Best friends

Our best friend Toby - loyal and loving till the end ...

It’s a miserable ol’ day out there today – cold with rain and wind. I’ve been out and had my swim, had coffee with a friend, done some essential purchasing, cooked up a mean bolognaise sauce for tomorrow night, and watched last night’s episode of ‘Monday, Monday’.

And it’s still only 2.00pm!

So …Oprah re-runs and ironing. Her show today was co-presented with her best friend. They’ve been friends for years and years, have shared joy, laughter, tears and triumphs and a lot of other stuff in-between.

It got me thinking. Who’s my best friend – do I even have one? I certainly don’t have a girlfriend  who I talk to every day and who is as close to me as my partner is. I have lots of friends, many who I love dearly, consider close and would do anything for. Loyal friends with whom trust is implicit.

But life seems to have got in the way when it comes to a best friend. My longest term ‘best’ friend dates back to school days. We are still very close but she lives on the other side of the world which makes sharing day-to-day experiences impossible. We have spurts on email, usually triggered by some event or occasion, but it’s not the same as sharing a look or a laugh, or going out for the odd coffee or movie.

Toby (pictured) filled the gap of a best friend for almost of 14 years. He was nothing if not consistent, would bark at any birds in his airspace and hated being groomed. Our vet was once heard to comment, “he’s very chatty isn’t he?” Our neighbors would not have been quite so kind, although having said that, 81-year-old Barbara recently said that she really missed him! I know her husband Denys does too because he’d always stop and have a chat over the fence with Toby when he didn’t think I was looking…

Toby was intensely loyal – as dogs are and was always there at the gate, tail wagging and wearing his trademark Samoyed smile. He was a real joy to come home to, such a great companion. Wet days, like today, were a challenge … his gorgeous coat was a nightmare to keep tidy especially in the rain when he was a bit of a leaf and dirt-magnet. Even though I was his prime care-giver – the one who fed and walked him every day – his preferred spot, when he wasn’t resting his chin on our knees, was curling up around my partner’s feet. Maybe that’s the measure of a best friend …

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