Some relationships can’t be explained. They just are. And they just work. And they’re fun to watch. And in the case of animals, fun to narrate.
Like our dogs.
They are at once best friends and rivals. The blue heeler is jealous of the border collie’s boyfriend. And even hooked up with him a time or two. And the border collie is jealous of any type of attention the blue heeler gets, even if it’s only eye contact.
And then they’re totally besties, though.
They run side-by-side to go bark at a neighbor dog, someone walking by, or to peek through the broken brick in between our house and the one next door. They patrol the deck together, love riding in the car together, play at the lake together and wait patiently for bites of meat that might fall from the sky together.
They just are with each other.
Same thing for our big tortoise. He has a relationship with anything that is green, because it looks like food. He has a kinky relationship with our balance beam, that I don’t want to go into detail about, except to say he thought it looked like a cute, blonde tortoise at one point. And acted on that belief.
And he feels protected or shaded or some type of kinship with our deer target. We’ve caught him a few times by this stationary animal – looking up at him or sitting underneath him. And, it makes us wonder if the tortoise thinks the feeling he has for the deer is mutual.
It can’t be explained. But it is fun to watch.
Same goes for every other relationship we have in our little ecosystem. The ways the kids interact, how they fight but also stand up for each other. How they can’t understand each other at all, but then find ways to conspire for good or to create the greatest talent show on the planet.
None of it needs a label. The relationships just are. And they’re understood by the people, or animals, in them. If only the outside world could get on board with comfortable ambiguity.