Sometimes, it takes more than one chef to make a delicious meal, and today it seemed to take more than one blogger to write a blog post! My best-girlfriend-soulsister-favoriteshoppingcompanion-vicariousmotherofmydaughters Emilie wrote a blog post that moved me so much, EVEN before coffee, that I ended up writing my blog post in her comments!
Being the loving and responsible woman that she is, she rescued a dog from a bad situation and was musing about the decision she made to relinquish the dog to animal control.
As I stated in her comments, she absolutely did the right thing by that dog and by her family, who aren’t in a position right now to take a dog into their lives. And what follows is the thought that sprang forth organically as I commented:
“But…..one day…one day….I know you will fall in love with a dog. People talk about dogs being child-replacements, but it’s not always so. There’s something a dog gives you that no other human being can give you, not even a child. It’s a special love that I think that displays another facet of the infinite love of God. It’s not replacement child love; it’s dog love. And for what it is, it’s perfect.
So, yes, you did the right thing with Lucky. But one day, if -you’re- lucky, a dog will find you when you’re a bit thin on acceptance, perhaps a bit wormy inside from the challenges of being human, running in and out and dodging the traffic hazards of modern life. And -that- dog will adopt you and say to you with its eyes, “Don’t worry, Lucky! I’ll take care of you!” “
That’s it. That’s how the dogs in my life found me, even the ones that I seemingly adopted. They take care of the human part of me. They are the love that never judges, always stays by me. They only want to be with me. Even when there’s nothing they can do to ease the hurts of my life, they somehow do . They ask for so little and so much. All they want is me.
True, sometimes they need food, walks, baths, and combing. But who really benefits from fulfilling their needs? Certainly, the dog benefits in the short-term, but the long-term benefit is mine. By allowing me to stop worrying for a moment and care for them in the most basic, tactile ways, they smooth the callouses that form too often on my human soul.
And as I stated in an earlier post, I know they are not children. They can never fulfill the role that children play in a parent’s life.
But I don’t think that sells them short, because I’m pretty sure that children can not fill the role that a dog plays in my life, either.
I know that, even if I’d been blessed with children, I’d still have a house full of dog hair, and even after kissing my children goodnight, I’d still crave that tender, loving, accepting, and soul-nourishing kiss from my dog.
Dogs are dogs. And that is a God-blessed existence unique to dogs.
[On a side-note, Georgia State University featured a story this week about dogs in education. It's an interesting read, and futher underscores the importance dogs play in the human existence.]