Why I love my dogs

babypuppy1On a hot day in 1988 when was 10 years old, I remember coming back home from school through a shortcut. It was hot and muggy, and I was super thirsty. I wanted to stop by  a local deli and get a cold $0.25 drink flavored with water, sugar, and purple. But at the time, I was saving up to buy the latest Gundam t0y.

I had brought lunch that day to school and my grandma packed me a treat: hot dogs. I knew my grandma wasn’t gonna be home when I got back so I purposefully left one piece in my lunch box so I could eat it after I got home so that I wouldn’t starve till she got back. Boy what a mistake.

On my way back home through the shortcut, a route that I rarely took because of this crazy stray HUGE (at least 70+ lbs) dog that everyone hated, I noticed something in my peripheral vision. Yeap, it was that crazy dog. I guess the story is pretty obvious from here on, considering how strong the hot dog smell must have been on a small 10 year old child. I screamed and ran while he salivated and chased. It was the most frightening experience as a 10 year old. It was so traumatizing that I do not recall what exactly happened, other than me losing my awesome NKOTB lunch box. Well, losing wouldn’t be the right description. More like, I threw it in an attempt to stop the dog from chasing me.

When I got home, I locked every bolt and lock that was attached to the door. My legs were shaking and I was breathing as if I had just ran a marathon. 

Since then, I’ve had this innate fear of dogs. I just remember this crazy bown dog chasing me with his fierce eyes and watery tongue sticking out, as if he was going to eat ME. Even as teenagers, I purposefully avoided streets with homes that had dogs. 

I was certain that I would NEVER ever get a dog. I equated dogs with death. 

Fast forward 2 decades (yes, stop doing the math in your head… i am 30 now), I own three dogs. Not one, but three.

How?

So I knew Rose’s parents had dogs but never really cared for them. Not to say that my psychological issues with dogs were completely gone, but it HAD been two decades. She asked me if I wanted to see them and since I had nothing to do, why not.

When I originally met Lucky and Brownie (the original two dogs), I felt nothing but sorry for the two dogs. Not that they were mistreated, but they were left outside. Nothing wrong with that, but I felt bad for them because they were so little:

My brain must’ve thought “ok, they’re small, thus not a threat” or something. In fact, I felt sympathy and compassion for them. I actually wanted to take them walking. So I did.

And I did again, the next week.

And a couple of more times.

Then I gave them a bath because they were little stinkers.

Then started giving them treats, training them, buying them toys, dog houses, dog clothes (regretting that), etc… then taking them to dog events, etc. etc.

Next thing you know, I’m their master.

Then I start learning about them and their behavior. Dogs are REALLY REALLY smart. Smarter than most people think.

In fact, dogs are truly God-sent animals. They don’t care how you look, what job you have, where you take them, what you feed them, how much money you make, whether you think you’re worth it or not, whether the economy is up or down, whether your Republican or Democrat, fat or skinny, short or tall, ugly or good looking… All they care is that you’re with them. All they care is that you take them out pee and poop once in a while, feed them some ood, play with them here and there, and let them sit on your lap while you’re doing whatever. If you’re not in good mental health (i.e. sad, depressed, mourning over loss of loved one, laid off, etc),  do what Ben Stein says and get a dog.

It’s amazing how dogs have this innate attraction to you. It’s as if they’re angels sent by God. Ok, I know this is the 21st century and I’m supposed to be non-biased when it comes to religious views, but I believe in God. Whatever you believe, God, Allah, Buddha, the Creator, the Universe, Mother Earth, etc.. there is this Supreme Identity that we all follow. That Supremeness has given us this animal companion that makes our time on earth a very pleasant one.

No matter how many times you push them away, punish them, or make them angry or sad, they ALWAYS come back. I don’t know if this is stupidity or loyalty, but who are we to judge? All they want is your love and attention, and they’ll do whatever it takes to win your heart. Don’t get me wrong, but isn’t this what the Christian love is supposed to be? I’m pretty certain this is what Christian God and Jesus Christ represent: unconditional love.

There are times when I was so mad at them for not behaving the way I want them to or that I was having a bad day and I (like the bastard I am) took it out on them, punishing them for no good obvious reason. Yes, I feel bad for having done that. But every time I give them hell, they give me heaven. How? My dog Cocoa would come and lick my face every time I was mad at him. His way of saying “I’m sorry.”

Dog are incredible animals. They make us smile and laugh. Some of them inspire us to make funny, heart touching, movies. Some serve us when we need them. A lot of them keep their owners warm at night.

Whatever it is, these animals live for their masters. Like Owen Wilson says in Marley & Me, how many people do you know make you feel that special? Make you feel like the king of their kingdom regardless of what you do to or for them? If you’re  a person exploring Christian faith and want to know what unconditional love feels like, get a dog.

I love my dogs. They make me, well, HAPPY. This might be an exaggeration but without them, I might have gone “crazy” with the pressures of running a business and all the emotional ups and downs that come with it. I am thankful that Rose has introduced me to these three little boogers that keep me smiling and thanking God for being part of their lives.

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