Most of you know that this site was named after my dog, Lily. And most of you also know that Lily is the center of my world. She is the sweetest, most loving creature that ever walked this earth. Her only goal in life is to please her people (well, that and to eat…A LOT). I was thinking the other day how she just makes my world a better place and it occurred to me that we would all be better people if we were a little more like our dogs.
Yes, I said we should be more like dogs.
Dogs love unconditionally. That quality alone improves this world a million times over. Dogs love you despite your flaws and shortcomings. And they love you no matter how many times you fail them. They don’t sit in judgement of you. You’re too busy to play with your dog? They still love you. You can’t afford to buy them treats when you go grocery shopping? They still love you. You’re a bad cook and always running late? Yep, they still love you. Because they don’t attach conditions and expectations to their love. They give it freely, no strings attached. I don’t think I know a single human who could say the same. Maybe parents give their children that kind of love but do they give it to each other? Or to their extended families? Or their neighbors?
Hand in hand with unconditional love goes a dog’s ability to forgive. They don’t hold grudges. They don’t vow to get even. They may slink off and put some distance between you and them but only because they think that’s what you want. It only takes a pat on the head or bounce of a ball to bring them back. They live in the moment. And in that moment, all is forgotten and you are again their best friend and the center of their universe.
And dogs have their priorities straight. Love and loyalty come above all else. Even above survival. How many times have you heard stories about dogs who sacrifice their lives to save their owners? They don’t value money or things. They don’t spy their neighbor’s dog with a spiffy $20 chew toy and think their old battered tennis ball is anything less than perfect. And the neighbor’s dog doesn’t look down on your dog’s old battered tennis ball either.
Speaking of which, dogs also value play. When they’re not sleeping, eating or obeying your command, they want to be playing! No matter how stressful the day may have been or how tired they may be, they know that a game of catch or a little tug-of-war will make everyone feel better.
These are just a few of the qualities that make dogs so amazing. They’re so simple and yet so deep. Simple because for them love plus care equals happiness. It really isn’t more complicated than that in their world. Deep because it would be a struggle for most of us humans to achieve such simplicity.
Just imagine for second a world where humans love unconditionally, forgive and forget, don’t judge, don’t value material things above love and know how important simple play time is. Are you imagining it? It seems blissful, doesn’t it? There doesn’t seem to be room for war or hate or greed in that kind of world.
My wish for all of us is to hold that thought every morning as we start our days and every night as we end them.
Humans aren’t dogs but we can certainly learn from them and at least try to emulate some of their best qualities. Maybe just for today we could suspend all judgement and just look at everyone as equal. And worthy of love. And we can value what we have rather than what we think we’re missing. Let’s live in the moment! What happened yesterday is gone and what will happen tomorrow is still unknown. Most of all though, let’s try to love everyone for who they are, not who we expect them to be.
Just for today. And maybe tomorrow too…
Until next time LiliBeaners, go dig up those battered tennis balls and have some fun!