I’ve felt for quite some time that God gave us dogs to help us feel the things inside we need to grow, stretch, and breath again. Dogs have a way of reaching into our hearts and giving us strength to wake up and live. They do not need us as wild animals have proven time and time again. But, they do want us, and for some reason, the want from a dog is one that humans let in. I think this is also the reason that the death of a beloved pet is sometimes more painful than the death of humans we love. Pets have no true disappointment in us and the little they might have is fleeting. They don’t speak words that hurt us. When they die, the best, most loving friend is gone. The affection of a pet is tangible. When you walk in a door, they’re unmistakably happy that you, and you specifically, are home. Home is the dog truthfully, not the dwelling the dog is in. Cats are home too. Contrary to their reputation, cats are fiercely loyal to their humans and many are just as physically affectionate as golden retrievers and other gregarious breeds. Some might say this is scandalous, but I believe God moves through these creatures who grace us with their wet noses and snores and paws that smell like corn chips. I believe there is very little God won’t do to tell us we’re loved in ways we trust. Throughout the bible, there is evidence of God visiting humans and trying to pursue relationships with them in ways they could process. Sometimes, this was through angels, dreams, burning bushes, pillars of smoke, and talking donkeys. Jesus is this same manifestation- God in a form humans could even minutely grasp. If God was willing to reach people and love them through those biblical examples, isn’t it possible that God would choose to do that now in ways that we can also feel, though not necessarily understand? When someone you love dearly is sleeping, they are not consciously aware of your love for them, but that unawareness does not negate the truth of your attachment to them. We may not be aware of God’s efforts to connect with us, but it doesn’t mean God isn’t trying to reach us, to love us, in ways that we can let in without being wholly overwhelmed to the point of complete rejection of it. A soft chihuahua has been visiting me today, waiting patiently for me to sit, so he can return to his seat in my lap. This is the most still, the most calm I have been in days, and it’s as if I can’t not be, because his little eyes are telling me to sit, to rest, to be warm and cozy. This is a form of love, because this small being is reminding me, enchanting me into believing that it’s ok to take a morning off. Whether this is God or not, I feel special, and I’m going to let this beautiful pet do the work it has been given to do.