Loving and losing a dog is heartbreaking. These creations of God enrich our lives in a way that perhaps only dog lovers can understand. Could it be that we are drawn to them because they teach us godly lessons? As a tribute to all those dear canine friends who have graced our lives and left us, I offer the following biblical references to answer this question:
- Take joy in running, romping, and playing daily. “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22
- When loved ones come home, always run to greet them. “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” 1 John 3:18
- When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
- Do your best to practice obedience. “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.” Hebrews 13:17
- Take time to nap. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
- Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. “Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.” Ecclesiastes 9:7
- Be loyal to your master. “If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward.” Matthew 24:46
- Spend more time with children. ““See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. ” Matthew 18:10
- If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,” Colossians 3:23
- Avoid biting when a simple growl will do, especially when correcting a naughty child. “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.” Galatians 6:1
- When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body. “… a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,” Ecclesiastes 3:4
- No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout. Run right back and make friends. “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32
Let us always be mindful of the importance of the dogs in our lives. Let us not take them for granted or treat them poorly. Let us learn what we can from them while they are with us.
Retired from education after serving 30 years (twenty-eight as an English teacher and two years as a new-teacher mentor), Shirley enjoys her life with family and friends while serving her community, church, and school in Corpus Christi, Texas. She is the creator and managing editor of The Paper Trail, an online news/blog site that serves to offer new, in-depth, and insightful responses to the events of the day. She also writes and edits for The Texas Shoreline News, a Corpus Christi print newspaper.