There is a good reason why dogs are called “man’s best friend.” While I may sometimes take my pets for granted, I believe a lesson in love can be learned from my dog, Snickers. In fact, in some ways, I aspire to be just like my dog.
Now, Snickers is not exceptionally bright – she constantly barks at nothing and chases her own shadow – and she’s certainly not the most obedient, which is evident when she romps over to the neighbor’s yard whenever she feels like it, to see how many new smells there are. Despite all of this, I love her anyway. More importantly, she loves me. Who knows why. I know I have nudged her aside on my bed more than once, and I’ve yelled at her for barking at neighbors, or nothing at all, more times than I can count, but she doesn’t seem to care too much; she forgives me without hesitation. I want that. I want to show that kind of love and I want it shown to me in return.
For humans, it seems second nature to hold grudges. It is a perpetual cycle of disagreeing, arguing and fighting, and then walking away still holding onto hate. I’m sick of that. I wish people could all love like a faithful dog, with the passion and loyalty to come back without question. What greater love is there than forgiveness? Who can say they have yelled at someone, only to have the incident forgiven and forgotten moments later without question? I certainly can’t.
I want to be like my dog. I do not want to havep fleas and I don’t want to go to the bathroom in my own backyard, but I want more of her kind of love in my world. I don’t want to hold onto negativity or have a grudge held against me because of a heated moment. I want people, myself included, to let go more. To find a way to love anyway. Just love. Sometimes people do deserve the benefit of the doubt and a second change. A bad moment does not demote someone as less deserving of love. We all need to learn to rise above ourselves and forgive.
Everyday when I come home from school, my dog is excited and she scampers around the doorway to greet me, giving me a sign that I am loved. I want to discover this. I want to find the person who is excited when I come home, even if we argued before I left. Likewise, I want to be a big enough person to rise above an argument as well.
My dog has shown me a whole new meaning to the term “puppy love.” I want that kind of love in all aspects of my life – friends, family, everything – and I believe the best role-model of this true love is found in my dog.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.