Unless you’re talking about kibble, taste is the least important thing ever.
So why did I ever make such a big deal about it?
Honey Has Good Taste in Dogs
It probably wouldn’t surprise you that Honey is attracted to Golden Retrievers. If she spots one in a crowd or on the street, she wants a closer look.
But other fuzzy dogs also capture her eye.
Abby, for instance, lives in our neighborhood. She has long hair and a floofie tail like a Golden. But that’s where the resemblance stops.
Abby doesn’t find Honey the least bit interesting. But Honey loves Abby. If we see Abby and her person a block away, we have to alter our path to say hello or we’ll never finish our walk.
Despite Honey’s tastes running to Golden Retrievers and other fuzzy dogs, she has become good buddies with the hound mixes we’ve fostered, especially Cherie.
Honey’s taste runs toward Golden Retrievers. But she knows that other dogs also make great playmates. Even if they don’t cause her to run over to say hi.
Good Friends with
Bad Different Taste
I used to think taste was important. I assumed that if someone’s taste in music, movies, politics, animals, architecture, etc. was different from mine, I wouldn’t enjoy spending time with her.
What a stupid notion.
Here’s what finally convinced me.
I once tried to watch the show, Family Guy. I didn’t expect to like it. After all, the main character is drawn with testicles on his chin (go look and tell me I’m wrong). But everyone was raving about it so I decided to give it a chance.
I made it through ten minutes of the most sexist show I had ever watched before switching it off in disgust. And then I started the internal rant. “No wonder women continue to be treated so badly. This is entertainment?”
(In fairness to the creators of the show, it may have turned out better by the end. But I couldn’t take any more misogyny in my evening’s entertainment.)
The next day I mentioned my experience to a friend who said, “Oh, my daughter and I love that show.” She rocked my world.
You see, my friend is the best person ever. She’s a community leader. She has parented any number of children who needed a reliable, loving adult. And besides being a near saint, she’s a lot of fun with a good sense of humor and is someone who loves to dance.
She’s certainly not the mouth-breathing, evil, woman-hating person I imagined watched that show.
And then it hit me. It’s only a matter of taste. And taste is not terribly important.
Bad Friends with Good Taste
I thought back to a long friendship I had in Philadelphia. This friend had excellent taste. At least it agreed with mine.
We especially liked going to the movies together. And our tastes were so similar that if she recommended a film, I’d see it without reading a review or synopsis just based on her opinion.
After a long car ride, I realized how unlikable this friend was. She was totally self-absorbed. And she shared shockingly inappropriate information with near-strangers. (If I told you, you wouldn’t believe me. Let me just say that my husband never expected the Brooklyn Bridge to be where his knowledge of my friend became equal to that of her gynecologist.)
It was during that drive that I realized our friendship only lasted because we spent most of it sitting quietly in the dark watching movies.
Dog (And Cat) Lovers Have Great Taste
Just like Honey knows that a good playmate doesn’t necessarily have long golden fur and a floofie tail, I’ve learned that good friends have very different taste.
As I check out the blogs and Facebook pages of friends I’ve made through Something Wagging This Way Comes, I see a wide world of different tastes. Many of the people I’ve come to love the most, adore things that I can’t stand: NASCAR, Disney World, Dancing with the Stars, the Cheesecake Factory, 1980s pop music.
And I bet many of you would go insane if you were forced to enjoy my favorite things: baseball, long talky movies with no plots (anyone for My Dinner with Andre or Wings of Desire?), folk music, camping, and sailing. As I look at my list of favorite things, I see activities that many people describe as slow and boring.
Luckily we have one really important thing in common: a love of animals and openness to learning more about them. I think that’s a wonderful foundation for a deep and long-lasting friendship.
And who knows? Maybe the way Honey has learned that houndy dogs with short coats are fun to play with, I’ll learn to appreciate the musicality of Rick Springfield or the adrenaline rush of cars racing in circles.
But even if I don’t, I’ll be happy to realize that true friendship has nothing to do with taste. And that’s one lesson that is as good for me as it is for my dog.
Your Turn: Does your dog have strong tastes? Do you? And do you think they’re important?