As I walked through the park with my friend Newton this morning we encountered a woman with two children, and my loveable girl friend , whose the life of the party and so incredibly outgoing, had her hair raised on her back. She became a bit skittish and nervous. She’s such a love, and I thought how uncharacteristic that was of her. I think many people, even pet parents, look at our four legged friends and think they are just a dog or just a cat. I think we forget that like us, our pet has its own distinct personality. My friend is warm and affectionate and in so many ways an extrovert , but she is also very shy. She has to take things slow and get to know a person before she relaxes and becomes her exuberant self. I realized I am a lot like that, I come off to people as very hyper and friendly, yet I have a hard time letting people in my personal space. Being the life of the party doesn’t mean you don’t have a shy side, an introspective nature that has to assess new people and situations. So like us, I am reminded that our pets are distinct and unique, with their own set of boundaries and personality traits. We need to honour and respect them and not make assumptions on their behalf. Our four legged friends need our understanding when being approached not only by other dogs and cats, but also by children, teens, seniors and strangers that we encounter out on walks or coming into our homes. This morning I realized that Newton and I are two peas in a pod.