By Susan Govern
One day several months ago I was on Facebook and came across a quote someone had posted about friends. It made me laugh but I also realized how much truth there was to it. I have no idea who the originator of it is, but here’s the quote – “Friends come and go, like the waves of the ocean, but the true ones stick, like an Octopus on your face.”
I suggest you do what I did, think about the friend you’ve known the longest, now picture that person as a cartoon octopus stuck to your face. I think you can see why it made me laugh. The truth part also becomes pretty obvious.
Everyone has had throughout their lifetime people they consider friends, but circumstances and life changes may make those friendships short-lived. Other friendships can stand the test of time – they last through moves, job changes, marriages (or divorces), children, and even illness.
In my life I have been blessed with knowing a good number of people I call “friend” and luckier still that so many are still a part of my life. They have been there in good times and bad, and I have been there for them as well. To me, these long-time friends are simply part of my extended family.
That brings me to another quote (one I also read on Facebook) that says “Friendship isn’t about whom you’ve known the longest, it’s about who came and never left your side.”
These sayings prompted me one day to Google friendship quotes and I was surprised by all the profound, sentimental and even hilarious sayings that have been written about friends. One thought kept nagging at me in the back of my mind as I enjoyed reading them – each saying could be true about human friendships as well as friendships we have with our pets.
Lucky me, I’ve had pets in my life growing up and as an adult. Many of my human friends have had pets or have them now and by pure observation of their interactions, I can say many pets meet the qualifications we associate with friends.
We can confide in them and trust they won’t give away our secrets. We find comfort from being in their company when we are sad or troubled. We share good times and often they will make us laugh with how they act. Human or not – these are the things I treasure about my friends and perhaps you feel the same way about yours.
Think back to the first quote – the one about the octopus. Anyone who has a cat as a pet can probably relate. I’ve got friends who say they wake up to their cat asleep on their head in the morning. A few have posted pictures of their pet cat or kitten curled up on a shoulder watching t.v. with them.
Or how about dogs that no matter how big they may be they just have to sit in your lap because they want to be close to their human friend. And just try eating a snack that they want you to share – they will find a way to be right up in your face, sometimes in the most comical way.
I raised a collie from a pup to the old age of 12 and a half. I didn’t have him in my life that long, but he was my friend during my teen years to becoming a married woman. Then as an adult with teenagers of my own, we rescued a two-year-old dog and she was our friend for 11 years.
These pets in my life lifted me up on bad days and they made me laugh with their puppy-dog silliness. I didn’t feel lonely when they were around, and I also felt safe.
With my human friends and my non-human ones, I have lived the second quote – it isn’t about whom you’ve known the longest, but about who stays by your side. I’ve lost count about all the good things my friends have done for me over the time I’ve known them and it’s not about keeping score anyway. Old friends, new friends and friends not yet met should be counted as gifts.
I’m leaving you with one last quote to think about. Again, I have no idea who originated it, but I think it carries a good deal of wisdom.
“It’s the friends we meet along the way that help us appreciate the journey.”