The morning sun is coming through the window, Buddy is sound asleep at my feet and there’s a pot of coffee with my name on it in the kitchen. Life is good for man (and woman) and beast at WarmFuzzy’s.

After loving on Buddy for a while, I finally nestled into the morning headlines (ick) and a cup of coffee strong enough to knock the bark off a log. I clicked away from the news, glanced down at my furry friend again and a wave of thanksgiving washed over me. We (Me and the Missus) have it better than many folks. I mean, we’re poor as a church house mouse and often wonder how or if bills will get paid but I’m talking about life on a completely different level than that. I’m talking about life as it connects with others.

You see, the Budster loves me. He loves me in the morning and at night and when the sun is shining and when it’s raining and when I’m in a good mood or when I’m in a bad mood, Buddy loves me and I love him. No strings attached. That self-righteous family down the street thinks they’re my judge and jury. They don’t know me from Adam but they judge the way I dress, what I eat, how I speak, what I do and probably the way I breathe. Newsflash! They are not my judge and jury. Not to hurt their little self-righteous feelings, they barely register on the scale of relevance. The clown at the hardware store doesn’t like the look on my face and couldn’t care less that it might be because I’m in excruciating pain and having trouble walking let alone dealing with his stupid ass when my toilet is clogged on the coldest day of the year. You Sir are not my judge and jury.

We’re surrounded by little judges and juries everywhere we turn. Everyone is sizing each other up and judging each other’s behavior and performance. The jury in their head quickly and righteously determines innocence or guilt based on fabricated evidence and that hidden judge appears from the depths of their innermost and passes sentence. Lest you think I’m being a tad harsh or pessimistic of others, I dare you to fart loudly in a crowded restaurant. Tell me if anyone judges you. Not brave enough to do that? Come over to my house, I’ll fart in your general direction and let’s see how long it takes you to assemble a mental jury for my trial.

Buddy doesn’t judge me. Buddy loves me. Nimbus and Monty don’t judge me and neither does Fred. Annie didn’t judge me. Ruger didn’t judge me, neither did Duchess, Jazz, Mumford, Pudge Puss, Lazarus, Charlie or Dumplin’. Yes, I am aware that those are animals and animals are different than people. They sure are, Sparky. They absolutely are and while some might say that me and the Missus spend so much time with animals because we can’t interact with people, I’ll say it a different way. We spend so much time with animals because there aren’t that many people worth spending time with, especially the ones who judge us because we’d rather spend time with animals than with them. Ironic much?

People who read this little snippet will judge me. He used the word fart. He shouldn’t have used the word fart. I don’t like his attitude. Is he talking about me? This isn’t a happy story. I thought this was going to be a happy story.

I’ll tell you a happy story. In three short years, my friend was treated for a fatal disease and barely lived through the treatment. He met the girl of his dreams and then she died and so did another friend and another friend and another. His body is old and creaky and his legs don’t work the way they used to, the way he wants them to. He can barely keep up when I walk so I slow down. I don’t mind. He’d rather life had been different but he played the hand that he was dealt without bitching or blaming others and sometimes, sometimes he lays at my feet while I sip a cup of coffee, watch the sun come up and tell you how blessed I am to have such wonderful non-judgmental friends.

I’ll pass on the judge and jury folks. I’d rather enjoy life with a good friend and a cup of coffee. How about you?

Buddy and the rest have set the bar really high when it comes to friendship. Actually, they didn’t set the bar high, they’re just living by a standard that was set a very long time ago, one that we should all be living by.

Matthew 7:1-3
1 Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

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About the Author

Joyce Ellis is the CEO and Caretaker of WarmFuzzy's Animal Shelter & Sanctuary. She was born with the vision, the Energizer Bunny who keeps going and going. She is Fuzzy1 of all WarmFuzzy's.

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