How We're No Better Than a Dog


Does that title sound offensive?  Or give the impression that I don’t love dogs? 

Before you tune me out, tell me if you haven’t seen something like this in your own experience with dogs and with blessings.

Jeeves, our bull dog, is literally a mix between a cow and a pig. 

As a puppy, when we picked him up as a surprise for our kids, he was as soft and lumbering and as wrinkly a plaything as you’ve ever seen.

Three days later he was huge.

We now have a brindled "cow" that moves around the house, bumping the couch or the Grandma out of place, as he innocently swaggers by.

Before you ask, yes, we are very careful how much we feed him, he has a big yard to run in and gets an occasional walk (which leaves him out of breath within seconds).  Still, he has grown to a massive 105 pounds.

We say he’s a pig, because of the raucous snorting and grunting that goes on while he eats.  It pretty much happens while he sleeps, walks, fetches, or anything else.

Once while on vacation, the neighbor boy who was caring for the animals got worried.  He had his mom call asking if he was feeding him enough, because Jeeves attacked his bowl like he hadn’t eaten in a week. 

We laughed and assured them that this was his normal mode of operation, and he was absolutely getting enough to eat.

Both Jeeves, and Sundance the cat, get fed consistently, and enough.  Yet every morning they will not leave me alone as they frolic, meow, rub up against me, stand at the door looking all cute and expectant.

Eventually, feeling sorry for them, I’ll rustle one of the kids out of bed to feed them.  Sure, I could do it myself, but that would be enabling lazy children who don’t know how to care for someone besides themselves.  (Can you tell I’ve rehearsed that reasoning?)

Recently, I took a turn with the chores, and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but an empty bowl, with food scattered all around it on the tray.  There was a nice snack sized portion waiting for each of them whenever they wanted it, but they left it there…waiting for the bigger portion.

My first instinct was to say “You eat what you’ve already got, and quit being so dang greedy.”

But just that fast, the next thought came “How dare you think that?  This is exactly how you treat your own blessings.”

It’s true.  So obviously and consistently true.

I gobble up my blessings greedily, and leave many smaller blessings unnoticed and unappreciated.

Then I am back again.  In my prayers I approach the Lord all cheerful, hopeful, and expectant, asking for more.

More than I need.  More than would be good for me.  Frankly, more than I deserve.

It’s animal behavior.  And it’s human nature.  And perhaps those two are closer than we’d like the to think. 

But it’s no excuse for us to remain in that mental state.  Here’s where we differ from the dogs:

1.     We are the literal children of God.  Made in His image.  More than his creation, we are his children.  He knows us.  He loves us.  He is anxious to bless us and to forgive our ingratitude.

2.     We have great mental and spiritual capacity.  It's to be used to study, hear, and learn from the experiences of others, the scriptures, and our past history.

3.     We possess the power of self-awareness.   We can look at the big bowl of blessings set out for us each morning, and before we start begging for more, we can show gratitude for then utilize the smaller blessings that have gone unnoticed.

“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise.  Be thankful unto him and bless his name.” --Psalms 100:4

What do you say?  Let’s not be lazy, unobservant, or unsatisfied. 

For surely our cups runneth over.

Delighted you're here!