I’ve had a lot of friends in my time. Probably because I’m so patient and tolerant, and my Mom says I’m a very charming dog that has a deep love for all dogs and all people – never met a dog I didn’t like.
I like to make every dog and person I meet feel special and instantly loved. Mom says that’s a gift, and then she points to my back and says, “Tilly has angel wings, look.” (It’s true, I have two markings behind my shoulder blades that resemble faint angel wings. You can see them best in the Dog Highway photos.)
Matilda is my full name, and Mom says it means “strength in battle,” but she prefers to think of it as Peaceful Warrior. She says I’ve always been confident (not the ARROGANT kind of confident, mind you) and courageous.
Courageous, except when faced with hard surface floors. Nope, no way, no how, not walking on those. I will NOT cross the threshold of a hard surface floor unless there’s a rug on that flooring. Try and coax me, but be prepared for my stubbornness to win. Your skeleton will have blown away in the wind, and I will still be standing there like a stone, NOT walking on that hard surface flooring. Rugs are the only way forward!
Other than hard surface flooring, yes, I’m a very secure dog, and my confidence makes me instantly likable. It also makes me instantly attracted to everyone else, too! I’ve had friends of literally all shapes and sizes – two friends named Bear, both of whom I adored and were three times my size. And at least three Lucys! My Mom jokes that every dog we come across seems to be named Lucy, and I never met a Lucy I didn’t like.
Way back when I was a young pup, Mom and I went to Dog School every week. At Dog School, I got to play with other dogs, sit for cookies, stay for cookies, wait for cookies, learn new things, and we even had a couple of uncomfortable moments when other dogs would be unpredictable and cagey. But I love a challenge, and I loved every minute of Dog School and everything about it. All the way to Dog School in the car, I was on HIGH ALERT, watching the entire way to see if Mom would take the same route. When we would get close, I would let her know by scratching at the window near my seat and telling her audibly. Mom, we’re close to DOG SCHOOL!!!
My teacher was so good at her job – she recognized talent when she saw it. She paid a little more attention to me once she realized that I was a great “buffer dog.” Mom wanted to know all about what a “buffer dog” was, and the teacher explained it to her: “Tilly makes other dogs feel comfortable, especially the timid and shy ones. She coaxes them out of their shells, and leads the way into the pack for them.”
Yes, I’ve possessed a solid amount of confidence my entire life. (I was born that way and am fortunate, but I’ve seen other dogs who were not born with it gain confidence with patience and taking small steps forward. I helped a few of them in Dog School.) Confidence has served me well because I pride myself in being dependable and loyal, and Mom says my temperament is predictable, social, and trustworthy. A healthy confidence is really the key to succeeding at most everything in life.
In case you were wondering, size is no match for confidence! Take Cameron the Great Dane for instance… I can maneuver around her pretty well, underneath her, run circles around her. She might be sizable, but because I’m confident, I still play with her despite her awkward size. We make it work, because we want to play and be silly and goofy, and guess what? We have an absolute ball! (Pun intended.)