When I opened my Facebook page today I saw that a friend had posted the following message. It struck a chord with me.
The photo is of my eldest grandson a few years ago with Dominie.
From time to time, people tell me, “Lighten up, it’s just a dog” or “That’s a lot of money for just a dog”. They don’t understand the distance travelled, the time spent, or the costs involved for “just a dog”. Some of my proudest moments have come about with “just a dog”. Many hours have passed and my only company was “just a dog” but I did not once feel slighted. Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by “just a dog” and in those days of darkness the gentle touch of “just a dog” gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day. If you, too, think it’s “just a dog” then you will probably understand phrases like “just a friend”, “just a sunrise”, or “just a promise”. “Just a dog” brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust and pure unbridled joy. “Just a dog” brings out the compassion and patience that makes me a better person. Because of “just a dog” I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future. So for me and folks like me it’s not “just a dog” but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past and the pure joy of the moment. “Just a dog” brings out what’s good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day. I hope that someday they can understand that it’s not “just a dog” but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being “just a human.” So the next time you hear the phrase “just a dog” just smile because they “just don’t understand”.
In much the same way, when some people ask why we have more than one dog, implying that one is quite sufficient, I occasionally think I should ask them why they have more than one child but they would take offence at that.