Real friends walk in when the rest walk out

Doors front man Jim Morrison with Sage: “A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.”

A real friend, they say, is the one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.

I’ve needed a few of those lately and fortunately they turned up, in my darkest hour.

And being dogs, they understand what I’m going through — to a dog they insist it’s The Boss’s fault for not training me properly. And for not restraining my animal impulses.

There’s a few sticky-beaks who just want to know what kind of trouble I got myself into: one or two were licking their lips and wondering if I impregnated that cute little wirehaired pointing griffon on the other side of the railway line.

As if. The best I can do is fire blanks — and that is The Boss’s fault too.

But The Boss assures me that my good friends will overlook my faults and tolerate my successes, like Lottie Mai, who sent me this message:

“My dear, dear General — my heart bleeds for a fellow sufferer who was only acting on his instincts. Was it worse than chomping on the Dynamic Lifter and then distributing it on the beige carpet? Chewing up a pair of Old Bossy Boots’ walking shoes because I was so embarrassed to be seen with her wearing them on our walks? Dragging home the hind quarter of a kangaroo for interment in the back garden? Was it gulping down a tiny duckling near the lake?” (Lottie Mai is getting closer here …)

“Oh no,” she added. “Surely it wasn’t attempting unmentionable acts on a visitor’s leg?”

No, it wasn’t that either. Although I do enjoy doing that to the gas man when he’s not looking. But Lottie Mai sounds like a scallywag, doesn’t she?

To cheer me up further, Yorick from Yabba North quoted Jim Morrison, a singer he said The Boss would know from his misspent youth, who once said “a friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself”.

Yorick remarked that Jim had several dogs — Sage, Stoner and Thor. Sage outlived his owner, who died in Paris at the age of 27 — a feat that thrust Jim into the famous 27 Club, the kind of club you don’t want to belong to, according to The Boss. The company includes Janis Joplin, Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse. The Boss then recalled the blues singer and songwriter Robert Johnson, who also died at 27, back in 1938.

“The freedom to be yourself is a fine idea — but without self-discipline it can lead to a short life and I don’t think you’re ready for it either, General,” The Boss offered.

But Yorick said Jim Morrison was the sort of owner a dog wanted and wouldn’t be judgmental like The Boss.

This improved my mood too — as did a message from Koit, living the dream at “no fixed address”.

He headed his message “Jesus wept!” and went on: “Through all your adventures and stuff-ups, General, I’ve always looked to you. But now … crikey, it breaks my heart to see you brought so low. You’re a proper dog in my book, General, not a mongrel dog.

“So you’ve upset the management. Well, so what? That’s not your problem, mate. A dog’s gotta do what a dog’s gotta do. And whatever heinous felony you did General, it’s all right with me.”

So there you go. Heart-warming support from my friends — and there is nothing better than a friend … unless it is a friend with a bone. Woof!