What to do when friends tell you another friend is betraying you.

crobat asks: I’m confused if my “friend” [Henry] is really my friend and if my X-friend [Daniel] caused it. You see, ever since I introduced Daniel (this is when we were friends)to Henry, I’ve been told that Henry’s betraying me or that Daniel’s tricking me by other kids in the neighborhood. I’ve tried to figure it out on my own. Even though I found a couple things that might have proven that Henry’s innocent, I still didn’t have anything to prove that Daniel’s wrong. What do I do…

Oh Crobat, this is always so hard!  When one friend tells you another friend is betraying you, you never know who to believe, or how to react!  Shakespeare wrote a great play about this called “Othello,” which you’ll probably read sometime in school.  But it sure doesn’t tell you what the right thing to do about this is (“Othello” ends REALLY badly!).  So it’s no help to you today at all.  So I’ll do better than Shakespeare and help you out!!

We dogs don’t really have these same problems in our lives.  The closest we get is when another dog steals our food.  Once I saw – through a window – another dog eating out of my dish.  Well the first chance I had to get inside, I went right up to that dog and got on top of her and growled and let her know how I felt, and that worked!  She never did that again!  But it’s way more complicated for you.  I knew exactly who had done what to me, and so I could act accordingly.  You’re in the tough position of not knowing anything for sure!

But actually, you do know one thing.  You know that someone’s not telling you the truth.  Maybe your other friends are just mistaken, or maybe they’re lying, or maybe Henry and Daniel are really betraying you.  Your job is to find out — without making things worse in the meantime.

So the first thing is to make sure that, whoever’s being wrong or mean here, it’s not you!  If someone’s lying to you about what Henry and Daniel are doing, and you try to get revenge on those two guys, it’s you who’ll look bad, not them.  Instead just trust that eventually, regardless of whoever is lying or betraying you, the truth will come out!  Probably someone will make a mistake, and then it’ll be very clear.

In other words, for now just be great to everyone.  Be friends with Henry, be friends with the friends who tell you these things, and even be as nice as you can be to Daniel.  If nothing bad is really happening, you won’t lose anything.  But if someone is really doing bad things to you, you can catch them at it!  And then the only bad news I have for you is that you don’t have nearly as many teeth as I do.  Because when I discover someone’s been really bad to me, it’s really great to have allllllllllll these teeth, and four legs that run really fast, so that I can chase them down.  Because when someone’s running away from me, guess what big round tender part of them is just at the perfect level so I can jump up and CHOMP!

But again I stress — don’t do anything till you know.  And maybe, just maybe, you’ll find out nothing all that bad was happening at all.  Remember, the more friends you have, the better life is!


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