Wednesday, April 8, 2015

To Have a Dog

Our sweet Sugar will be 10 years old this week.  It's starting to show, too.  She's gotten chubby, sleeps a lot more, doesn't hear as well, and is a little slower to get going.  Her paws are streaked with gray and her face is almost white with age, but if we look carefully, we can still see the eyes of our puppy there under all those signs of aging. 

As I write, she's curled up in her bed beside my chair.  That's her spot.  If I get up to do something, she'll likely get up, too.  The place she wants to be, most of all, is wherever I am.
     
The whiter her face gets, the more aware I become of how momentary the gift of a dog's life is.  Theirs are so brief compared to ours.  There's that twinge of dread that all dog owners get as their pets get older.  They're here for such a short time, but the love of a dog is a blessing to man.  The loyalty and companionship, well, they don't come without cost to us, though.  If you love a dog, you're signing up to, one day, feel pain. 

I think I've told you about Sugar before.  Sugar is what happens when a dachshund girl meets a Chihuahua boy and they have a brief, steamy, carnal encounter and then go their separate ways.  Goodness knows she doesn't have any papers.......unless you count her shot record from the vet clinic.  She's not the most social dog in the neighborhood.  She's scared of thunder and the vacuum cleaner.  And is not fond of children at all.  She's got significant anxiety problems.  She doesn't have many friends outside these four walls.  She'll never win any dog photo contest.  Let's face it, she's just not a dog that anyone would ever give a second look, really.      

But, she's a loyal friend to us.

She was here the day Carson left for his first day of kindergarten.  She's run behind the kids' bikes and chased their balls.  She's been dressed up and photographed between our little goblins before a night of trick or treat.  She's sat under the swing set, standing guard while the kids played.  She's barked at boys who've come to pick Blair up and announces the arrival of Carson's friends.  She warns us if she thinks there's a problem we should know about.  She's laid beside us when we've had the flu, surgery, and broken bones.  She's been here when we've gotten bad news and always seems to sense when something is wrong.  She's not afraid to show her teeth if she feels like we're in danger and puts herself between us and the threat.  She's photo bombed pre-prom pictures in our front yard.  She laid her head on my lap when my Daddy died.  She's been underfoot at Carson's birthday parties and a backyard ballgame or two have been delayed in order to get her off the field.  She stood in the driveway as Blair drove away for college and then sat with me when we came back inside.  

To have a dog means there'll always be another living thing excited to see you come and sad to see you go.......who will always be wondering where you are and when you're coming back. 

You'll never be alone...even if you're the only person around.

You'll have affection anytime you need it.....and comfort and protection.

Your arrival will always set off a shameless display of joy that can't be contained. 

You'll be admired and idolized......always have an adoring fan.

You'll never be without a listening ear.

Dogs don't want to get even or compete or keep score.  They don't hold grudges, withhold affection, or require apologies.  There are no issues, attitudes, undertones, or cold shoulders.  They never need an explanation or make judgments.  They just love.

They don't ask for anything in return .....just that you love them back. 

Yeah, I know.....it's just a dog.   

But, to be loved by a dog is to be genuinely loved.  An innocent, trusting, uncomplicated, adoring kind of love. 

They are breathing, feeling, living things made by God.....a gift from Him to us.  I suppose He knew, in all His wisdom, that there would be days when we wouldn't want to be alone, but, at the same time, we wouldn't feel like talking or explaining ourselves.  He knew that there would be times when we'd need a companion of a different sort.  One that would just sit and be quiet and love us no matter what.  
      
I imagine God thought long and hard about it....and dogs were His answer.

Y'all have a good day, my friends!













        

18 comments:

  1. And if you spell dog backwards, is spells God...

    I love this post. Thanks!!

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    1. Thanks, JK......nothing like a dog. :)

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  2. You have made me cry this morning. My 8 year old Yorkie Molly has pneumonia, and right now I'm watching her work so hard for every breath. I've been up for 2 nights making sure she has what she needs. I know they are not a kid, but I love her like one. Thank you for this post!

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    1. Oh my goodness, Carla. I hope Molly is doing better now!

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  3. Fantastic (however, tearful) post. So thankful for my Ruby Tuesday.
    Happy Birthday, Sugar!

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    1. I love the name.....Ruby Tuesday!!! Precious! Thanks, Whitney.

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    2. Thank you! Some ask if she's named for the chain restaurant, some think it's from the Rolling Stones song.....
      It's the latter. :)

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  4. I LOVE this post! Thanks for putting it into words so beautifully!

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  5. We have three dogs and I love each and every one of them. The joy they bring to us is enormous! The connection to various personalities in our home is god-given. Happy Birthday, Sugar, Ten is still a great age in dogdom.

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    1. Thanks, Missy June! They're man's best friend, indeed!

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  6. Happy Birthday Sugar! What a cute face! Well said Joni, don't we have issues that they have to put up with too? At the end of day, our family pets are always there to give us their cold noses, wet kisses and hugs.I do think of the word Dog too, our guardians on earth. Thank you God. Kathleen in Az

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  7. Yes and Amen! I've had dogs who seemed to know when I was sad and stuck beside me. They are so loyal and forgiving and ask so little in return. I am so fond of the four we have right now (way too many, I know; but we didn't chose them, they chose us).

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    1. Their ability to read our emotions is just amazing. Sounds like you get a lot of love at your house, Bonnie! :)

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  8. In 6 days it will be a year since our beloved dachshund Lucy passed away, so your post really hit home. She was my constant companion for almost a decade and I think I will probably miss her every day for the rest of my life. So while reading this lovely and truthful post brought on ALL the emotion, there's also new love blooming around here. We'd recently made a decision that enough time had passed and to open our hearts again. As a family, we so very much missed the love, joy and companionship of having a dog in our home. A few weeks ago we were blessed with Jack the Pug who came to us in a way that clearly showed the hand of God at work. We are now absolutely and officially smitten even though I'd completely forgotten how much work housebreaking a puppy can be!!! Thank you for writing this and for putting that mutual love into words so eloquently.

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    1. What a sweet story!! Thank you for sharing about Lucy. It's the only bad part about having a pet......and it's a doozy. I'm glad Jack came along at the right time. Hope you all will enjoy many, wonderful years together!

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  9. Beautifully written. You have a true gift.

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