TO LOVE A DOG
To love a dog is to surrender your heart to a being who can never answer you with words, or help you figure out the best detour around a traffic jam, or cook dinner for you. The surrender is deep and true and uncompromising. Because in a dog’s eyes are centuries of wisdom that human beings have not yet evolved into. A dog shows us that we don’t really need words to communicate; we just need trust, and faith in the mysteries that lie beyond the reach of language.
A dog sees us at our worst and at our best, but reacts only with love and tolerance. We’re usually more patient with a dog than with anyone else — friends, kids, spouses — and the simple act of discovering how beautiful patience can be brings us closer to who we always wanted to become.
We know that, barring accident or tragedy, we will outlive our dogs. So we memorize moments, treasure the small indicators of time passing — the puppy playfulness that slips by too quickly, the adolescent goofiness. When age takes its toll we watch protectively, alert to every change and warning sign. And when the end does come, our hearts crumble and no matter how often we’ve been through it, it feels like the first time.
Dogs make us better people. And I think they know that. It’s why they watch us so lovingly, so tenderly and patiently. They’re waiting for us to discover truths about ourselves that they already know. Either that, or it’s dinner time and they’re waiting to be fed.
(Please read Gracie’s book, The Wit and Wisdom of Gracie, by Gracie Davis, published by Huqua Press and available on Amazon.)