From time to time I talk with individuals who seem to think people's affection and dedication to their dogs is an over-the-top, unwarranted response. After all...they are, "just" dogs.
This is my favorite inspirational story that has come out from the Newtown tragedy. It's about "comfort dogs" that have been brought in to help the surviving children and their families. One little boy who lived through the tragedy was not able to speak of what happened all this time but when they brought in the comfort dog, he began to talk to the dog and explain to the dog what he had been through. The dog therapy accomplished what humans had not been able to do.
Dogs are not "just dogs" and I have little patience for human beings who poo-poo their worth.
Max and Maddie listen to me for hours on end. (Larry is grateful for their ministry...lol.)
While I have poured my heart out to Max on many occasions, I have learned to try to cry privately. The reason is because Max goes so bonkers when I cry, it's hard to calm him down. What I want him to do is just sit there and comfort me, but he can't. He becomes so upset when I cry because it pains him. He runs around the room, around the house, to anyone who is there. He becomes absolutely frantic as if to say, "She's crying people! And we have to do something! Now!!! This is an emergency!!!" And he doesn't stop until every tear is dried and I have a smile on my face. Only then does he calm down and snuggle up to me.
If someone playfully slaps me or wrestles with me, Max gets very upset. He lets them know: UNACCEPTABLE!!!
Dogs are not "just" dogs. They have an amazing capacity to comfort, to listen, to protect.