Since I was a little girl there was nothing in this world I loved more than a fuzzy creature to snuggle. The variety of creatures around my grandmother’s east Texas farm could range from a possum to a horse and everything in between. It felt absolutely magical if I were so fortunate as to come across baby kittens, bunnies or even an injured bird. Anything to love and care for was a gift. Most of my family and friends thought surely I would become a vet, which seemed natural, but as I grew older and spent some time at the vet clinic of a good friend’s dad, I realized it wasn’t all fun. Some animals could be dangerous and they didn’t all want to be loved on. But did I learn that almost always, dogs did want my love and they seemed to have some special connection that I could see by looking right into in their soulful eyes. Unlike a cat or bunny, when I looked into a dogs eyes with love, I found love staring back at me.
I came to believe that as much as I love all animals, dogs have a special purpose in our lives. They give us different meaning and purpose in each day. Dogs not only need us, they want us, more than anything else, they want to love us. Amazingly, they ask for nothing in return. A couple of years ago when I lost my beloved Australian Labradoodle, Goldie, I really wondered what each day would look like without her and it seemed impossible to put it in perspective. One day in conversation with my dog-loving daughter, she said something very wise to me… “There’s something so pure, so unselfish and innocent in our relationship with our dogs. It’s just pure love and there really isn’t any relationship in life that is that pure from beginning to end.” That resonated deeply with me. It brought it all into perspective. With every dog we love, we give up so much of our heart and if you’re a true dog lover, there’s no way around it. It’s the best part of having a dog, and the hardest part, when we lose them.
I rarely meet a dog that I could not give my heart to. They are all so special and so unique in their own way. Dogs eyes show such an old soul inside them. The wrinkles around their face and their intense expressions remind me of a beloved elderly person that holds a world of wisdom and guidance within them. Looking into a puppy's eyes when they first open is such a precious experience and I get so excited with every new puppy. I know one day someone will look into their beautiful eyes and see the same love and wisdom that I see in their mother’s eyes and their father’s eyes. In each of their faces, from a young newborn baby to older dogs that have lived and loved, there is magic, there is wisdom and I believe there is soul.
The term “Man’s best friend” has so much meaning to it. Dogs are more than our companions. They are more than a pet we care for. Our dogs would do anything for us. They will learn tricks, they will figure out any task, they know when we are sick or when our heart is broken. Upon meeting children, dogs instinctively understand that they are small and fragile. They know that when someone is injured to approach with caution. Dogs understand so many things that we never teach them. They just know.
Dogs understand us in ways that we don’t understand ourselves. Their intuition is incredible. How could that be? Dogs truly are love. It is all they have and all they are. If you want to have a dog in your life, know that you need to be your very best self to give back to them all that they will give to you. Take time to notice what they offer you. Notice how they love you, your family and your friends. Trust them when they don’t like someone. Trust them when they’re scared. They listen to their instincts and we can be smarter by trusting in them. We can love deeper. We can be kinder. Dogs are compassion and more than anything else in this world, we need compassion. Give your dog a hug, let them give you a kiss. Be their best friend, because you are theirs. If you already have a dog that loves you, consider yourself blessed.