Et tu, Brute? [Source Wikipedia]
Et tu, Brute? [Source Wikipedia]
The Ides of March is most well-known as the anniversary of the assassination of Julius Caesar though it marked other less notorious events as well at the time. In the Roman calendar, the Ides of March marked the first full moon of the year (while March was the 3rd month in the Julian calendar, it was the first month in the oldest Roman calendar) as well as the religious festival of Anna Perenna which culminated the ‘new year’ celebrations. We know Marcus Brutus betrayed Caesar as predicted by the soothsayer earlier that month and stabbed him at a meeting of the senate at the Theatre of Pompey on March 15, 44 BC.

Was it political in nature or a question of loyalty? Sure Caesar had declared himself a dictator in perpetuity and was increasingly alienating the political elite at the time. The Ides of March is a day about loyalty in my books. It is the birthday of my son’s best friend and I thought about that this morning as I walked Sam. They’ve been friends for 30 years, since walking the halls of junior high. Seth and his family befriended Kevin and our family when we first moved to the city and we’ve stayed in touch over the years, through graduations, moves, marriages, births of babies and passing of family members. Our families are intertwined and long connected; Seth is godfather to my first grandchild and he’s called me “Mom-ika” for years as an homage.

While walking Sam, it struck me with everything that’s happened over the past 30 years, I had to only look at the end of the leash to witness an example of loyalty. Yesterday afternoon we ran into a neighbor who lives a couple blocks away. I first became acquainted with Colleen years ago when she owned a stately black Standard at the same time I did (McKenzie was my previous Standard, a super sweet and fabulously smart dog who was rescued from the Dumb Friends League as a pup and my faithful companion for 13 years). We began chatting when she’d walk past me in the front garden. When Sam joined me, she was taken with his sweetness and good looks and she always commented on how she’d love to get another Standard. After Ziggy passed and since there weren’t any Standards available through local rescue or shelters at the time, Colleen adopted a sweet pound pup, Norman, a  lovely and laid back Jack Russell mix. Norman was always the business end of the leash when they walked by, but was willing to patiently linger when they’d stop. Some time later, she rescued another JR-Skye, the three of them would walk by and Sam loved their visits. He’s so gregarious and all about pups stopping with their owners for visits though I’m convinced he’s more about the humans stopping then any of the dogs. Last Autumn, Norman passed away which was very hard on his fur-mom. As often happens after grieving, she adopted rescued another dog, Theona, a Chihuahua mix, who captivated her with cuddly sweetness a mere two weeks ago. In addition to being quite the cuddler, T-girl dances adorably on her hind legs in front of you much like a ballerina. After the initial greet and sniff, as usual Sam was more interested with the biped than the canines. While she’s very enamoured with little Theona, Colleen has remarked more than once, how she’d love to have another Standard who was like Sam. We chatted for a very long time catching up on various neighborhood topics and the future of the local Standard Poodle Rescue.  Theona, perhaps a little jealous of the attention given Sam at one point growled at him. Little dogs flummox Sam. He’s not sure whether they are a wind-up toy, a force to be reckoned with or some combination of the two. While he will defend himself, he’s not aggressive (unless you count this) and backed off expressing interest in either Skye or Theona but sat directly in front of me with his attention ready to be directed toward Colleen if she expressed any interest and Theona ‘allowed’ it.

It occurred to me that although Sam loves the attention of EVERYONE, he’s really my devoted loyal companion, through and through. He always comes back to me waiting for our next adventure and on this day about loyalty, I know where his lies. Happy Ides of March; here’s to you and your loyal companion. How does your loyal companion show loyalty toward you?

Live, love, bark! <3

12 thoughts on “Loyalty

  1. Ottie will sit in front of me, looking outward, as to protect me from whatever danger might lurk. He has done that since the first day I adopted him and only does with me.

  2. Sam is the best. My two are polar opposites when it comes to loyalty: one would gladly run off with the pizza delivery kid and the other would prefer to maim any unfamiliar person or dog in visual range. Such beautiful harmony, let me tell you! 😉

  3. Alexander Pope said, “Histories are more full of examples of the fidelity of dogs than of friends.” I think that’s true. Colleagues at work may turn on you, friends betray you and spouses desert you but your dog is the constant of your existence; the one being that perseveres in the belief that you are the most wondrous and worthwhile creature on the planet. That’s a pretty special bond. Maybe it’s the reason they are with us such a short time – such devotion and loyalty must be exhausting. The longer I hang with the mutts the more I believe they are the superior species.

Feel free to bark your thoughts...but no growling please.

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