S'Dandi Shih Tzu
All Rights Reserved
2000 - 2008
Sally and Dick Watkeys
8235 Outer Drive South
Traverse City, MI 49684
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S'Dandi Shih Tzu
Just BePaws . . .
Friend…what am ambiguous term. Webster’s Dictionary defines the word as “a person to whom one is attached by affection.” That’s rather generic in my opinion. For me, the true meaning of friendship is one of acceptance, support-even when you disagree, understanding when circumstances make your choices different, caring in spite of other’s comments, and above all else, the mutual consideration for another’s feelings when differences of opinion occur. The test of a true friend is if the friend will stick with you during times of change. Often people will be drawn to each other for specific reasons. As sometimes happens, friendships change due to choices that send one or the other down different paths, taking different directions due to goals and objectives that don’t coincide. But, closing the door on someone who has helped in the past, someone who has been a part of your life, someone who has made a difference in what you do and how you do it, is very difficult.

There is that Internet quote about reasons and seasons for the people in your lives that I’m sure most of you have seen. In a nutshell, it states that people are put in our lives for a reason. Some are there for just a little while. It’s up to us to enjoy the time they are there, accept the help they can give, and respect the impression they have had on our lives. They have added a piece to the puzzle of each of our lives.

Some just touch us for a moment. Their contribution may not be much, but contribution it is. Others may touch us for longer periods of time adding clarification and definition to situations that we might not have had the experience to handle on our own. Those who become and remain “forever” friends are the ones to cherish and love for they have been given to us as a gift. Just as all our blessings are “gifts”, so are our special friends.

It doesn’t matter if the friendship is about dogs, kids, hobbies or sports. It’s there to stay.

We have a son that has had a friend since elementary school. They have always done things together, and now, at 40, are still close. We call them “joined at the hips,” laughing about their association. However, it is very special to see how they interact with each other since wives and children have become part of the combination. Somehow, the special nature of their friendship will always be there. It has survived the growing years of teenage, the early adult years of profession building, the years when spouses were added to the mixture that meant eventual babies and now, the association of the total family with these two mature men. It has been an amazing thing to watch.

Friendship isn’t something to pass over lightly. It is a blessing to cherish, to love, to foster and enjoy. When it’s reciprocated, we are even more blessed.

If someone attempts to destroy a friendship, not understanding the other’s situation, does it do any of us any good? We should try to encourage all the positive thoughts we can. Promote the good feelings and enjoy the associations. If it happens due to our wonderful breed, aren’t we lucky?!!!

I have been very blessed in this sport of ours. I got my first show dog due to someone’s faith in me, got my first champion because the owners knew I was serious, met my “best friend” because our mentor thought we’d be good for each other, added others to my list of people to care about and continued in this “dog thing” because people and friends encouraged and supported me even though some of them knew nothing about a dog show. Well, you can see where it’s led. Here I am head over heels in dogs and shows and champions. It shows what you can do with a little determination, luck and the right people at the right time.

God puts people in our lives for a reason. I remember saying that to a new exhibitor I met in Kansas a while ago. We exchanged introductions and pleasantries. She became a part of me at that point as I became a part of her. It doesn’t matter if we have no other contact with each other. At that show, and the weekend to follow, we added to each other. Isn’t that what this dog game is all about? Isn’t it about people working, caring, sharing and adding to the breed. Let’s not forget the most important thing about this sport…helping our breed to be better.

When we do that by assisting someone new to our breed, passing on some helpful information, offering tips and advice, we are promoting good feelings and good relationships. We can be ambassadors for our breed and our sport.

I was at a show recently where I was approached by an older couple asking questions. We talked. I answered several questions while watching the group ring. As they said goodbye, they also told me that they hadn’t met many other exhibitors who would take the time for them or were friendly. They were rather disheartened. Hopefully, there are more friendly exhibitors than not, but let’s put our best foot forward and show fellow exhibitors, spectators and judges that we care and have compassion for others. If we don’t help educate each other and “John Q. Public,” who will? Working together, we can and will encourage new people into our breed. When we do that, we will no longer have to worry whether there will be enough entries to build those points and majors.

Winning isn’t everything. There have been many weekends when we came home with nothing for our entries except a great time making new friends and meeting new people. After all, if we don’t enjoy the experience, we won’t be back. If we can have a good time, spend it with people connected through common interests, exchange and share ideas, we will all come out winners. Maybe the points won’t be on that particular weekend, but as we all learn and grow in the breed, so do the opportunities to be the winner.

So, what are friends for? Friends are for loving, cherishing and nurturing. True friends make your life worthwhile.
What Are
Friends For?