If you have owned a dog who sadly has passed away, you have realized and most likely experienced a deep hurt and sorrow. If you haven’t been through this, this article may not make much sense to you. You may think “well, why the tears, it was just a dog”. But was it “just a dog”?
There are certainly mysteries in God’s creation and His will in this. A dog’s life on average is very limited. Imagine if a human being was considered very very old at the age of 16. When a dog is born, their death clock ticks 4-5 times as faster as the human being who owns them.
But being a dog owner who has had dogs pass away, to me it is not so much the limited time which I miss, it is the qualities they possessed. Those who have never owned a dog, who never lived with them day in and day out, are exempt from this true blessing they bring. They simply take each day as it comes. They don’t look backwards or forwards, and unlike human beings they truly comply with Jesus Christ’s command at just taking care of today.
Their consistent loyalty, forgiveness, love, kindness, and obedience are just some of the qualities human beings have, but in the case of a dog it is truly consistent each day. In other words, if we could be more like our dogs is what I believe God is teaching through them.
God blesses us for just a short while with them, and I believe their task from God is to teach us these qualities we definitely lack in consistency. Some may not see it this way. They may look at the dog as a toy or a taken for granted companion and then miss out on all these things they were tasked to bring into your life. But I assure those who have done this, you will face MUCH regret when they do pass away.
My Leo who just recently passed away possessed an innate quality that I definitely lacked. He would greet everyone he knew with so much excitement and love as if they would have returned from a war. He would see my neighbor each day and greet him this way, and I would often comment to him that “if humans would treat each other this way, what a different world we would live in”. Leo NEVER took for granted those in his life, not for a single second. Somehow I think he knew his time with them would be limited and wanted every last second with them to be important. I saw glimpses many times of God in him, the perfection in the consistency.
I believe that this how Jesus Christ greets His children and vice versa, the same way Leo did with my neighbor or all of those he knew and loved in his life, with such sheer joy and with sheer genuine excitement. What an awesome quality! And I am truly sad for those who have yet to experience this and pray that one day you will!
Being considerate was also one of Leo’s greatest qualities. He instinctively knew how to be empathetic. There was a never a reason to treat another as “lesser” or as a waste of time. He also never took for granted the torn up things he would find. The analogy are those broken people you may not have had time for or those who feel don’t fit neatly into your social circle, Leo would not look the other way. To him, the silliness we sometimes get caught up in was a total waste of time and energy, he never wanted to waste his day on brooding or grudges or nonsense.
Obedience is another quality we can learn from our dogs. They are naturally obedient, human beings are not. They don’t ask as we do “why should I, God”, or “maybe next week I will do that”, they simply submit. They don’t argue with their owner, they listen and obey. They submit to the training in this. Think about this when Jesus commands us to repent of sin, to be obedient to His commandments. He isn’t asking you for a dialogue, an argument, a rationalization, it is simply “DO AS I SAY”. And if you don’t have dog-like obedience to this, most likely you are not saved, rather you are in rebellion to Him. You can deceive yourself, but He isn’t your owner!
Lastly, dogs don’t come and go. Getting back to consistency some so-called Christians lack. Some believe they are Christians but only for a season and then come and go back to the world as they please, posting a FB post here and there to try and portray themselves as a Christian for example, and then live a life of degenerate debauchery so far from any Christian principle. If you are this person, query yourself if Jesus would be excited to see you or would He even know who you are. Would He be the proud Father of you?
We can learn MUCH just from a dog!