My mom asked me tonight why I want a dog when it’s basically getting another child. That is, even more work than I have now. For a dog.
Part of it I couldn’t articulate, since she’s not a dog-person, but some I could.
As a mom, it’s part of my job to look for and encourage the unique gifts and abilities of each of my children. While I want to guide them in the truth, I don’t choose their gifts or what they do with them.
With a dog, I can pick the type I want and develop the skills that interest me. I can have a companion for my “solitary” endeavors (running, skiing) that prevents me from being isolated in a potentially dangerous situation. I don’t need a “guard dog,” but I also don’t need to be alone.
This latter was grained deeply into me growing up, and while I know women who will run alone, not even my dad would. So I’m definitely not comfortable with it.
If I decide I’m interested in tracking or therapy work, that’s what we do. I choose the animal that will love working toward the same goals, and we go for it. I get to define the goals, rather than just finding them.
It gives me an outlet for my desire to direct without squishing anyone’s individual, inherent direction.
Those are my definable non-dog-person reasons. Maybe I’ll be able someday to articulate what about dog-ness keeps pulling me back. Lines in the books about “loyalty” and “unconditional love” don’t quite explain it, since I have those things already.
Maybe it’s the god-ness we get a taste of. I’ve heard others suggest that. The chance to be the source and completeness of life, the infallible one worthy of sole adoration. But that can’t quite be it either–
Because I already have a nursing infant.
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