I have a coffee mug that reads, ‘I prefer dogs over people’, and to a great extent, the statement is true. I love animals, all animals, but I am partial to dogs. There is a reason dogs are referred to as man’s best friend. No other creature has as close a relationship with humans as the canine creature. I love cats, too, and we have one. Sophie is our honorary dog. The difference between cats and dogs is that cats will have a relationship with humans on their terms, dogs bend over backward to have relationships with humans. All creatures have unique personalities and qualities but the qualities of a dog are similar to God’s, to the qualities we associate with Divine Love, and in the grand scheme of things, I believe it happened on purpose.
Each breed has it’s own personality and quirks. We love Yorkies. We have them in three sizes, tiny, small, and well, one that is more robust. My husband and I have had big dogs and medium-sized dogs in our lives, but are now of the opinion, past a certain age one should stick with the smaller breeds. Next weekend we will be adding another to our ever-growing family of canines. When I made the vet appointment for our new little gal’s arrival check-up the receptionist said, “let me guess, another Yorkie?” I didn’t necessarily agree we needed another, but on the flip side, we have a couple of dogs that are getting along in years. Losing Harley a bit over a year ago changed us, a piece of our hearts is now tucked away in a walnut box on the bedside stand, her life unexpectedly shortened by the negligence of a groomer. No one will ever take her place, so I guess one could say we just started adding to the love and light each one brings to our lives.
When I look into the eyes of our pups I am drawn in spiritually; their eyes are a window to the Divine. Their mercy and forgiveness, infinite. Dogs are intuitive creatures and know when their humans are sad, depressed, or in pain. When Harley passed, her sister, Chardonnay, rarely left my side; we grieved together. Unsure about the character of other people in your life? A dog will size them up in a heartbeat. If a dog doesn’t like a particular person, listen up, there is a reason.
Shortly after Harley left us one of our daughters got a rescue from the shelter. He was barely three months old, found on the same street where Harley died and the little guy was born in the same month; synchronicity. He was meant for us. When we saw that little guy terrified, trembling, and tucked in the corner of the shelter cage we promised him we would be back to get him. Humans could learn a lot from the depth of his gratitude and devotion, evident to this day. Simon Cowell said it best when he said if we treat a dog right they will give their lives to save ours.
God uses His canine creation to draw us to Him, to draw us out of ourselves, to teach us forgiveness, mercy, acceptance, and loyalty. Our best friends recently adopted a rescue pup following a year plus sabbatical after suddenly and tragically losing their beloved dog. The new pup is a beautiful animal with the biggest, saddest eyes I think I have ever seen. Tears well in my eyes when I think of the cruelty this one likely experienced at the hands of humans whose job it was to care for her, to whom she pledged loyalty. At the same time, in the depth of her big brown eyes, there is love and devotion to the humans who rescued her from a life of hardship. The cruelty of humans toward animals knows no bounds, and yet a dog will forgive the cruelty of a human with his dying breath; the truest earthly expression of infinite love, loyalty, and forgiveness.
At the end of the day, dogs are really man’s best friend. They remind us of what is important: not to sweat the small stuff, accept others as they are, to be merciful, forgiving, and loyal, and if others aren’t quite what they appear to be on the outside, steer clear. If more people were like dogs, the world would be a much nicer place…..