It doesn't mean we don't care about people. We do care. In fact most of the people I know who are great pet lovers are also the greatest philanthropists.
If you're not a dog lover, you might not understand the overwhelming intensity that many of us felt about Tank's reunion this past week. You might think we've lost our marbles. That's okay, we think you've lost your heart. ;)
Before I go on with this post, let me say that we were delighted that CBS 10 posted the video and article about Tank and his Celebration Church reunion yesterday. Click here to watch it. (But then come back!)
If you haven't realized it, there is a revolution in America about dogs.
Dogs have always been loved and known as the most loyal companions ~ "man's best friend". But things have gone way beyond this. Dogs aren't just dogs or friends anymore. They are family members. Wake up and smell the dog treats if you haven't already!
78.2 million owned dogs in America. The majority of dog owners have more than one dog. Most dogs today don't have names like the ones people named their dogs years ago -- things like Spot or Fido. The majority of dogs today have "people names" that sound more like a kindergarten roster. For a list of the most popular ones in 2011, go here. You'll find the list filled with names like Bailey, Bella, and Sophie. Interestingly, Max is #2 on the list. People tend to name their dogs today as if they were naming another child.
I have had a few friends think I was a few fries short of a happy meal when it comes to how I feel about Max & Maddie. Where do I even begin? I don't like being away from them. Even on vacation! Until we have the appropriate "babysitter" selected, I'm concerned. By the last day of vacation I feel like if I have to go one more day without seeing them I just might pop!
I think about them all the time. I have countless photo and video of them on my iPhone that I look at when I'm out of town traveling and have been known to show them to anyone from hotel clerks to servers at restaurants. I Skyped with the dogs when I was on my last Africa missions trip. Coming home to my "babies" is the highlight of my day and snuggling up even better.
Max and Maddie affect my health in a positive way. There are times I can literally feel my blood pressure come down when I am interacting with them. An article in the Washington Times confirms the powerful physical affects of pet ownership: "Studies show that pet owners have improved cardiovascular health and immunity to diseases. If a majority of U.S. households had a pet, America could save $790 million and $1.5 billion in health care costs, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health."
I'm not alone in my thoughts. I'm just one of millions who believe this way. Read this insightful article from TIME to get an idea of how much times have changed. If you really want to go a level further, read this.
Just yesterday my boss called me for the sole reason of giving me a praise report about her cat, Calypso! This is not odd to either one of us or to many other people who also pray for their pet's health concerns.
Last year our church did a prayer outreach in the community where we went to many houses in in the neighborhoods surrounding the church and prayed for people in their homes. When we came back to the church to compare notes we asked what our teams noticed most. One of the things that came up with every single team was that almost every home we visited had a dog and most had more than one. Even if the people weren't home when we knocked on the door, we could hear the dogs barking.
People who have pets as a real part of their family realize why it was so important for us to see Tank safely home.
God cares about our pets.
Lives have been changed by Tank being reunited with his family. I'm so blessed to have been a part of it.
I thank God every single day for my fur-kids. I am so blessed to be a bulldog Mom.