published in the book, Pawz and Pray, Short Reflections about God, Life, and the Dogs I Love!
by Leila Grandemange
Married, a mother of two children, I finally felt we were ready for a family pet. My husband conceded (well, I didn’t ask him–oops!), and so we brought home a cuddly Labrador retriever puppy! She was our sunshine during rainy days, and the stable, strong force that made us all feel continually loved and protected. I stand in awe of all the wonderful things she taught me.
One thing that has always struck me was the minute she heard my keys jingle at the door she was instantly at the other side with a tail-wagging greeting. Her whole body would shake, rattle, and roll in a joyous symphony of praise. Even old age didn’t deter her from lifting her arthritic body up from her comfy bed to welcome me. Her greeting was a bit slower in tempo, but it never failed to lift my spirits, and make me feel like the most special person on earth!
How do we greet those we love?
- What if we ran to the door in joyous anticipation of a loved one coming home, no matter what happened the night before?
- What if we realized that we are not guaranteed tomorrow, and we treasured each present moment with those we loved?
- What if we remembered all those soldiers who never came home and realize how lucky we are to have a loved one walk through the door?
- What if we were able to forgive and forget, and greet each day as a new beginning?
- What if we lived in the present, not the past, and greet each other with joy in our eyes?
- What if we learned to wag more and bark less at those we love?
- What if each morning we greeted God with a prayer of thanks?
Next time your loved one comes home, try a genuine “tail wagging” greeting . . .how about a hug and kiss, a listening ear or a gentle smile. Adapt to their mood and just be in their presence as a kindred spirit. Sometimes it’s the best way to say, “I love you.”
Excerpt from the book Pawz and Pray, Short Reflections about God, Life, and the Dogs I Love!
Leila is the recipient of the AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Public Service Award. She writes to inspire love, care, and compassion for dogs. About the Author.
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