Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dog Love

Steve Allen purportedly once said, "Old men miss many dogs." It is true of middle-aged women, as well... I still miss our sweet Little, even as I'm enjoying getting to know our new friend, Pippin. This weekend we will take him camping with us for the first time. Little used to love it. We'll see about this little guy that barks at all noises coming from outside when we leave the bedroom windows open at night. If Pip is one of these "bark all night at the campsite" dogs, I'll go nuts.

My father sent me this sweet song a few weeks ago, and it still makes me smile. It highlights the remarkable fact that canine love often seems enduring and unconditional, reminding us of that heavenly love which truly is enduring and unconditional. As George Eliot once said, "We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment."

I'm not sure my dog really "loves" me at all, but merely appreciates my care for him and views me as the pack leader, in true canine fashion. But he does turn a truly blind eye to all my faults and flaws, which is more than most people in my life. (I have a lot of faults and flaws. It is hard to be blind to them, and even harder to bear with them with grace.) Andy Rooney once observed that, "The average dog is nicer than the average person." He was probably right. One of my goals in life is to love those the Lord puts into my path with the same sort of uncritical spirit that my dog extends to me. (I am very critical, both of myself and of those around me.)

I don't "love like my dog" well yet, but I am confident that, "He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it," and so I continue to hold out hope. Laugh if you will. I truly do hope to one day love as uncritically as my dog does...

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