My dog is so exasperating. I think he might just be the smartest, most loving dog in the world, but you would never know because he’s especially antisocial and antagonistic toward everyone but me and my kids.
We rescued him from an animal shelter and he loves us to the moon because of it. A year ago, when we first got him, he showed classic signs of abuse: he cowered for any and every reason and treated everyone he didn’t know like a criminal. Any time he became anxious or stressed out, he peed all over himself, the floor, or whomever was standing near him. A year later, he still does all of these things, but to a lesser degree. At this point, his animosity is mainly toward men (especially the mailman and my brother). He still sometimes cowers if he thinks you are displeased with him (he can read facial expressions really well, and discerns voice inflections with superb accuracy), and anxiety still causes him to pee all over the place.
Another reason I find my dog so exasperating is totally adorable and frustrating all at the same time. He demands attention. All the time. If someone is standing near him or sits down, he makes sure their hand is on his head. But not just touching him. He will root around under our hands until we pet him! He also likes to crawl up on the couch with us and settle into our laps to get under our hands. If, for whatever reason, we don’t want to pet him, he will brace his legs and refuse to move away. He insists on affection! When, by sheer willpower, I am able to resist his gorgeous puppy-dog eyes and incessant pleas for attention, he will slowly crawl off my lap and go across the room to sit and stair me down with a sad face until I talk to him. The moment I start talking to him, his ears perk up, his tail hits ninety-to-nothing and he’s bounding across the room to sit in my lap and tell me how much he loves me by licking my arms while I pet him.
I often reflect on his undying devotion and manic attempts to get my attention and affection, wondering if I have ever adored my God like my dog adores me. After all, I too have been rescued. Nourished back to health. Loved in spite of myself. Given a better life, and a chance. Am I as grateful? As persistent in catching His attention, and securing His affection? Here’s what I know without a doubt: that kind of searching, that kind of unrelenting plea is sure to garner His attention, and how could it not also melt God’s heart and draw from Him a deep, overflowing love in return?