I look up, I see God; I look down, I see Dog
A Dog for Jesus
An old friend from years gone by happened to call me the other day. Apparently he had heard from a mutual friend of ours and she told him about our recent conversations so he decided to complete the cycle and give me a call.
Throughout the conversation, we tried as best we could to catch up on things and that was great. Like with us all, there were great, high moments to share, along with the sad, dark clouds that cast shadows upon the land of our lives.
There were a lot of common things that happened in our lives over these 30-some-odd years. Parents and relatives died, people moved in and out of our lives, careers went up and down, we both met some remarkable people and lost some remarkable people. And after 40 minutes or so, we finally got to the really important matters: we both had dogs. (Or maybe I should re-phrase that: Dogs had both of us!) If you are or have been a dog owner, you know exactly what I’m talking about. And if you are a cat-lover, well, then there will be another posting about that much later.
What did we learn from our dogs over the years? Here are few things that we discovered. See if they make any sense to you:
Believe in yourself and things will definitely get better.
“If I could be half the person my dog is, I’d be twice the human I am.”
—–Charles Yu (author, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe)
“The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.”
—–Andy A. Rooney (CBS co-host of 60 Minutes for over 30 years)
Forgive others as quickly as possible
“Dogs don’t rationalize. They don’t hold anything against a person. They don’t see the outside of a human but the inside of a human.”
—César Millan (dog trainer, “The Dog Whisperer”)
Give yourself a break. No one is perfect.
“♫♪ I take it hard each time I fail,
but God forgives, ♫♪
Dog wags his tail.” ♫♫♫♫♫♪
—Wendy Francisco (author/musician, composer of GoD and DoG)
Embrace the power of love
“When an eighty-five pound mammal licks your tears away, then tries to sit on your lap, it’s hard to feel sad.”
—-Kristan Higgins (author, New York Times and Wall Street Journal)
Celebrate the time you have and live in the moment.
“Ever consider what our dogs must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul, chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we’re the greatest hunters on earth!”
—Anne Tyler (author, The Accidental Tourist)
If you have to worry, only worry about the ‘important stuff.’
“My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to $3.00 a can . . .
That’s almost $21.00 in dog money.” —Joe Weinstein (comedian)
There’s a time and a place for everything
“Dogs are wise. They crawl away into a quiet corner and lick their wounds and do not rejoin the world until they are whole once more.”
—Agatha Christie,(Renowned Mystery novelist, Death on the Nile, etc.)
Never take anyone for granted. Time is short.
“I won’t be your best friend for the rest of your life, because I don’t live that long… but I’ll be your best friend for the rest of my life.”
(Hand-drawn sign over an abandoned dog house somewhere in Texas)
“If you think dogs can’t count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them.”
–Phil Pastoret, (writer for the Sunday Comic strip, “Our Boarding House, ca. 1977)
“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures;
They give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive.”
—-Gilda Radner (comedienne, NBC’s Saturday Night Live, died of ovarian cancer at age 42)
So there it is: a lifetime of learning from four-footed creatures that clearly reflects the wonder and care of God for each one of us. And before we go for today, there is just one last thing:
My friend and I spoke about the tough times we had when it was time to say good-bye to our companions. I thought I was the only one who felt the emptiness and longing. There was something I had in my literary arsenal that he did not and it was a joy sharing it with him so I will share with you now in case you need it now or later. I found it in a veterinarian’s clinic waiting area in Metaire, Louisiana one summer. It is a poem by Rudyard Kipling, author of The Jungle Book:
A DOG FOR JESUS
(Where dogs go when they die)
I wish someone had given Jesus a dog.
As loyal and loving as mine.
To sleep by His manger and gaze in His eyes
And adore Him for being divine.
As our Lord grew to manhood His faithful dog,
Would have followed Him all through the day.
While He preached to the crowds and made the sick well
And knelt in the garden to pray.
It is sad to remember that Christ went away.
To face death alone and apart.
With no tender dog following close behind,
To comfort its Master’s Heart.
And when Jesus rose on that Easter morn,
How happy He would have been,
As His dog kissed His hand and barked it’s delight,
For The One who died for all men.
Well, the Lord has a dog now, I just sent Him mine,
The old pal so dear to me.
And I smile through my tears on this first day alone,
Knowing they’re in eternity.
Day after day, the whole day through,
Wherever my road inclined,
Four feet said, “Wait, I’m coming with you!”
And trotted along behind.
“I’m a good girl.”
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