I went upstairs before my wife last night and Koosh, our little Shih Apso (Shih Tzo and Lhasa Apso combination), insisted on going with me. I turned the lights out and Koosh curled up close on the pillow beside me. After a while I heard him on the floor dancing around, so I opened the door and let him out, thinking he wanted to go downstairs. I shut my eyes and, in what seemed like a moment later, opened them to find Koosh right beside me again. It was a bit of a mystery. Didn’t I let him out? I thought. But then drifted back to sleep.
Later, I asked my wife if she had opened our bedroom door and let him back in. “Yes. He was whining and scratching on the door,” she said. “He wanted to be with you.”
Right now Koosh is curled up in the chair beside me, glancing my way from time to time to be sure I’m still here.
As I watch him, it occurs to me that God created so many things for us to enjoy, from magnificent ocean sunsets, brilliantly fragrant roses, dark coffee and succulent chocolate pie. We see aspects of His creativity everywhere we look, but when he created dog He gave us real companionship and a picture of His heart.
Following is a list of things we can learn about God from our dogs:
Like God, our dog delights to be with us
Like God, mistakes we make don’t change our dog’s opinion of us
Like God, our dog loves us in ways we don’t understand
Like God, our dog protects us (even from the walkers in front of our house)
Like God, our dog connects with us without words
Whenever I grab my car keys to go somewhere, Koosh always looks up to see if he’s going to be invited. One of his favorite things to do is to stick his face out the window as we drive along, lapping up all the sights and smells along the road.
He does the same thing when my wife and I get ready to take a walk. If we pick up his leash, he knows he’s going with us and begins to tremble with excitement. Walks allow him to be with us and to savor the riches of mailboxes and blades of grass.
Following is a list of things we can learn by imitating our dogs:
Like our dog, we can learn to fully embrace each moment
Like our dog, we can learn not to worry about our next meal, but to trust our Provider
Like our dog, we can learn to be joyous about the simple pleasures of life
Like our dog, we can learn unwavering, long lasting loyalty
Like our dog, we can learn to snuggle close to those we love
Like our dog, we can learn never to pass up a chance to play ball
Challenge: Be a student of your dog.
Watch them as they try and sneak into your car as you’re leaving. Notice how their eyes drop at the sight of your suitcase. Appreciate the gusto of their wild “kisses” when you return from a vacation.
As they jump in your lap when you open the car door, forget your perceived failures and bask in their unconditional love.
Even though you may think you don’t deserve it, realize they’re wagging their tail just because you’re you.
When you’re sitting by the fire and your dog jumps in your lap and follows you from room to room, realize that God wants to be with you even more than your dog does.
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” Zephaniah 3:17
Prayer of Thanksgiving: Lord, we thank you so much for Your creation. You have given us so many things to enjoy. We realize that joy, true joy is found in your presence. Thank you for giving us a great picture of your love and your delight in us when you gave us dogs. Help us appreciate the aspects of Your love we see in our dog’s heart.