12/14/2008

The Love of a Good ------ Dog!



All over the country, shouts of “Hello, I am home” sends four footed doggies, tails wagging and behinds swiveling left to right, running to their owners. This is the highlight of their day!

In this day and age of hustle and bustle, it is hard to find a friend, the kind that listens with intensity, and does not interrupt. Dogs seem to be the exception. Many dogs tilt their head to ensure the sound waves are redirected so they don’t miss a beat of what their owners are saying. You can say your deepest darkest secrets and know they will not be revealed. You will not be judged, and at the end of your recanting your dastardly deeds, your pet will proudly lick your face for bearing all. It is a validation of the courage you have shown your four legged friend! Dogs make the best listeners. If nobody listens to you, you either need to evaluate the content and delivery of your message, or get a dog.

Buddies are an affirmation of your worth. As my one friend tells me, our dog loves to drink (small amounts!) of beer. When my husband needs a break from the rest of the world and the family drama, he can be found out in the backyard ,grilling out, beer in hand and just chilling with the family dog! These are moments that show how the simplicity of life are truly memorable. As I listened to her recant these memories, her face was full of love and laughter. I saw a twinkle in her eye as if she was picturing it from the distance. Her dog is her husband’s drinking buddy and it keeps him safe, home and content!

My old high school chum has had dysfunction in her life for many years. All that emotional scarring has long healed. She is now fulfilled, living with the man she should have married the first time, and busy as ever between work, sharing her life with her husband and their two children. Did I mention, both are four legged? Yep, the dogs are the center of attention frequently and bring so much joy to their happy union.

I reconnected a few months ago with a dear friend recently divorced. She has gone thru two divorces in a relatively short time. The one stable element in her life is her dog, a beautiful golden retriever that is as loyal today as when her and her first husband brought her home to their apartment. She told me that, through it all, not only was the love of her family a strength provider during tough times but her dog let her know that she will always be there. This dog is so loyal and caring. If she cries, the dog licks away her tears and reminds her she is blessed.

My pet, a beloved Labrador retriever found a lump in my breast which turned out to be breast cancer in the fall of 2007. He rammed his head into my chest, when I bent over to pet him; on the right side so hard it bruised my skin on the outside. This bruising forced me to feel and examine my breast closer to see if the tissue was damaged. When I did that, I noticed a large size mass. This turned out to be cancer. When the malignant tumor was removed, my surgeon told me the tumor matched up identically to the shape of the bruising and the placement of it on the outside of my chest where Charley had plowed into me. To this day, the surgeon credits my dog for saving my life. I had aggressive cancer and with out Charley’s sensing something was wrong there, I might not have life left to spend time reflecting. Note: Charley cannot be used in place of mammograms.

I met a man a few months ago. He lived alone, was quite poor and never left his house. His wife passed away a few years back and his life has never been the same as they shared a profound deep love and over thirty years of marital bliss. When I met him, he was as happy as a lark. Why? Because the one thing him and his wife shared was the love a small mutt and that mutt, to this day, sits on the center of the old man’s lap every day faithfully. As the old man watches his favorite TV programs him and his deceased wife use to share, the dog is diligent in being near his master. The dog relieves this man’s loneliness and reminds him that a piece of his wife will always be with him. And, the dog shares in this man’s sense of loss. That can be so healing, to have someone who can relate to your emotional loss. Hence, he is a happy man, full of smiles and joys to interact with those that care to come into his home. His dog is happy also as they have each other!

When you see a stray dog, call the Animal Control. These are God’s creatures too and they do not deserve to suffer an untimely painful death by starvation or being hit by a car to lie dying on the roadside. Someone might need them in their life. Dogs can be a blessing. Give them a chance. They may be the best friend you ever make!
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