Home > The Slow Grow, Yellow w/ White Trim > All We Like Dogs

All We Like Dogs

This morning I spent $111 at the vet’s office.  We’ve had Jack for a year now, so I made an appointment for him to go to see the vet.  Something you have to know about Jack: he’s a scaredy dog.  He’s a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and as such he’s supposed to be really social and love new people and enjoy sniffing everybody’s everything, but Jack’s not that way (one of the reasons I like Jack).  He doesn’t follow all the norms, but does things his own way.

When we adopted Jack we heard that he had spent the first year of his life in a barn away from people (Cavaliers are bred to be around people all the time), so he was never properly socialized around people or other dogs.  He’s not aggressive (mostly) and never bites to draw blood.  He’s just odd in his really super-cute way.  If we go somewhere new or meet someone new he hides behind Dana or myself.

But I’m finding that we get something from Jack and we love it.  He loves us.  He thinks we’re great, and I think he enjoys all my puns and terrific jokes.  We receive that from him, and he receives love back from us.  He also gets food, treats, a bed to sleep in (my bed, by the way), and this morning…shots.

I hate to be the cynical bearer of honesty today, but I think there’s something else I have gotten from Jack: an understanding that all non-forced relationships have built within them a giving and receiving.  I’m friends with the people I’m friends with because I get something from them: mutual respect or good conversation or someone to share a common interest.  There simply has to be that or I probably won’t spend time with them.  Wow.  This kind of makes me sound like a really horrible person, but I think it’s the case with everyone.  Even Mother Theresa received from those she spent time with.

If this weren’t the case, we would spend time with many more people than we do.  Think about why you have the friends you do.  Or maybe why you don’t have as many friends as you would like.

We could argue about this, I’m sure, but here’s my point: Jack was terrified to be around people (not just the vet’s office people), but when I took him to the dog park directly after that, he happily sniffed the butt of every dog there.  He had something in common with the dogs – they are alike in ways that make them sniff each other.

We can smell on someone else a kindredness.  And in the church, people from completely different worlds with completely different likes and dislikes with everything in the world pulling them apart…come together because they have a kindredness – a shared giving and taking, a holy connection…they are family.  We have received together the gifts of salvation and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and a connection to the Creator, Sustainer, and Giver of life.

So we look past our differences in light of our one ENORMOUS likeness.  We serve and share in the same God who has made us a family.  One group of dogs: mutts and purebreds, clean and dirty, foul-smelling and perfumed, long and short-haired, collared and haltered – who gathers weekly to jump on our master and express our love and then to go out into the world having relieved ourselves of all that weighs us down and hinders us – out to wag our tails and share the love our master has so feely given us…all of us rescues who need to overcome our fear of those unlike us.

Ok, I recognize this was a bit cheesey.  But I spent all morning looking at big brown eyes and long floppy ears.  Forgive me.

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