Our dog Jade came into our life from a rescue organization about eight months ago. She is a German Shepherd with the typical long, lean body and stern gaze. Her bark makes her sound like she could rip you to shreds, and maybe she could, but she doesn’t know it. Apparently Jade was abused terribly in her first few months, and as a result is afraid of ….well, life. If it moves, it’s a threat and her response is to flee.
When we adopted Jade we had an old yellow Lab who was very sociable and she helped Jade navigate through the day, but we were warned that the German Shepherd would always need a friend. We decided to cross that bridge when we came to it. Last month we hit the bridge. Gracie died a very quick death and left us with a confused, mournful, broken dog. She was worse than when we had first gotten her, content only when she was hiding in her kennel, away from the world.
We waited several weeks so that our family could mourn the loss of our 10 year old lab, and then we began putting feelers out for a companion for Jade. The same organization that brought us our German Shepherd contacted us, they had found the perfect playmate. Last week Crosby came to live with us. He is young and smart and has never met a stranger. Within minutes of them meeting, the two dogs began playing together, and I don’t think they have stopped yet.
Crosby brings an ease to the relationship, eager for interaction and willing to play; Jade brings discipline and a need for structure. Together, they are the perfect dog. This process has reminded me that we are all made to be in relationship, needing someone else. Whatever our strengths are, they only matter when paired with another’s weaknesses.
I can be lulled into thinking that I can do things myself, I don’t need the help of friends or the shelter of my guy, but that isn’t true. Like my dog, I need someone who pulls me out of my comfort zone and shows me that there is more to this world than I would believe by myself. Life is so much more interesting when it is shared with another.