several months ago, i began volunteering hands-on with homeless pups. I don’t mean to exaggerate my involvement – i just mean that my emotional ability to commit to the cause i feel most passionate about has recently progressed from contributions of a strictly monetary nature to that of a real-life person willing to donate her time. it hasn’t been easy. even though countless other selfless souls commit themselves much deeper, my commitment thus far has caused me sleepless nights and crying spells at work. at times, i feel helpless against the problem – the problem of human mistreatment and neglect of the innocent and ever-forgiving domesticated dog. i think it’s “baby-step” progress; but i’m glad it’s progress in the direction i never thought i’d be strong enough to go.
i’ve met some of the kindest souls during my adolescent months with this type of work – women and men with good hearts who have inspired me to find the courage to remove my blinders, little by little, so that my passion is strong enough to effectuate positive change. conversely, i’ve been made aware of some very cruel beings. i know you have to be pretty damn bad to cause harm to a loyal, loving and trusting animal – and even worse, that behavior is indicative of later violence towards children and humans.
but i digress. what i meant to talk about is the unknowing piousness that my lovely little canines exhibit. i don’t think that religion can be neatly confined into any one belief, book, mantra or ritual. i think it’s both bigger and smaller than that. in my opinion, it means treating people with respect, taking care of yourself and others, showing kindness to all living things and showing compassion and empathy. anyway, from what i know, a true “christian” is able to always forgive; to always love and to always see the good in everyone. i’m not sure why those qualities are ‘christian,” and oftentimes, they are not. i’m just speaking from common lingo i suppose.
so if we assume that christianity is defined in that way, then goddamnit, dogs are better christians than humans by a LONG shot. they love in the face of a cruel and finicky owner. they trust in spite of personal experience that tells them otherwise. and they sense how we feel – they understand sadness on some level and know to snuggle near you and provide comfort. maybe they don’t know the supposedly important details of the bible, but they are being good, and a lot of christians could learn from them.
i don’t mean to necessarily call out the christians here; i just am most familiar with what they are supposed to stand for – at least what i think they are supposed to stand for; before things get muddied by outdated books and unsolicited religious interpretation. just be a good person. and a dog can teach you just how to do that.
i’m getting tired now, but i plan to write next about our rescue run team and some other good stuff. until then, learn from your dog. no, not the eating trash or sniffing butt part, but the tail-wagging, forgiving and up-beat part.
adios for now,