Sunday, July 25, 2010

Gratitude Sunday: Dogs

Anyone who has ever lived with a dog understands the magnetic pull of their unconditional love.  Since this is gratitude Sunday, I will attempt to express my gratitude for all dogs and the love they give us and, most specifically, for Missy, the ten pounds of dog that warms my heart every day.

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.


  1. Do you know this poem?

    Why Dogs Stopped Flying
    by Kenneth W. Brewer

    Before humans,
    dogs flew everywhere.
    Their wings of silky fur
    wrapped hollow bones.
    Their tails wagged
    like rudders through wind,
    their stomachs bare
    to the sullen earth.

    Out of sorrow
    for the first humans--
    stumbling, crawling,
    helpless and cold--
    dogs folded their
    great wings into paws
    soft enough to walk
    beside us forever.

    They still weep for us,
    pity our small noses,
    our unfortunate eyes,
    our dull teeth.
    They lick our faces clean,
    keep us warm at night.
    Sometimes they remember flying
    and bite our ugly hands.

  2. Oh..I'm a firm believer that dogs make us human. You may want to check-out this post over at vision and verb:
    Written by my most loved dog!!!

  3. Maureen and Marcie ... you both prove my point ... see how nice dogs make us. Love the poem, Maureen and Marcie, it must be nice to be able to leave your blog in such worthy paws. Thanks! ;-)

  4. Oh Joyce -- thank you -- I read your post to Ellie and she wagged her tail and gave one of her special smiles and then, when she realized there was no treat attached, went back to sleep on the floor behind my office chair.

    That poem is brilliant -- go listen to Dog Breath for more smiles.

    And Marcie's post is brilliant! Ellie had to post a reply.

  5. We use the saying "I want to be the person my Dog always wanted me to be" for those who have trouble with the God thing...I am dogless for the first time since I was 19, but it wont be forever dogless, they bring too much joy!