Dogs are what people would be like if they were as kind and friendly as they were supposed to be and occasionally peed on the carpet. For one thing, dogs don’t hold a grudge. If you scream and curse at a dog for eating your glasses, as my dog has done, they’ve forgotten your tantrum in a manner of minutes. There are dumb things I’ve done years ago that I still hear about from time to time. And I’m sure I bring old grudges up myself. If we just forgot about things the way dogs do, we’d all get along much better.
No one, and I mean no one shows love the way a dog does. You come home, walk in the door and there they are, wagging their tail and jumping for joy as if the very sight of you is the most wonderful thing in the whole world. Now I love my wife very much, but if I acted that way when she came home she’d have me committed. Dogs can get away with it, and it’s wonderful.
Dogs can be wise. Oh, I know you non-dog people are skeptical, but it’s true. Dogs know what’s important in life. Snuggling, for instance. If everyone took a little more time to hug and snuggle a loved one the world would be a brighter place.
Dogs remind us that a patch of sunlight on the floor is a wonderful spot to take a nap- and it is.
Parks, dogs tell us, are magical places to be cherished, smelled, and enjoyed often. It’s true. There are a lot of people who are enjoying nature more just because they have a dog. We should be grateful.
Of course dogs like to play. Play is important, even for grownups- perhaps especially for grown-ups. Let’s face it, dogs and children give us an excuse to be goofy and roll around on the floor. Being goofy and rolling around on the floor is good for us. We take things too seriously. Dogs never do.
One of the most important virtues a person can have is patience, and dogs teach us that. This isn’t always fun. My dogs bark every time they hear someone outside. I’ve asked them nicely not to, but they do it anyway. I know they’re just warning me “Hey, someone’s out there. Just thought you should know- woof woof,” but it’s irritating. But then there are things the people in my life tell me that irritate me too, even when it’s done out of care and concern. I should be more understanding, and the dogs remind me of this.
There’s a lot involved in owning a dog. When a kid gets a dog it’s often a great way for them to grow and learn to be responsible. Dogs need walks, food, water and attention. They must be taken to the vet from time to time, which can be expensive, but it’s important. Everything good in life must be taken care of, and dogs are no exception.
One of the saddest things about having a dog is putting one to sleep. It happened to me once, and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. My dog Skipper had a tumor and was in a lot of pain. In that last moment I stroked his fur as the drugs took hold. I told him he was a good dog, and he looked up at me with those loving eyes and slipped quietly away. There, in that first moment of absence I knew what unconditional love truly was. All thanks to a little dog.
Now, if you’ll excuse me- there’s a patch of sunlight on the living room floor and a dog that wants to play.