Tuesday, August 23, 2016

What Do You See in Your Pet's Eyes?

An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language.
~ Martin Buber, Theologian/Philosopher

In the photo above is Maggie, my son Luke's dog. She had been terribly abused by her original owner when Luke bought her and took her home with him. When I first met her some years ago she lowered her head, growled a little, and ran under Luke's truck. In time, after trying to gently approach her, she came to me. I wanted her to know I meant her no harm; that I only wanted to love her.

Her eyes still show some of her deep hurt and fear. And there is a bit of sadness in her expression. But, through Luke's love and care, she blossomed. She has such a stately presence now. When she's not inside the truck next to Luke, she is running alongside it when he’s going to feed the cattle. She is loyal to him in every way and protective to the end. She goes with him everywhere. She adores Luke.

When I'm at the ranch she sits at my feet while I pet and love on her. I sometimes hold her head and look into her face. I tell her what a great dog she is. Her eyes see straight through me. She understands everything I’m saying and feeling. She is the sweetest animal. Sometimes when Luke’s friends with children are there the little ones pull on her tail, try to ride her, play with her ears, and hug her tight. She never tires of any of that. She never flinches or backs off. It’s as though she knows they are just children playing with her and she patiently allows it. Even though they can be a little rough, Maggie seems to express, It’s okay; I like their company. 

Buber was right. Animals convey so much to us through their eyes and their actions.

They are gifts to us. They have love to give us. Unconditional. Open. Warm. Caring love. And they want to be loved by us. Held and rubbed and kissed and scratched and played with.

In his best-selling book about his family’s dog, Marley, journalist and writer John Grogan writes, "Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day. It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives, and even how much closer we become to each other because of them."  

If you have a dog or cat, look into their eyes today. They probably have something to tell you.

© 2016 Timothy Moody

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