Some of you, probably like me, watched the conclusion to the Hallmark American Rescue Dog Show Monday night. It is obviously unlike most dog shows since “Sugar,” the beautiful dog on the left, won and his category was reacting to best belly rubs. 🙂
Another “huge” favorite was Goliath, (right) in the senior category, who threw his gigantic frame against his “Forever Home” father as if thanking him again and again for saving him and giving him a loving home in his final “golden” years. He was a lovable ‘tear-jerker’ for everyone watching at home.
After listening to different authors appearing on talk shows lately…especially “Self-Help” books (the most popular genre these days) or “How To” categories…I made a delightful observation. One author was saying that we all have the ability within each of us to bring joy and daily happiness to those around us.
The author then began his list ( I will spare you the whole list) but basically things like 1) Giving someone else your complete, undivided attention 2) Express facial delight into bumping into a friend or stranger and promote positive feelings within your conversations 3) Show another the importance of tactile movements like spontaneous hugs and pats….after all humans are basically social creatures and we are happier when surrounded with physical contacts as well as emotional…
Then last night as I watched each of the 10 categories the rescue dog participants were involved in….Best Wiggler, couch potato, belly rubber, senior, snorer, etc. I had to chuckle to myself. Everything this author was promoting in his self-help books to stronger friendships was being done automatically by these adorable rescue dogs.
Think about it…dogs go nuts when their owners get home every day…smiling, barking, jumping, kissing, hugging…they want emotional and physical love and lots of it…but basically they just want to drop everything else to be with their owner for whatever precious time they get together.
Don’t you think so many of our human problems would vanish…like troubled relationships…if spouses, girl or boy friends, live-ins, whoever…gave each other all this time and adoration every time we saw them?
Think about it…one of our favorite Bible stories from childhood is always the story of Noah and the Ark. But do you remember how it really ends…not just with a dove and a rainbow…but a covenant?
Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark.” – Genesis 9:8-17
We mortals like to look on covenants as legal documents…it helps if each party can read and write or at least place an X in the blank…but God made a covenant with animals? Obviously a covenant with God is definitely different than with humans.
Quinn Caldwell, theologian and author…adds his own unique brand of humor to this line of scripture….
So what is the birds’ quid to God’s quo? What is it that God needs, or even wants, enough to make a contract with zebras? What could dinosaurs or dolphins possibly do that’s enough to pay for God’s offer of a future?
It turns out that what your dog can offer God for his salvation is just what you can offer: exactly nothing. It turns out that covenants with God aren’t quite the same as covenants with everyone else. It turns out that with God, it’s not so much a quid pro quo as a quid pro nil. It is God’s promise, the salvation, the future on offer to every living thing and it is free…there’s nothing you or your dog can do to earn it, or to lose it.
So why don’t you go find an animal you know, and celebrate?
*Prayer (best said while holding or snuggling your favorite animal)
So until tomorrow….God, I thank You that in You, through You, and with You, the world, the animals, and I have a future. Amen. (And maybe I should name every pet “Grace”?)
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh