Saturday, June 15, 2013

What We Can Learn From Our Dogs

My Dogs: Hobbes (L) and Calvin (R)
Dog Days of Summer
I can tell that the dogs days of summer are about to arrive here in the DFW Metroplex. The weather creeped up near 100 this week. Coincidentally or not, the hottest day of the year was also my first full day of Summer break. During the early part of my break, I just try and unwind, which means I get to spend a great deal of time with my dogs - Calvin and Hobbes.

GoD and DoG
I've joked with Stacey before that sometimes Hobbes will give me this look that suggests he's thinking "you know DOG is GOD spelled backwards?" Lest we get into a discussion about the anthropomorphization of our pets, let me move on. I think there is much we can learn about our relationship with God from our dogs.

One reason I have always preferred dogs as pets, is that they are very loyal. Dogs are known to travel miles, over rough terrain to return to their families. Others have been known to guard over their owners when the person has been injured. In one particular case, a German shepherd continued to attend daily Mass.

Unconditional Love
The attribute that dogs display above all other animals is unconditional love. They seem to have an ability to forgive us when we come home late or accidentally step on their tails. They also have an innate way of knowing when we are sick or feeling down. On those days when I am not feeling well, Hobbes will come lay in my lap.

The Real Example
What our dogs can really teach us is obedience. A good dog will do what his human asks of him, often because he wants to please him. We could learn from that. How obedient are we to our Lord's will. I am not sure that we frequently find ourselves saying, "Not my will Lord, but yours." Or "I must decrease so that You may increase." In the end isn't that what holiness is – enjoining our will to the will of the Father?