Monday, October 21, 2013
“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” ― Will Rogers
I think that dogs are better Christians than most Christians. Who else can you lock out in the yard in cold, rainy weather for three days and will be so happy and love you when you let them back in? Certainly not your mother-in-law (don't try this, just take my word for it). They offer unconditional love, want only touching and being close to you, and will offer their lives for you if needed. The stories of dogs saving the lives of their masters or returning to their graves day after day or traveling for thousands of miles to get back home are many and well documented. There is a YouTube video of a dog welcoming his master back from a tour in Iraq (may have been the other place but I can't spell that) that has gone viral. They ask little of us and will offer love despite our own mistreatment of them or lack of attention to them. Science has proven that your blood pressure goes down and stress is relieved just by petting them. Ours guard us and protect us and only want to kiss and be stroked for working all night, every night. We should try harder to be like them when it comes to loving without asking for something in return. The famous atheist, Christopher Hitchens says that, “Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.” I am definitely a "dog person" but I know that cats show affection, too, and provide many with a loving companion. I'm not saying that one is better than the other, I am simply pointing out that we who profess to loving others, who follow Christ who told us to love others and not simply those we know, could learn a lot from the way dogs love us. When one of my sons was having trouble in school and elsewhere as a very young boy, we were told to get him a dog because the dog would always be happy to see him no matter how bad his day had gone. We followed that advice and have had dogs as a part of our lives ever since. Even our Tanzanian staff (Tanzanians generally fear dogs) have learned to love ours and will sneak them food and spoil them if we let them. When I was little, my father told me that a wise man can learn from a fool, but a fool can learn from no one. I have learned from our dogs and hope I am as good to those around me as they are to me.