Archived Story

Lessons from a dog

Published 3:21pm Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I have been lucky and would even say blessed to have enjoyed having four- legged family members that have been and are special to me. To those of you who have not experienced having a dog that actually becomes a member of your family, you have truly missed out on one of life’s great experiences. While some would say they are after all “just a dog,” I would beg to differ.

These little guys are there for the good times and the bad. They are wagging their tail, or in a Boston’s case, their stump of a tail, at the first sight of you. There is a great feeling when they greet you at the door and seem to be telling you how glad they are that you are back. Now it is possible that they really just need to go outside or maybe ready to eat, but I think they just get excited knowing you are home even with all your imperfections and faults.

When they look up at you their bright eyes really do express how much they care for you. Each dog has its own personality and may show its affection for you in a different manner, but all, without a doubt, are loyal to their human family members.

In getting to the lesson, most dogs that I have encountered are not judgmental at all when it comes to their companions. I have even witnessed dogs that were not very well cared for, and even in some cases, abused who still try to show how much they cared for the person taking care of them. They are not concerned about race, religion, ethnicity or even with whom their person chooses to share their life.

The affection shown by most dogs to their owners is unconditional. There are no strings attached nor are there any conditions that have to be met; your level of income or your standing in the community is relative to what they will give you in return for a good meal, dry bed, pat on the head at times and a few kind words, and they are yours for life.

In many ways, I really believe most of us, including myself, fail terribly short of this in how we deal with our fellow man. Even with those we are closest to, we sometimes attach strings or add hurdles in order for them to receive our affection or love.

Even though it seems very simplistic, if we all could learn to love without the barriers that we put in place we might achieve some level of unconditional love that we as Christians should show to all of our brothers and sisters.

Randy Garrison is the president and publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer.

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