A Message for Pet Lovers
Are you a pet person? My parents were pet people. In fact, I grew up as a prisoner of pet people.
We lived on five acres just outside town. We had pets everywhere–in the house, under the house, pens, pastures–even trees. We had dogs, cats, chickens, horses, cows, turtles, snakes, and, if you can believe it, quail!
When I became a man, I had to decide if I would be a pet person or not, and my wife decided that I would be one.
There are big dog people, and then there are little dog people. Of course, there are dog people and cat people (and tarantula people, too), but mostly you have big dog people and little dog people.
I’ve always been a big dog person. We had all sizes of dogs growing up, but our German Shepherd, Tish, was my favorite.
As a married man with children, we came into the possession of a beautiful, yellow lab, Katie. Now that’s a dog a man can love–no questions.
Then, for a reason no one is willing to remember, we acquired Annie, a poufy little, white, curly haired, frou-frou lap dog for middle-aged women. She’s a Bichon Frise–if you know what that is. Basically, she’s a little white fluff ball that “buzzes” back and forth on top of four turbo-powered pogo sticks (they have a technical name for this: The Bichon Buzz).
This dog has had more maladies. For example, once she pulled a ligament, or something, in one of her legs. So, we needed to schedule surgery, and the surgery costs four times as much as the dog cost to begin with. I’m doing the math, and I keep saying to my wife, Patsy, “You know, there are a lot of things they don’t tell you at the pet store.” Pet stores, apparently, are not subject to disclosure laws.
I must tell you, though, I’ve been smitten. Frankly, as a big dog guy, that’s a little tough to admit. But I really love this little dog.
I was trying to think, What is it that I just love so much? To be honest, the dog is completely selfish. She licks you and smiles, but only because she wants to play or have her tummy rubbed or share some table food. But there’s just something about this little dog.
This dog can do nothing for me, except give me a moment’s pleasure. But even my pleasure is not really my pleasure. My pleasure is the pleasure I take in seeing the dog have pleasure–if that makes sense!
So what is it about this dog I love so much? I can’t tell you. But I can tell you that Annie is under my protection. We cancelled our vacation and the dog got the surgery. And I will take care of whatever other problems come Annie’s way because I unconditionally love this little dog.
This must surely be how God feels toward us. We give Him pleasure. He loves us unconditionally. Whatever problems come our way, He will take care of us. We are under His protection.
Yours for changed lives,
Patrick Morley, Ph.D.