get the same exact nut and start back up the tree — persistence.

Think about this, squirrels are so good at persistence that they have birthed a whole anti-squirrel industry.  But I have news for you “squirrel-proof” bird feeders don’t offer long term proof.  They keep working it, and working it, trying this, trying that, until persistence wins the day and the bird food becomes squirrel food.

They aren’t rocket scientists, not even good engineers.  They just don’t give up.  they use all their squirrely qualities to get the prize.  squirrelThey dig in with their toes. They balance on edges and use their tails as anchors.  With single minded-purpose, their minds are on the prize — nuts.

When it comes to friends, we all need a squirrel or two in our lives.  Someone who is persistently on our side.  Someone who will not give up hope even when it seems like you’ve lost the battle.  Someone who persistently calls you back to what’s good.  Someone who will use everything they have to help you, because they think you are worth their efforts.

So who are the squirrels in your life?  Who in your life, might need you be their squirrel?  When it comes to the power of a friend — N(ever) U(nderestimate) T(he) S(quirrels).   Sorry, couldn’t resist.  :)