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Who wants to increase their relational value?

I got to thinking yesterday about just why I love our dogs so much. 

They are time consuming. A ton of work, actually!

Although grown to the point where they are fully "potty trained" and we have no accidents to clean up, there are plenty of other tasks to do daily.

Feeding, taking outside so they can "potty", bathing them, walking them daily, and cleaning up all that hair. We have to vacuum a lot more, sweep constantly, and even change our sheets more, since they hop up on the bed. (Although they don't sleep with us- they have their own beds.)   

Why do I love these creatures so much when they cause so much work? 

There are a few reasons but at the top of the list is that they are so comforting. And, to think -- they do all this without saying a word!

Every single day without fail, they are there to give the gift of their presence, snuggling, giving "kisses", and Lord forbid one of us is sick or injured. When I burned my foot, Max moved down to lay at my feet and "kept watch" there continually until it was healed. If I cry for some reason, the dogs don't settle down until I stop. Max will come over and place his paws on me and lick incessantly until I prove to him that it's okay. Interestingly enough, he doesn't just go by verbal expressions. I can convincingly say, "It's okay, it's okay" over and over in an effort to get him to stop. But until he sees my tears dried and my countenance change, he keeps on comforting.

Max and Maddie are so precious to me, I wouldn't want to live a day without them and truth be told as much as I love vacations, it's always difficult to be away from them. Even when we're out to dinner with friends, if a few hours has gone by, my heart is always pulling me right home to them.

Animals comfort using no words at all. Can you imagine our human capabilities to bring comfort with the added dimension of words?  

Wrapping your arms around someone and saying a gentle, "It's going to be okay" does wonders.

II Corinthians 1:3-5 tells us... 

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."

The value of a friend who brings comfort is immeasurable. The world has plenty of people who want to knock others down a peg, but blessed is the person who has a comforting friend.

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