Skip to main content

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

Popular posts from this blog

The Light in the Faces of Our Incredible Human Family

National Geographic Journalist Paul Salopek is walking across the world on foot to trace the pathways of the first humans who wandered out of Africa in the Stone Age to claim the earth as theirs. His journey will cover 21,000 miles and is estimated to take 10 years. He is four years into his massive expedition and already he has discovered that humanity is mostly kind and generous, welcoming and caring, hard-working and disciplined.
I watched a brief piece about Salopek’s journey on the PBS News Hour this week. I have included a link below.
What is extraordinary about his adventure is his realization that in spite of all the wars and turmoil across the globe, he has learned that “The world is an incredibly hospitable place.” In following the ancient trade route called “The Silk Road,” Salopek has gotten to know a variety of people young and old. And though he has so far encountered a few dangerous situations where he had his water supply stolen, was once ambushed by raiders, and was sho…

Our National Lack of Self-esteem

There is a brokenness in our society, a pervasive moral collapse, a reckless disregard for community, neighborliness, courtesy, and compassion.
Our government leads by this example. Both parties are incompetent to guide us into a more responsible living, into a serviceable structure of humanity. Our leaders are dominated by greedy oligarchs who don’t just want more, they want everything, even if it costs our society its dignity, its soul, even its future.
What is on display here daily is a wretched lack of self-esteem. The loss now influences all of us. We’re all affected in ways that keep us shamed by our actions.
When we feel powerless, aimless, without any higher goals than the accumulation of things and the momentary thrill, we then mute our intelligence. We live by raw emotions—anger, appetite, urges. We don’t think, we don’t consider, we merely react. We push. We disregard. We threaten. We act out. And we fail.
Self-esteem is a learned process. It builds on genuine successes that ar…

Is the Soul Solid, like Iron?

Mary Oliver has a beautiful little poem in which she asks:

“Is the soul solid, like iron?
or is it tender and breakable, like
the wings of a moth in the beak of the owl?”

It is both.

The soul, we are told by philosophers, theologians, and mystics, is our essence, the permanence of our true self. It is that part of us that lives beyond death. Or so we are taught by religion. Where exactly the soul exists beyond that, has of course, been long debated.

There are times in life when something deep within us is, as Mary Oliver says, solid as iron and we operate out of some sense of aliveness, confidence, and inner strength. It may be fleeting, but there when needed; or it may carry us through long periods of endurance when we build a sturdy self, confident and capable of our abilities and talents.

This is the work of the soul. This is a part of our spiritual development. This is what enables us to believe there are forces in life, loving and generous and mystical, that nurture and compel us tow…