During a Reiki session recently, I was inspired by the thought that we should love ourselves the way our dogs love us. Dogs are great teachers of how to love.
My dog is the best dog in the world. He is also one of the softest and snuggliest. He loves me unconditionally with his whole heart and soul. You can feel it emanating from him. He doesn't care if I've been productive. He doesn't mind if I'm grouchy. If I'm sick or grumpy, he climbs into my lap, looks up at me with sad doggy eyes, and lets me know that he's there and he loves me. Everything feels much better with a sweet doggy snuggling in your lap. When my little boy goes to bed, it's dog snuggle time. I pull him into my lap, and he flops out, completely trusting and happy while I pet his belly. That's a great way to end any day.
All my dog needs is food, shelter, and love. That's it. As long as he has that, he is happy. Love for him is simply time together. He doesn't care if I work, keep a clean house, or do any of the assortment on my to-do list. He doesn't care what I look like, about my politics, or what kind of car I drive. As a matter of fact, he would just prefer if I just stay home, so he can be near me. If I sit at my computer, he comes in the room and sacks out nearby. He prefers to sleep in my bed and to lay at my feet if I'm on the couch. If I do need to go out, he is there waiting for when I return. I love how excited he gets when I get up in the morning. I especially love that he is just as excited when my son gets up, as if to say, "I'm so glad to see you! It's a gorgeous day already because you're here!"
My dog knows how to love. You don't have to earn his affection. He will welcome you whole-heartedly the minute you walk in the door. Some people don't like that. They may prefer cat love instead-- the kind you have to earn. For me, I prefer dog love-- that pure, instant, love-at-first-sight and forever kind of love. Cats do their own thing and have to trust you first. I can appreciate that. Dogs take you at face value and trust you unless there is reason not to. That feels better to me.
When my son was an infant, and I was on the couch all day comforting and nursing, my dog was there too. He would get as close as he could and lie there happily. I have a doggy door, so he never interrupted baby-time. If the baby was crying, the dog would sit in the corner looking at me as if to say, "Is everything all right?" When the baby woke up, the dog would come get me. When I had a bad day, which was frequently back then, I could bury my head in his fur and he would bathe me in doggy love till I felt better. This little dog saved me.
My dog is a 20 lb miniature apricot poodle named Oliver. He is also known as Ollie, Ollie-bear, fuzz-head, buddy, come-here, and good boy. Everybody should have someone in their life like Oliver. Thank you, Oliver, for coming into my life! I have no doubt he was meant totally for me and would have found his way to me no matter what. I love you, Oliver!