Dogs are easier to love than people.

I like dogs.  I’m not a crazy dog person like some people are though, and I’ve never really understood how some people go to the extreme of “they’re like kids to me” until I read this….

I stole this from somewhere recently, but didn’t write down the source, so forgive me if was you.
She’s gone…along with a huge piece of my heart. For almost 15 years, she’s carried every bit of my sadness, happiness, triumphs, failures, heart breaks, and everything in between, like only a best friend can. She was there for the madness and for the quiet moments. The chaos and the normal day to day. We have moved all over the country together and that little honey bear fur has caught countless tears I’ve cried. She never judged me, even when I was at my most crazy. She just loved me. She followed me anywhere and adored me with those little sunburst eyes. She was the most stubborn and free spirited little creature, yet the most loving and fiercely loyal. This hole in my heart can never be filled but I feel peace knowing that she’s whole again.

When I read this, it started making sense to me why some people love dogs so much.  And it has nothing to do with the dogs at all.

What the author of that post loved wasn’t her dog.  She loved the way her dog made her feel.

Look at what she wrote…She’s carried every bit of my sadness…She was there for the madness…She never judged me…She just loved me….She followed me anywhere and adored me…  

I don’t doubt that the author of that post will miss the companionship her dog offered her.  But whether she realizes it or not, what she’s really going to miss about her dog are all the things she really should have been getting from people.

Again, I’m not a dog hater.  But to receive your comfort in a time of struggle, or consolation for a broken heart, or feelings of acceptance from an animal isn’t natural.  I can see how it happens….I’m not a people-person.  I don’t enjoy dealing with people.  I don’t like opening up to people and I get incredibly uncomfortable when people open up to me.  I understand why people avoid human relationships.

Getting your acceptance from an animal is much easier than getting it from a person.  Feed the dog….Dog accepts you.  Even if you neglect the dog and forget to feed it for days, it’ll still be happy to see you.  It’s like the old joke….If you want to know who really loves you, throw your dog and your wife into the trunk of your car for five minutes.  Then open it up and see who’s happy to see you.

But that’s not the way we were created.  Loving people is hard.  It’s not easy to open up to people and risk being rejected.  It’s not easy to invest the time and energy into being there for them.  But that’s what we’re supposed to do.

Ultimately, we should be seeking acceptance from God.  It should be God that fills the holes in our hearts and carries our sadness.

But God has also given us each other.  We have each other, especially our family “by water”, to comfort us.  And (preaching to myself) we should be emotionally available to catch tears and share happiness with those who are depending on us.