There is a legend which tells the story of God giving names to all his creations while strolling among them. God is said to have been followed all this time by a creature for whom he saved the best name for last, dog, being His own name spelled backwards. I do not think God would have done so unless dog was so completely deserving of having his creator’s name embedded in his. There is simply no other creature on earth who exemplifies the absolute unconditional love for another as a dog. In God and dog we find the mystery of love. No matter how many times we may be knocked down by some of life’s hard lessons, we pull ourselves up and try again. We have faith everything in life happens for a reason, that our beloved creator will help us forgive ourselves and others for our mistakes and be our guide to something better. Our beloved dogs, no matter how neglected, misunderstood, abused or abandoned, will continue to shower us with their loving smiles, nudges and wagging tails. While we humans struggle to love someone who has hurt us, our dogs are an endless streaming rainbow of pure love. There is nothing we can do to lose the love of our dog. Dogs are the masters of love, a Divine gift to us to teach us the depths and wonders of unconditional loving.
It is curious how dog owners can resemble their dogs, and dogs can take on certain characteristics of their owners. As this can also be found amongst human companions, it indicates the depth of bonding which occurs between a dog and their owner. Most dog owners possess the human tendency to project their traits, desires and expectations onto their dog. One can learn much about a person by meeting their dog. Many of the unacceptable and undesirable behaviors found in dogs are simply the result of their owners conscious or unconscious projections onto them. Dogs are keen observers and eager to please. Thus, they will tend to learn behaviors as a result of these projections. It behooves us instead to watch and learn from our dogs as the masters of love, and allow their wisdom to guide us in becoming loving masters. Our dogs give us what other humans rarely give us. A dog will crack your heart wide open when you realize no matter how many mistakes you make, you will never be criticized, judged nor condemned by your dog. In this alone, our dogs elevate us to a greater capacity of being the love we long for. We need our dogs, and they need us.
People who never have a dog do not know what they are missing. I realize not everyone’s life circumstances allow for having a dog nor do some people want the responsibility. While my friends who do not have dogs liked and enjoyed my dog, they also found my love for my dog obsessive. Only dog owners who experience this bond get it. Dogs are social animals like people are social. It is a known fact all social creatures possess emotions which enable a social group to bond in their support of one another. The strength of love in a social group is the glue which holds them together. But with dogs, unlike humans, this bond can never be broken. One has only to scratch behind your dog’s ears or rub their belly to feel this bond in the making. The emotional life of a dog far exceeds the human tendency for bonds made and broken. While people come and go from our lives, our dog remains steadfast. We love our dogs so much because they seem to understand us in ways few people ever can. This understanding is deeply emotional while simultaneously elevated to spiritual. How is it, why is it, our dogs love us so completely beyond most people? They are doing their Divine job for which they were designed and chose, and to which we respond in doing our job to love them to which they respond. It is a good trade.
Loving our dog, and being loved by our dog, will inevitably lead us to the God in our dog, and to the God in ourselves. What a gift. Our journey with our dog is the journey into our own heart that is sweetened by their sheer delight of being in our presence, their easy, joyful spirit that flows into every adventure and their grateful acceptance and trust in us a loving masters.
“If you don’t own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life.”