Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Dog's Eye View

Everything falls apart,
Then I get to try to put it back together
Everything falls apart,
And you can count on that like you can count on bad,
bad weather again

- Dog's Eye View, Everything Falls Apart

Just a couple of weeks ago, I received an SMS from a good friend that her puppy had died -- her 4-month old puppy that she had just adopted not too long before that. Anyone who says that I'm completely detached and devoid from the animal world is not lying. But for some reason, that message I got pinched the ends of my heart strings and I found myself getting a bit more despondent than I had anticipated.

For the first time in my life, I allowed myself to step in the elusive world of pets. I never understood it and I never appreciated it, but I thought to myself, what the heck? There must be something that I'm not seeing that other people are. Unfortunately, I did not get far enough to be completely enamored by it but I did get pretty damn far for a beginner. For a few weekends, I spent time at the park with my friend training the little pup how to walk and how to mingle in the real world. Being around him was a bit awkward at first -- sort of like getting to know someone for the first time -- but I eventually started opening up. I began looking forward to our little sessions and time together. Not just with my friend, but also with our new little weekend companion.

And then the bomb dropped. He died. Just like that -- no warning at all. He apparently fell and he didn't make it. The details are hazy as I couldn't get it out of my friend and I felt it was inappropriate to prod some more. She was clearly devastated and I expected nothing less.

My short-lived experience with pets reminded me greatly of many encounters that I've had with people. One cannot blame me for keeping my guards up more often than it is down. I have learned the hard way -- through numerous instances -- that just because you have let people in your doors doesn't mean they're there to stay. And the disappointments are like the biting wind in a harsh winter's day. And even worse, some don't even walk out of the same door that they used coming in. Rather, they sneak out of the windows without you realizing it. No goodbyes, no farewells.

Just. Like. That.

I simply cannot count how many people I have met and struck friendships with my entire life. However, I may only need one hand to count those people who have managed to stay. And I am eternally grateful for people like them because they let me keep what little faith I have left in the human race.

The funny thing is -- I don't like keeping my doors closed or my curtains drawn. I hate it. I loathe being inside practically alone and on my own. However, better the devil that I know, no? I'd rather be by myself enshrouded by my dull security blanket than let people paint colorful events in my life without necessarily knowing if I will like it or not. One can only get burned so many times. As a matter of fact, I'm still trying to put gather together the ashes of my memories that have been caught in flames once upon a time.

Letting people in our lives is perhaps one of the biggest gambles we can ever take. Whenever we wear our hearts on our sleeves, we actually risk getting our shirts stolen right off our backs. And I've only gotten one heart -- too bad God didn't think of giving us two just like he did with kidneys. But surely He has good reason for doing that. It's just something I still have yet to figure out.

When everything falls apart, that's when we find out who sticks around to help us put things back together again -- even when the doors and windows are wide open and in full view. It hurts to see those people whom you expect the most from slowly tiptoe-ing towards the back door. That's when we learn to keep it closed -- not because we are wary of who else might go out, but because we are wary of who might come in and do it all over again.

Perhaps it is true that dogs are a man's best friend. I heard they stay loyal until the end. But I don't like dogs. Where does that leave me?


Anonymous Kyla Bea said...

Letting people into our lives is scary, there’s no question, especially when you’ve been hurt before. But the thing I always try to consider is that you stand to lose by letting people in as well as by not letting people in.

I read somewhere recently that our soul mates come into our lives to change us, shake things up and force us to reexamine ourselves – but that they’re not meant to stay and we can’t live with them as active players in our lives, it’s too intense. They teach us about who we are and then let us think about it on our own. Maybe you’ve been meeting yours recently?

2:48 AM  
Anonymous electric bearbearina said...

"But I don't like dogs. Where does that leave me?"
- Plants, of course! (wink, wink) ;)

5:20 AM  
Blogger Kati said...

(((((HUGS))))) Losing pets is certainly hard, no doubt about it. Not having somebody to turn to, though..... I think is immeasureably harder on the soul. At least when you lose a pet (and I've lost more than a couple, and been present for the death of most of mine, most at relatively young ages), you're aware that there was a reciprocated love there. Losing people who just walk out.... You always wonder if that person really cared. And yet, to NOT have people to care about, and who care about you.... it brings to mind the cliche "'tis better to have love & lost, than to never loved at all."

Princess B, I am glad that you've got a core group of people that you can count on, and I hope that even when folks pass in & out of your life, you still stay in our hearts & minds, the things you say, the subjects you bring up, your caring. I hope you know that not all people are meant to stay with us forever, in a physical sense, and yet every person leaves some little part of themselves in our soul. May you find fullness in the knowing that you are exchanging pieces of souls with the folks you meet, whether they stay in your life a long time or not. It may feel like you're losing a part of yourself when that person leaves your life, and yet, you're gaining a part of them as well, and that seems often to be the better deal.

2:12 PM  
Blogger fifi said...

I'm not that mad about dogs, but I do have Burmese cats and couldn't live without at least one in the house. Sometimes I think having pets is an indulgence, because of the damage to birds etc.
But my pets make me calm when I'm angry and happy if I'm down.

I am sorry about the puppy .

5:40 PM  
Blogger Vik said...

I guess that is the key compromise - letting people of any form in.you meet idiots, interesting ones, future lift partners to be and many more characters and they sure set you up for what life is. It is through them you will know what it all means to you. However, what is important is getting to know that small part of yourself and (per what my bro says), he has never been what he is until he got himself this cute Golden Retriever. Amazing life change it seems. But again the compromise factor is profound. If you are willing to do that extra round then everything looks good. But if you don't like pets it sure does not make anyone a bad person. You are still who you are :-)

11:52 AM  
Blogger Still Searching said...

I've learnt, based on many experiences very early in my life, to keep my guards up all the time... and now people have started noticing and realizing that I can be very closed.. however, it's better to be safe than sorry, atleast for me... I have very few people I try to count on, and from them also I try to expect as little as possible.. you never know who will disappoint you when! Aah, the cynical me.

I like dogs, but I'm not sure if I can rely on them for emotional reaons, like people do sometimes. You know, just to be there for you.

6:41 AM  
Blogger MeMyself_n_I said...

I find it very hard to let people get too close to me. I don't understand why, but somehow that's the way i am.
Now, thakfully, i adore dogs. They'll be my lifelong companions i guess. :-p

6:00 PM  
Blogger Lucid Darkness said...

Letting people in when you know that there's every chance they'll leave when you least expect it, and leave a mess inside you, is a very scary thought.

Doesn't life remind you of a train journey? You strike up conversations with people in your compartment, and then everyone gets off at his or her stop. And most likely, you'll never see them again.

The worst part is that being emotionally attached brings a lot of vulnerability with it. You can never tell... and sometimes friendships don't work out even if people think that they mean it. When that happens, you feel too weary to try again. So you remain closed and withdrawn.

I love animals and get along splendidly with the pets of my friends and acquaintances. They often complain that I like their pets more than I like them. :P There could be some truth in this.
My mother, however, thinks that having a pet is like having a baby in the house that will never grow up. :|

So well, I'm going to keep lots of cats when I get a place of my own, and maybe a pug too. :)

12:15 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Man... Kyla took everything I was going to say... Well, almost.

I hear you with the trepidation of letting people in; especially when so many forget how important it is to say goodbye.

3:01 AM  
Blogger :-) said...

There always something in everything, and it's just from which perspective a person is looking from ...

1. Everything come with a responsibility if a person wish to have, or willing to go forward with. Trust me, even simple stuff like computers, mobile phones and cosmetic, even much more when it's has a life of it's own.

2. Everything in life comes and go. It's how we cherish the lesson and value or learn from them that matters most. That's how we go forward as being human. Even a person have to fail, at least fail forward.

... Live it wisely to your own perspective whatever the hack the word "wisdom" means to anyone, of course what a "crap" I have written here as usual ... hah, hah ... :D

10:42 AM  
Blogger Jennifer McKenzie said...

I don't know. I guess, for me, the only thing I can do is enjoy the people OR animals that are in my life for the moment. Intimacy shared with someone is not wasted, I think, since I often learn valuable things about myself I didn't know.
It is difficult when that intimacy disappears.
I feel for you. I have no answer for you. But you have always taken the path of self actualization. I have no doubt you will do so this time as well.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Ab said...

hey princess you really dont know how much i identify with that post.... esp, the sneaking out of windows.. no goodbye's part... a lot of the time i look around, and i havent broke up with my best friends, its just that they faded away.. and it wasnt my fault... in th beginning i just consoled myself saying it will return, but so far it hasnt, and time heals, so iv also almost given up....
but the thing with me is that I somehow believe my chance will come...
and though im not actively looking out right now, in the back of my mind i know i should find someone... or rather, that i will find someone... you should read 'the thousandth man' by rudyard kipling.. its influenced my life so much..

that said, iv dumped all my current crop of useless friends... and i feel a lot more better for that...


4:22 PM  
Blogger Harshi said...

Hey Princess, gosh I could identify with your post word for word. I am in the exact same shoes on those sentiments about people we let into our lives. Been burned so many times. First life told me friends are forever. Then life taught me a very harsh lesson - friends aren't really forever. Exactly as you said, I am thankful for the hanfdul who have stayed around though, but it might be folly to put all our faith in them as well. I mean, we can learn to calmly accept their positive presence and loyalty, but I have found myself being realistic and ready for the worst, if it is to happen. People change. Now, I just remain in the present, with no expectations whatsoever. Easier said than done, but, I try. I am so tired of being disappointed. The thing is, unless we step forward and become vulnerable, we cannot gain a real friend either. It's a risk. And I hate drawing up my curtains too, yet, what can I do? There is only so much we can take. I am just learning to take things real slow with people. Life & its lessons!! Sighs.

ps: i have been thinking of the very same thing regd pets. They are so accepting and give their unconditional love to us. I do love dogs, and I think I would like having a companion soon.

7:21 PM  
Blogger The Mad Girl said...

I am a huge dog-lover. But this is precisely the reason why I've never adopted one...it'll die and worse than that...maybe someday I'll forget.
very touchy post.

2:40 AM  
Blogger Joy said...

all i can say is, thank you for sticking around when a bomb exploded on my doors and windows. the damage seems irreparable, but with you guys around, i'm slowly picking up the pieces.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Ceruleus said...

Though I don't have any pets, I like 'em dogs and somehow feel I should have had pets! Nice write.

1:45 PM  
Blogger Zee said...

2 of my friends lost their dogs last week. and they're still in a bad shape about it and i can totally imagine why. it's like a baby

1:52 PM  
Blogger Crashdummie said...

my friends hamster died and she was crushed - i actually took the day off from work just so i could comfort her...

loving someone and letting them in is a risk you take, but then again some risks are worth taking, some mistakes are worth making....

7:12 AM  
Blogger noThiNG but "fiCUs" said...

I left a comment on your blog ages ago, and havent since then...but this little one is just to tell you that there is one more reader who is reading...really like the stuff you like...this post for instance was beautiful :). Keep up the good work :)


10:45 PM  
Blogger meggie said...

I hope you are there for your friend who has lost her dog. That is true friendship.
It is true we can get very burnt, but we need these experiences to enrich our lives, in ways we don't always comprehend at the time.
Don't remain a closed book!

3:12 PM  
Blogger Libby said...

...you know, it's really, really hard to let anybody else in, after you've lost the man who swore he loved you for the last 17 years!...i may try again someday, but it'll take YEARS for me to trust again, and open that door again!!

4:35 AM  
Blogger Karthik Balasubramanian said...

profound.. makes me go to think about stuff I should not be thinking of at work..

I dont like dogs too.. they lick..

4:54 AM  
Blogger The Black King said...

However much one may say, actually bearing the loss of such a pet can be very painful. I understand... have seen friends go through that.

2:55 PM  
Blogger nasia said...

i hav always always wanted a dog.. but in our religion we r not supposed to touch dogs.. :(

12:13 AM  
Blogger little boxes said...

i loved the post...the part where you say that letting people into ur life is the biggest gamble one can take...
i completely understand your point of view...and i seem to share that too.
its amazing how blogs bring people who have never met,together-on the same thinking spree

11:11 AM  
Blogger meggie said...

Letting dogs into your life can never diminish you. I can only make you larger. The dog may die, but the richness it has brought you, will stay with you forever. Ask your friend, once she is over her intial grief. She will agree.
Please don't shut yourself off from people or animals.
You may experience new vistas you never knew could exist!!

6:51 PM  

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