Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Face To Face

At Molly's track meet yesterday, a fellow competitor reminded me strongly of a friend of mine from high school. From a distance, the resemblance was uncanny. As I watched her compete I could see my friend as she was thirty years ago and became more convinced that they had to be related. I wondered how I could approach her and ask the question without seeming like a total dork. Belle solved the problem for me.

As we were leaving the meet, we had to pass the girl's team camp. As luck would have it, she was there and noticed Belle. Drawn to Belle and Cody, the girl approached us. She told me she had a golden retriever at home - a RAGOM rescue pup also. We talked about her dog and then I asked if she was related to my friend. She was. She was her daughter. Close up, I could see that though she clearly looked like her mother, she was unique to herself.

Flash back to the pictures I posted yesterday of Belle's new siblings. In each photo, I found myself looking for the puppy Belle in the faces of these new little ones. Looking for special features such as the trio of eyebrows that Belle had that nearly had me asking Eileen if we could change her name to Trio (click on the picture at right to enlarge - can you see the three eyebrows?). Good thing I didn't, the cute little wrinkles disappeared as she grew.

It's funny how we do that - look for those we love or have loved in the faces of others. It makes me wonder how many people I will never get a chance to know because at first glance they didn't strike that chord of recognition within me. I think of how many more I've met that I wouldn't have because Belle's presence and unquenchable personality forced the contact.

I think that's why the "Please Do Not Pet" on Belle's pack is so invisible to others. People see her and they see joy. They see her and they see beauty. They see her and they see love - and they so want to be a part of that. The feeling is strong enough for them to overcome their natural reticence at approaching those that may not look like them or move like them. When Belle is with me, we look like someone special to all we encounter. That's the blessing and yes, sometimes the curse, of working with a service dog.


slatta said...

How perceptive of you, to see the mother in the daughter!

And think of how many other threads besides Belle--although this blog is about Belle--that connect you to other people. We would not have met in a superficial way at Allerton, and then later over the internet, if not for Cara. Interesting, when you think about it, that an impersonal medium like the internet can foster more interesting relationships than might be cultivated face to face.

Those pictures of the puppies in your previous post were unbearably cute.

Speak(er) said...

Interesting, indeed! Both the internet and Belle circumvent the very human tendency to overuse our eyes at the expense of our other senses in gaging whether or not to interact with someone. It just goes to support the old adage, "don't judge a book by it's cover".