A real friend stabs you in the front

 

women smiling, friends
My friend Lisa and I gettin’ our silly on.

No. A real friend takes your dead dog
for a ride in their car.

That’s been my experience.

Which made me think
about what makes a true friend. The lines of friendship have been
blurred in recent years with the popularity of social networking sites
such as Facebook and Twitter. The word ‘friend’ alone can be defined in
various new ways. A person you care about and enjoy being with or simply
someone you allow to view your personal profile information and daily
posted ramblings.

I’ll admit to using the word ‘friend’ to refer to
acquaintances or even a friend of a friend. It may be quicker but is it
accurate?

Just
as all of you do when preparing for vacation, we asked our ‘friends’ to
keep watch over our animals. They generously agreed. This is no small
task. It required driving to our home every day, watering and feeding
chickens and collecting their eggs. Feeding and playing with a stir
crazy Chihuahua and an elderly Akita in the heat of a desert summer.That is sign number one that I should refer to them as ‘friends.’They
are willing to sacrifice their time to help us out.

Sign number two was
made of flashing neon.

After only one day away from home we received a
call from said friends letting us know that they, and unfortunately
their children, had found our elderly Akita dead in our yard. While
trying to console their own children from this devastating event they
also took steps to be positive our dog had in fact expired and would not
be suffering. This, in the end, meant that they examined a dead dog for
us. That would be enough to place them solidly in the friend category.

Just
to remove all doubt, sign number three was lit up like the Las Vegas
strip on the fourth of July. Our friends offered to take care of our
dogs remains in the way that made us most comfortable which meant taking
our dog to the animal shelter for cremation. Seeing as this all
occurred on a Sunday they had to do so the following day as the animal
shelter was closed. Still, they assured us that they were glad to be
able to serve us in this way. They returned as promised and began the
task of loading a dead dog into a box and then into the back of their
SUV.

They were not quite prepared for the state that this body would be
in after a day in the desert heat. It proved to be a larger task then
planned but they performed it masterfully. After securing the temporary
casket in the back of their car they thought the hard part was behind
them. The smell filling the car proved otherwise. They immediately and
instinctively rolled down the windows. The gust of wind was a welcome
reprieve from the horrible scent but the breeze betrayed them as it
rolled through the car blowing the box top open! The stench reaches
unbearable proportions. The driver holds a sweatshirt over his face and
the passenger keeps her head out of the window as they race to their
destination. They used so many cans of air freshener that they are sure
to receive hate mail from Al Gore.

At this point I would not be
surprised if they asked to have their names removed from our ‘friend’
list. And then came sign number four. They laughed the whole way home
and thanked us for giving them an interesting story to tell on occasion.

So,
what makes a real ‘friend’? I still consider my old classmates and my
in-laws in-laws friends. We have shared experiences and common
interests. I also refer to people I Blurk or Blog Stalk as friends.
(Though that’s mostly because people think I’m a lunatic when I say
things like “I read about a similar experience on a blog I follow.” Some
people just don’t get it, including my husband) Even if our only
connection is only that we knew each other once way back when or have
never met but have been profoundly inspired by one anothers
experiences, we’re written on each others histories. Though, from now
on, I won’t be using the word ‘friend’ so cavalierly.

 

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