Dogs and the love of God

We said goodbye to our dog of eleven years back in June. These last two months two friends shared their grief at saying goodbye to a beloved canine. In the back of my mind I've had this thought that mourning a dog was excessive. "Just a dog, after all." But recently the thought came to me that people who mourn for their dogs are echoing the love of God. God loves us, gets emotional about us, and no angel dare say: "Why such a big deal. Just a human!"

I have another dog memory -- before Happy (2001 to 2013) we had Didi in the 90's. Didi was very affectionate, sometimes annoyingly so. We could never teach her not to jump up on us when we came home from the office. We'd come home, she'd bound forward to meet us, and jump on us with her eyes gleaming with happiness that we were home, and we'd say "No, no, down, Didi." Day after day. But I saw that her jumping was her expression of affection for us, that our coming home was the high point of her day. And my annoyance at being jumped on again would fade.

I was patient with Didi because I focused on her love for me, not on her failing to learn how I wanted to be loved. Much greater is the Father's love -- patient with us in our imperfections, loving us even when we do not love him.

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