My day usually starts with the opening of our blinds around the house, allowing the sun to come in and hang out for a while. I make coffee and begin with one of many huge cups. This morning was an early one for me and after pouring that cup, I decided to sit on the back steps and enjoy the cool morning and hang out with my son. He’s a 70+lb golden retriever named Homie and he’s basically like a child to us.
Had this 13 year old dog since he was a puppy. We have a lot of history together and so many memories, good and bad. When he was a puppy he had an uncontrollable chewing fetish and over the course of a couple of years he had destroyed a couple pairs of glasses, a cell phone, wood window seals, shoes, tv remote controls, and half of a Christmas tree. Yeah, that’s right, he ate half of our tree one Christmas. We came home one day to find that the bottom half of our tree was missing and ornaments that once had a place to hang were all over the floor. Apparently the taste of the tree was so good that Homie decided to have a good lunch. He’s crazy to say the least, but despite his antics over the years, we still love him.
As he grew up, I’ll admit that I didn’t handle a lot of his antics very well. He definitely tested my patience and received a few beat downs (a.k.a spankings). Trust me, many times I wanted to give him more than a spanking, but even those ended up hurting my hand. He of course matured and developed into a very obedient and loving animal. Best dog I’ve ever had.
With all this said, I’ll get to my reason for this post. As a dog owner and straight up animal lover, there’s a trait about dogs that I think we can all learn from. If I ever saw the ability to forgive in any animal, it would have to be dogs. And I learned this a looonngg time ago. There were many times that Homie would “piss me off” and I found my self slapping him in the hind area like I was spanking a kid. Multiple times and sometimes a punch in the ribs. Yeah i know, not good, but that was then. Remember, my patience was tested with this guy. But every time, immediately following one of these disciplining episodes, I could sit next to Homie and notion for him to come give me a hug and he’d be right there. It didn’t make any sense. I had just given him a whoopin, why would he even want to be near me?
You see, dogs don’t know how to hold grudges. They don’t know how to hold unforgiveness. Of course, if they’re seriously abused they’ll develop a fear towards humans, but in general, dogs only know how to do one thing, and that’s love. It’s as if they were born to love us humans, and I’d say that there’s a lot that we can learn from them. You could slap a dog, kick him, give him a couple of body slams, and then lay on the ground next to him and he’ll be right there ready to play and show his love. He/she completely forgets that just a few minutes ago you were unleashing your “fury” on them.
Let’s keep this in mind today as we go about our business. If a dog has the ability to forgive as easily as they do, shouldn’t we all the more? If you are holding a grudge against anyone or have been carrying around unforgiveness, lay it down. It’s not worth the effort to carry that junk with you. It actually takes more energy to walk around being bitter and mad at someone than it does to simply forgive, let go, and move on. It’s definitely easier to say this than do, but we all have the power to forgive. And if you need help with that, God is always right there ready to help. Unforgiveness is dangerous and limits our growth.
So learn from the dog. Study their ways. Live a lifestyle of forgiveness. And if you don’t own a dog, go get one today or tomorrow, or this weekend. They’ll change your life.