The Beauty in Differences

Last week my husband and I got a new puppy. Our first dog, Rascal, had passed away in April after fourteen and a half years of good life. That left us with Nita, a six-year-old Pomeranian/Poodle cross, and though she did fine on her own, we wanted another companion for her (and for us!).

Our search led us to Riley, a ten-week-old Toy Australian Shepherd. She is full of energy and has the curiosity and mischief of an unruly toddler. She is constantly exploring her surroundings and chewing on squeaky toys, paper towels, and Shawn's velcro shoes.

When our friends came to town to stay the night last weekend, they brought their tall, gangly Shorthair dog, Sadie. She had been to our house before, so I wasn't worried about her temperament, but I wondered what Riley would think of her.





Despite their differences in age, size, and training, they were eager to get along almost immediately. They shared toys and Sadie's bed like they'd been friends for years. There seemed to be an innate understanding that neither of them posed a threat to the other as they proceeded to enjoy their time together.





Witnessing this interaction compelled me to draw a comparison to when I meet people for the first time. It's too easy for me to pre-judge another based on appearance, age, gender, education level, or political party. What if instead, I could hold this image of two markedly different dogs coming together without prejudice to meet and know each other better? 

What kinds of people and beauty might I invite into my life? 

What perspective and empathy might I gain in the process?

As a tribal species, it is tempting to align ourselves with like-minded people, to close ranks and exclude outsiders in the name of safety and convenience. But are those "others" truly our enemy as our ancestral instincts would have us trust? Without meeting each individual in conversation and personal story, I don't believe we are equipped to make that assessment.

Who will you meet today?

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Some doorways from this week:
  • After discussing for almost 24 hours, we finally found a name that fit our new puppy. Riley is an Irish name that means valiant or courageous. It's pretty clear that she has already earned the moniker!

  • My youngest nephews were so excited to dress up for Halloween that they've been wearing their costumes for the last month! It was a joy to go Trick-or-Treating with them to see them giggle and engage with the people around them.

  • We had to travel a couple of hours to pick up Riley, going through the town where my sister-in-law lives with her family. When we stopped by to show them the new puppy, my 12-year-old nephew instantly proclaimed, "How adorable! I want one!"


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