Have you ever wondered WHY dogs adore us so much? Is it because we are magic food machines, or is it a more pure love than that? I personally think that it's a little bit of both - no one does devotion like a dog does, and I don't actually think that mine are that devoted to me just because I am Food Provider. (Though it doesn't hurt.)
I frequently wonder why they adore me so much. I mean, I'm not a HORRIBLE person, and I'm kind to them, and love them to distraction. But part of me feels very unworthy of the level of devotion that I am shown. I get irritable - frequently with them - and am not as patient as I could be. I worry over them too much - constantly on the lookout for something that might be wrong. I can almost sense the eye-rolls sometimes. Though I do take them places, I don't do it nearly as often as I might like, and there's that whole abandoning them every workday thing, so that I can earn enough of a paycheck to feed them.
But they don't see it that way. When I'm irritable with them, they keep seeking me out, clowning for me in an attempt to appease me and to put me into a better mood. (I for one, would avoid me, and possibly give me the silent treatment.) When I fuss over them - whether it's their training, their health, their attitude, they endure it with quiet patience... they don't seem to care whether I take them hiking, to the park, or into the back yard. Because what they really want is to be with me, no matter where we are. And if they get upset with me for going to work, their joy upon my return makes them quickly forget.
And really, although this post started out being about the dogs, my cats show a similar level of devotion. I know that felines have a reputation for being aloof, but honestly, I do not see that trait in any of my cats, nor did I see it in either of the fosters. They are simply delighted to see me when I get home, or when I get out of bed in the morning, greeting me with loud meows and purrs, shaking their tails at me like they are rattlesnakes instead of cats. They don't punish me for leaving them, and they quickly forgive me for any bad mood that I might be in. And it's not because I'm the perfect cat-mom, either. I just think that they have more of a capacity for loyalty and love than they're given credit for.
May I show my loved ones that same understanding and devotion that my animals have modeled for me. I have a feeling that I'm on to something there - this is the kind of thing that would shake the world,and in a good way, if it were more widely practiced.