Friday, August 29, 2014

Lessons We Learned from Our Dog

Our son had been begging for a dog. We promised we'd get him one after we moved into a parsonage. Friends told us of a litter of cockapoo puppies that were ready to be adopted. We promptly fell in love with a six-week-old  puppy we named Taffy because she was the color of pulled molasses taffy.

Taffy quickly fit into our household. As she grew into adulthood, she turned a beautiful white shaded with apricot. For 16 years, she filled our home with love and joy. She knew how to love sincerely and showed it enthusiastically.

One writer put it this way: Thirteen Things I Learned from My Dog.

(1) When my loved ones come home, always run to greet them, no matter how late they are.
(2) Enjoy the outside.
(3) Let others know when they've invaded your territory.
(4) Take naps and stretch before rising.
(5) Run, romp, and have fun daily.
(6) On hot days sit, drink lots of water, and lie under shade trees.
(7) When you are happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
(8) When disciplined, bounce back and make friends again.
(9) Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
(10) Eat with gusto; stop when you've had enough.
(11) Be loyal.
(12) Never pretend to be something you're not.
(13) If what you want lies buried, dig until you get it.

Often, Taffy reminded us of the Holy Spirit, who is gentle and can be easily grieved by our unloving actions. Whenever we raised our voices, she would creep under the couch, reminding us that arguing also grieved the Holy Spirit.

What simple wisdom our dogs exhibit! If we would act more like our lovable dogs and less like prickly porcupines at home and work, how much happier our lives would be. And our loved ones would feel more secure in our love.

"The whole point of what we're urging," says The Message Bible, "is simply love--love uncontaminated by self-interest and counterfeit faith, a life open to God."
Our dog taught us that instead of thinking about ourselves, we need to think about God and ministering to the needs of others, to love without self-interest.

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