Life lessons with Louie: Put yourself out there

I get the feeling that I’m going to be learning a lot from this pup, or at least being reminded of a lot of things I know to be true.

One of the first things I noticed when we brought Louie home and took him for the first walk is that he wants to be friends with everyone.  Normally, the humans are very receptive to his wiggly affection.  Most often, the dogs want nothing to do with him.  Sometimes they’re even a little hostile, but this doesn’t stop Louie from approaching the dogs he sees in the hopes that he’ll find a new pal.

He’s figured out the simple truth that true friendships are what make life liveable.  They make the boring days hilarious and the hard days not so bad.  Even when you’re a little nervous and don’t know anybody, it is always worth putting on a smile and introducing yourself, because you may just find your next best friend. 

On Wednesday, I took this lesson to heart.  On Wednesdays, a dog-friendly bar in the city called the Bulldog has pint night.  On pint night, $5 will get you a beer in a decorated pint glass that you can take home with you.  If you don’t want all the pint glasses, or if you’re feeling philanthropic, you can return 10 glasses on any day but Wednesday, and the bar will donate $5 to the LA-SPCA (where Louie came from) and you get a T-shirt that says: “The Bulldog: helping animal charities one pint at a time”.  Giving back to an awesome place that helped me find my new best bud?  Free T-shirt?  You know I’m in.

Instead of rounding up my small group of friends here, which had grown to 4 (so popular, I know), I sent out a message to everyone in the 40th class of the Tulane University Dietetic Internship.  Since we begin on Monday, many people moved in earlier this week but I haven’t had a chance to meet them.  To my surprise, I got a lot of response! A group of around 10 of us took over a corner of the patio with Louie presiding over the whole thing.

OK, well maybe “presiding” isn’t the greatest word. He got a little sleepy towards the end of the night.

We had great conversation, lots of laughs, and it was overall a perfect introduction to a bunch of girls that I know I’m going to have an excellent time with this year.  I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by such awesome people even though I haven’t even been here for a month.  Not to mention, we earned 2 T-shirts and a $10 donation (with the help of the unwanted glasses from neighboring tables).

The bottom line is this: even if you haven’t heard from others, they’re still excited to make new friends – often all that’s needed is a little push.  Be that person.  Initiate!  The worst thing that could possibly happen is that somebody’s not receptive to your offering of friendship, and if that’s the case who wants to be their friend anyway?  But more often if you build up the courage, put yourself out there, you’ll make a great friend and it’s all worth it.  I promise you won’t be let down, even if Louie sometimes is.

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