Today I've been thinking a lot about friends.
Don't want to get too philosophical, but what makes a really good friend? We all have friends and a few of them are friends we would personally classify as a certified "good friend." Most of us (I believe) don't have too many really good friends.
I'm actually pretty luck to have what I feel is more than my rightful or deserved share. But what is the difference between a friend and a really good friend?
As I am thinking about it, a few thoughts come to my mind.
Devotion - a friend is a good friend when there is total devotion. Someone that would do anything at all for you . . . even if you don't ask. Even when you aren't such a great friend in return, they seem to understand and "spot you one." While they would like your devotion in return, its not a requirement for them. They just simply love you. Period.
Understanding - Sometimes you need someone who just will listen and at least appear to understand. You aren't looking for them to tell you what to do. You don't need advice (or at least you're not asking for advice!). You just need someone there. With you. Listening. Even if they might not really understand.
Love - Guess this is a lot like devotion, but somehow to me it's not quite the same thing. But a good friend loves you, and you love them in return. The love is based on faith, and some magical chemistry that just seems to happen . . . all to infrequently.
No one has the right to ask for a good friend and quite frankly good friends are, in my mind, quite rare indeed. If you are married, you spouse should qualify as a certified "good friend." After all, that's pretty much what wedding vows are are all about. Except they ask for a commitment. Not so with a good friend. That commitment is just there . . . unpromised, but there all the same.
Today, I lost a REALLY good friend. One that has been devotedly by my side for six years or so. No doubt he loved me . . . he showed me his love each and every day. I just wish I had returned the favor with equal passion. What's more, I was the one who had to decide if my friend lived or if he died.
And he needed to die. Prostrate cancer had secretly progressed and just yesterday it became clear my good friend was in pain. My vet told me this morning that Doobie had cancer and there was no hope for recovery. And clearly Doobie was in pain. So, I quickly decided to end it for him. I would want the same.
But I am left with the guilt that I wasn't as good a friend to him as he was to me. I ignored him sometimes. I took him for granted. I hope he can forgive me. But knowing Doobie . . . he already forgave me. He just wanted today's love and today's attention. Dogs are like that. But Doobie was special. I'll never forget Doob.
I love you Doobie.
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