An Ode to Scout: Life Lessons from the Love of a Dog

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No one has ever, or will ever, love me as much as my dog.  This is not to demean my husband’s love for me … he totally agrees with this assessment.

Even a word like ‘unconditional’ doesn’t do justice to the complete, every inch of his soul adoration that a dog truly smitten offers.  I’m pretty sure if he could speak, what Scout would say to me is, “My whole life is in you…all I am and do are wrapped up in you…my sun rises and sets on your existence.”

After a couple of misses with dogs, we decided to try fostering from a local rescue so we could find out if a dog was a good fit for us.  Scout was our first foster.  He came from a Kansas City, Missouri animal shelter.  Slated to be put down, some blessed soul saw in him the gentle spiritthat needed to be someone’s sweetheart.  One trip to Minnesota later, he was ours.

The Love of a Dog

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When I’m home, he followsmy every move.  When I leave, he waits for me with baited breath, watching the door for my return.

He won’t eat or play with his bones while I’m out, and cries without a hint of self-consciousness when I come home to him.

He is the best (and most effective) alarm clock I’ve ever had when he lays on his back and shimmies up next to me, shamelessly asking for a belly rub.

What did I do to deserve this total devotion?  Not much.  I’m not even the one who feeds Scout, that job goes to my youngest son.  But he has my attention.  We talk, we snuggle, I pick burrs out of his fur, and make sure he gets his daily rawhide.

As my boys have gotten older, nearing graduation, I’ve been telling the dog that he’s not allowed to die for at least 10 years.  “When my boys leave me, I’m going to need you, Scouty.”

Pure Adoration

I’m a lesson finder.  It’s what I do.  I can’t watch movies, read books, or watch events unfold without looking for a lesson to draw from it. (Anyone else?)

Here’s what I’ve been thinking.  Does it bring our great God this much pleasure when we seek him out for nothing but a snuggle… a little time with our sweetheart?  Do his insides melt a little when we gaze at him with eyes full of adoration?

How often do I come to my Father not needing, not expecting, not wanting anything except to BE with him?

And here’s the thing, unlike me… God did do something to earn our affections.  He did everything.

I’m reminded of what King David said in Psalm 8

When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?

We have a God who created the farthest reaches of space and invented the cell…and yet it makes his day to hang out with us.

As I write about the love I have for a mere dog, I can hear the scoffers.  And I hear ya.  I think animals are great, but I’m not a Sarah McLachlan playing-PETA supporting-vegan.

He’s a dog.  Just a dog.

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And he’s given me nothing… except his pure adoration.  But tonight he’s turned my eyes above and taught me a lesson about a lifestyle of worship, and about a God who dotes on me even though I’ve got nothing he really needs.

So right now, I’m going to do a little belly rubbing, and maybe at the same time snuggle up to my good Father and say to him,

My whole life is in you…all I am and do are wrapped up in you…my sun rises and sets on your existence.”

What lessons have your furry friends taught you?

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© Susan Landry, 2016--Used by permission.  Originally published: here.

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