Sunday, July 25, 2010
Gratitude Sunday: Dogs
As I was thinking of what dogs bring us ... besides love, they make us laugh, teach us patience and at least try to improve our health by requesting, not so patiently, that we walk them once or twice a day ... I had to wonder what the world would be like without them. Love changes us so what would we be without the daily dose of pure love from our four-footed companions? Could we stop wars by encouraging dog companionship? Imagine if everyone in Congress were accompanied by their dogs. Conversations change when dogs are around ... we talk about their cute tricks, their allergies, what toys they like best. Maybe we should elect politicians based on how well they take care of their dogs. It couldn't be much worse than the criteria we currently use. Maybe they would be so busy taking care of their dogs and cleaning up their messes that they would be too busy to make more of a mess of our economy and social systems.
Dogs teach us to read expressions and body language and I know that Missy often thinks I'm a dunce when she's making it very clear what she wants and I keep saying, "Just tell me what you want." The slightest twitch of an eyebrow should be enough to tell me whether she's wanting to walk or is simply bored and wants to play. But all too often I miss the point and she repeats the message a little slower and a little louder, carefully enunciating each signal as if to a befuddled child. But she never holds my shortcomings against me. Finally I get the message and every inch of her body celebrates the success in a wild yo-yo dance of delight. One step forward in my training.
A friend of mine was fond of telling me that dog is God spelled backwards ... perhaps he's right ... maybe dogs are God's way of teaching us what love is and what life could be like if we just accepted and loved each other. Our dogs give us that gift ... perhaps they could teach us to pass it along ... maybe that's what they're here to do and trying to do and we're just too slow to get the lesson.