My goal in life is to be as good a person as my dog already thinks I am.—Anonymous
By Linda Commito
Have you noticed that dogs have been filling a void in our lives—and in our hearts? At a time when loneliness has become an epidemic in the United States, affecting our health and well-being, it is more important than ever to form close connections. Perhaps that is why there has been an increase in dog adoptions. Where can we find that loving commitment and consistency in our lives, perhaps once filled by spouses, children or parents? For many, dogs can provide that comfort, companionship and love that we may be missing.
Anyone who has loved their canine companions can talk to you about unconditional love. They listen with total attention, give affection liberally, love us no matter what we do or don’t do, and comfort us when we experience sadness or loss. By nature, dogs are quick to forgive, live in the moment, and inspire us to open our hearts.
My almost 95-year-old mom has a terrier, who is totally devoted to her, makes her laugh, gets her out walking and is great company. She says: “My dog loves me and I love him. Jakson gives me a purpose.” They are so tuned in to each other, that when my mom sits in her chair for prayer time, Jakson is right there to vociferously lend his voice to her “Alleluias!”
It is amazing what we will do for our dogs that we may not do for ourselves. For someone who was squeamish about needles, I found myself lovingly giving my German shepherd three shots every day, along with eye drops, to prolong his quality of life. And when it was “time” for my love to depart, 12 friends and I gathered in a circle around him by the river, to say our last goodbyes.
Years have passed, and someday I hope to adopt again, but for now I’m focused on my human friends, community and family, and how I can share my love, kindness, and friendship, and help to create a special bond that lets us know we are not alone.
And I can really appreciate other people’s dogs. I just met a woman who was enjoying a beautiful sunset with her dog at Sarasota’s popular Bay Park. And I also came across something I’d never seen: A water fountain for dogs . . . a perfect opportunity to meet and sniff!
What if we could be the kind of person that dogs believe us to be and share the same qualities of loyalty, acceptance, love and friendship with our human friends and companions? Well, I’m willing to learn. Woof! Woof!
Linda Commito, author, speaker, entrepreneur, consultant and teacher, is passionate about her vision to leave this world a kinder, more loving, and interconnected place. Linda’s award-winning book of inspirational stories, Love Is the New Currency, demonstrates how we can each make an extraordinary difference in the lives of others through simple acts of love and kindness. Her latest project, the card game Just Ask 1 2 3, was inspired by a desire to connect people of all different ages, beliefs and lifestyles to share our individuality and find commonality. Linda also created “Kindness Starts with Me,” a program, book and website for children. For more information visit http://www.LoveistheNewCurrency.com or visit the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Justask123game.