I have been very fortunate in my life. I grew up in a loving, intact family – many don’t. I was fortunate enough to marry an incredible woman who has loved and cared for me since we met – though I many times certainly haven’t deserved it. I have the most wonderful children and grandchildren that anyone could ever dream of having. I don’t for a single nano-second want to minimize the love of these people, and certainly not the love of God for me. My entire life I’ve been surrounded by solid walls of love.
There have been times, though, when I have let all those people down. When I could sense their displeasure or disappointment in me for what I’d done or failed to do. And, there have been times when I was displeased or disappointed in them, too. I suppose that is part of being human – learning to love in spite of our own mistakes and the mistakes of others.
When it comes to a dog, though, it is love of a different kind. It is not as lofty in some ways as human love, because it is most likely not as well-thought out or high-minded. I don’t know the extent to which dogs think. I don’t know the levels of their awareness compared to humans. We somehow assume that since they can’t speak that they are not as aware. I’m not so sure about that. In some ways we know they are more aware: their sense of hearing, smell, sight…all are far superior to our human senses. Maybe their minds are much more advanced than we think they are.
Today’s picture is an old one, but one which I love. It shows Rainie (the yellow-lab mix) and Ramses (our brindle boxer) sharing a “sunshine puddle” on a cool morning. We got Ramses when Rainie was about 3 years old and she immediately adopted him as her baby…and he was her baby all his life, though he died before she did and got to be significantly larger than she was. But there was no doubt the love they had for one another or for us, their human mom and dad, and our children. She was his mom, and he was her rock. Looking at this picture there can be no question that they loved each other.
Sometimes I think that the purest love I’ve ever experienced was from my dogs. They don’t seem to have any ulterior motive – they just want to give their love away, and if they are loved in return, they’re happy for it. If only we humans could learn to love so selflessly!
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: In the Philippines around 1500, the Yo-Yo was a weapon. It consisted of a four pound stone attached to a rope about 20 feet long. Tribesmen used it in two ways. When hunting, they stood off to one side, held one end of the rope and threw the rock towards the legs of an animal. The rope became tangled around the animals legs, and with a tug, the hunter brought the animal down. Against enemies, the stones would be dropped on their heads. The tribesmen would quickly recover the stones, ready for a second blow if necessary.