Have you ever noticed that God spelled backwards is dog? I don’t think this is a coincidence. As a matter of fact, I think that God did this on purpose. Being a dog-owner, and lover, and having had multiple dogs in my life, I have realized that dogs are a reflection of God. (Maybe not a perfect reflection, as nothing and no one can be perfect but God—but dogs come pretty darn close!)
Having a dog in your life does more than just teach you about responsibility, as most of our parents told us as kids. Having a dog can teach you so much more than that. Having a dog can teach you about love, friendship, loyalty, and family. Having a dog can also teach you about God. How? Because God and dogs truly share a lot of the same qualities.
Here are all the ways I have found in which dogs and God are alike:
Dogs are loyal and faithful, just like God. Dogs are devoted to you, they are steadfast and trustworthy. That is just how God made them. You go to work in the morning and come home that evening. Who is anxiously awaiting your return? Your dog! Your dog will sit by your front door and wait on you forever, if that is what it takes. God is the same way. God is faithful. God will be with you always.
Dogs accept you just as you are, just like God. Dogs stick by you through thick and thin. They don’t care who you are, what you look like, what you have done, if you are rich or poor, if you are black or white, if you are young or old. They don’t care about any of those things. Neither does God.
Dogs are playful, and so is God. Dogs just love to run around, chase balls, or play tug-of-war. Now, you may not think of God as playful, but I beg to differ. Just think about some of the wonderful creatures God has created, like the otter, penguin, dolphin, and platypus. These all bring us delight and they must bring God delight too. I think that God has a great playful side and a great sense of humor. Also, since I know I enjoy laughing and having a good time, and I was created in God’s image, He MUST be the same way!
Dogs are courageous protectors, and God instills courage and protects us. If you have ever had a dog, you know that they are natural born defenders and would gladly protect you from anyone or anything that threatens you with harm. God is the same way. Once we enter into a relationship with God, He becomes our protector. Not only can God protect us, but He can give us courage as well. (David and Goliath is a great example.) Knowing that God is on our side gives you all the courage you need!
Dogs are joyful and give you joy, and God is joyful and gives you joy. As I mentioned above, dogs will faithfully wait for you forever. And, then when you do show up, they are there to meet you with the most joyful greeting ever. You know exactly what I am talking about, right? Their butts wiggle all around. They excitedly jump up and wag their tails. They display that same kind of joy whether you have been gone five minutes or all day. (This is just one of the many reasons dogs are so great, in my humble opinion.) The joy that dogs have is contagious. Just being around them will give you joy. And, once you have a true relationship with the Lord—well, nothing in this universe can give you more joy than the Lord.
Lastly, and most importantly, dogs love us unconditionally. Just like God. If you have a dog, you know that they love you no matter what you do to them or how you treat them. I have seen story after story of poor pups that have been abused. But, when they are rescued, they are still the most loving creatures. Sometimes it takes them some time, but they always love people again.
God loves us the same way. No matter what we do to Him, He continues to love us. We forget about Him, take His name in vein, scoff at Him, rebuke Him, and deny His existence. Yet, He still loves us. There is nothing, absolutely nothing you can do that will ever make God NOT love you. You are His child. He created you. He loves you and will always love you, no matter what.
So, what do you think? Dogs and God are extremely similar, aren’t they? Did I miss any of their shared attributes? I would love to hear your thoughts!
Before I leave, I must share with you a wonderful article I came across recently called “What a Dog Taught Me about God” by Phyllis Schomaker. Take some time and read it. You will be glad you did.
Also, if you don’t have a dog in your life, I highly recommend adopting one. Who couldn’t use more joy and love in their life? There are thousands of homeless doggies out there that are in need of a good, loving home. Check out Petfinder.com and adopt the newest member of your family today!
My husband and I have no children, well…at least no human children. We do however have cats and dogs. And, while I know there are some people out there who consider their animals as pets, we consider ours as family. They are basically our kids. Once you really start to think about it, dogs and cats are very child-like. Now, don’t get me wrong – I know that those of you will real kids are probably horrified I said that. And, while I know there is a HUGE difference, I just mean that to those of us with no kids, but who have dogs and/or cats, we can come to invest a lot of emotions into our animals. Also, you have to admit that looking after pets can often be like looking after kids. If you leave them alone for too long, they get into things and cause trouble. They make messes that you have to clean up. They have to be given food and water each day. They need love and attention and play time and together time. There are definitely similarities between animals and kids.
I refer to my husband as “dad” and he refers to me as “mom” when we are talking to or about our animal kids. I mean, any good parent looks after their “kids” and that is what we do. When we adopted them, we took that as a commitment to make sure they were loved and well-cared for all of their lives. And, depending on their species, that can range from 9 years to (fingers-crossed) 20 years.
Pets bring joy, silliness, love and value to our lives. They enrich us and make us better people. They each have their own little personalities and they can go from being sweet and loving to little turd-head monsters that cause trouble. They have feelings and eerily seem to understand ours. And, I truly believe they have souls, just like we do. They are living creatures that deserve to be treated with our respect.
If you decide you want to have a pet as part of your family, I highly encourage you to adopt it from your local rescue group or shelter. I also encourage you to carefully consider what a big responsibility they are. They are an investment in not only your finances (trips to the vet can add up quickly), but your time as well. Petfinder has an informative article you should read before you decide to add a pet to your family. (Petfinder is also a wonderful website that lets you search from hundreds of thousands of adoptable pets for more than 13,000 adoption groups. They are awesome!!)
Paul and I have been together almost 13 years now. In those 13 years we have lost 8 pets. Or, as we have come to look at them, family members. It never gets easier. Actually, I would venture to say that it actually gets harder. Our most recent loss happened just a short time ago on December 12. (Between this and the normal crazy that is holiday time, I have not written my regularly scheduled blog posts.)
Our Rottweiler, Mr. Porter, stopped eating. We went to the vet and did our best to save our boy, but it was not meant to be. He was 10 years and 7 months old. Most Rottweilers only live to about 9 years old. So, all things considered, he lasted longer than the majority do. While that is nice in theory and our vets commended us for being great parents and it makes me feel good on one level, it doesn’t stop my heart from hurting.
Our vets thought it was for the best to spare him from hurting and backed the tough decision we made to have him put to sleep. We couldn’t stand the thought of him being in pain and essentially starving to death, so we realized it was the kindest thing we could do.
The passing of all 8 of our pets has been hard, but this one has been more difficult for these 2 reasons:
So, these last few weeks have been extra tough and stressful. Just trying to get Clancey to eat and take his medicine is enough to cause a nervous breakdown. Thankfully, he has started to eat more normally. A week or so ago, Paul texted me to tell me that he ate a whole can of soft food. It literally made my day! Sometimes it the little things, ya know?
So, to get back around to the title of this blog post, to us our pets are indeed family. I have quite a few friends who also believe this. In the wake of our recent loss, I just wanted to share that. And, below, in remembrance of Porter, I wanted to share some of our most favorite pictures and memories of him.
Rest in peace sweet boy. We will always love you!
I am so glad you are here! I am Erica Strickland, a girl who loves God. My goal here is to simply share His love and light.