I love my dogs. They are simple, loving little creatures who’s life goals are as follows: play outside, eat as much food as possible, and love and please their mama and be loved by her. They also sleep often but sleeping for my two dogs doesn’t seem as much of a goal as it is something they do to pass the time between moments when they can be eating or playing outside or snuggling with me.
Sometimes I talk about them when people talk about their kids. People talk about their kids a lot and the closest things I have to relate with are my dogs. Sorry if I ever talk about my dogs around you, I’m just trying to join in on the kid conversation.
Anyway, my dogs teach me a lot. In fact, they taught me how to argue well.
Sometimes Josh and I argue. When we do my two dogs act very differently.
When Josh and I argue Haley hides and shivers uncontrollably. If and when you find her again she’s a hunched over mess peering up at you with Precious Moment’s eyes while convulsing like she’s experiencing hypothermia. Because of such a reaction, Josh and I started learning to tame our tongues in our arguments. We noticed that the more tame our volume and tone remained the longer we could keep Haley in the room. Thus, because of Haley, Josh and I learned how to argue civilly much sooner than we may have without her.
When Josh and I argue Sam follows me around with his tail slightly between his legs and his posture is wholly apologetic.
Haley’s fear of arguments is enough to melt my heart. However, her approach to getting us to stop the flow of angry words can easily go unnoticed for a while. But now there’s Sam. Turns out, it’s hard to yell at your spouse when there is an adorable fluff ball at your feet pleading for a chance to console you.
This morning Josh and I had a little spat. I can’t say it was an argument or even a disagreement, just a moment when both of us felt frustrated in various ways that needed to be discussed. Shortly into the chat I melted onto the floor, too overwhelmed by emotion to remain standing to cry about it (thank you pregnancy), and the moment I did Sam appeared in my lap. I actually didn’t notice he’d arrived until I was already petting him and feeling much better already. They say there is something calming about petting a dog. Sam must know that and that’s why he chooses to sweetly offer his fluffy self up as a sort of sacrificial lamb in the middle of a heated spat. Brave little bugger.
I think everyone should love dogs. They teach me so much about God’s love all the time. In arguments they both have their ways of encouraging the argument to desist. Through Haley I can picture how God would need to leave the room when Josh and I spiral out of control and wait in the other room until we were ready to come back into his presence and be loving again – His goodness can’t stick around with such sin storming about. Through Sam I can also picture how Jesus stays right beside me, offering his love like a warm blanket as I discuss hurt with my husband.
Thank God for dogs.