My dog is not even 2 years old yet and he has taught me so many valuable lessons. Enthusiasm for the simple things keeps positivity alive. How much more enjoyable life is when we know how to forgive. How stress free being yourself can be, without worry of what others think. Ignorance is bliss. And love can last forever. The type of unconditional love that is felt as a parent, whether to a fur baby or a human baby, can mold the guidelines to other working relationships in our lives.
As much as it feels like I love my dog more than words could ever describe, I pride myself on my communication skills and I’m gonna give it a go. I’ve felt love before. To and from my family, my friends, the boy I gave my heart to, but I have never seen it like I do when I look at my dog.
For all of you pet owners out there, I’m sure you know what I mean when I say I look at my dog, and my heart melts. My entire body warms as chills roll through my veins. Heart skips a beat, eyes lost gazing at him. My train of thought completely taken over by a feeling of pure compassion. Innocent, untainted love. Nothing he could ever do will diminish the way I feel.
This type of love comes purely from appreciation. Gratefulness without a “but...” No surprise opinions or mean spirited outbursts that could make me lose respect. Pleasing him is simple, just food, adventures, and love. I sacrifice for him and expect nothing in return. I trust the intentions that motivate his behavior. Believe in his innocence. Unwavering confidence that our relationship is until death do us part.
While the relationship with my dog might be unmatched by anything else, it provides meaning to what pure love means to me. Patience, understanding, giving the benefit of the doubt. Commitment, focus, appreciation. Simple thoughts, simple actions. No unnecessary overthinking. I don’t know what he’s thinking and that doesn’t bother me. I allow him to communicate in his own way. To let me know when he needs my guidance and to respect his being as he is.
There’s a sense of trust when you raise a puppy. Knowing all they’ve been through in life. But having any kind of dog, adopting or raising from their start, is a guaranteed lifelong relationship. I don’t worry I’ll fall out of love with him. I don’t worry he’ll grow up and not need me anymore. The commitment made when getting a dog is their entire life. It is a choice to love them first, and a blessing later.
I think I get confused by what role love takes in relationships. As if it’s an uncontrollable feeling that takes over our mind and our actions. Love is a choice. It takes work, responsibility and commitment. Just as I chose to love my dog forever when I went to pick him up on August 20th, 2018, you must continuously choose love for it to stay strong. If love is chosen, it takes showing up, sacrifice, loyalty, and nurturing to keep alive.
The bond between a dog and its owner is multi-beneficial. Whether having a dog motivates more physical activity, more responsibility, or just more love, everyone gets something out of it. Show up for those you love, and appreciate the actions it takes to hold onto. In the end, love doesn’t choose us, we must choose love.
Lindsay Greenberg, providing perspective on how to live a magical life.