Be the Man Your Dog Thinks You Are

Pastor Diane Gordon

Mt Pleasant FUMC

June 18, 2017

 

 

Scriptures: Genesis 1:19-31a CEB and Psalm 8 CEB

 

          There’s a reason dogs are referred to as “man’s best friend.” They see the absolute best in us, even when we bring home our frustrations and take them out on them. Our pets are grateful for any attention, greeting us upon our return, rolling over for a belly rub, giving love in their creaturely ways. They know when we aren’t feeling well, and snuggle when we’re blue. Our feline friends purr with delight when they get the pets they desire and but also let us know when they’d just rather be left alone.

Since we are blessing all animals and honoring God’s good creation today, we celebrate the love we have for cats as well as dogs, gerbils to giraffes, all creatures great and small.

My history with pets didn’t start out with close connections. The first animals I remember getting came in a grocery sack on the front porch on a rainy day. [ducklings story]

When I was eight, we had a beagle named Freckles. [camp/puppies story]

When I was twelve, another dog my parents had, a Norwegian Elkhound, attacked my 2-year-old brother who was playing in the back yard. Paul survived with only a few stitches on his forehead and arm, thanks to Mom’s quick action and a thick snow suit. That was the last day I ever saw Nicki.

Pets work best when they are like a member of the family and you have time room in your life and time to properly care for them. Who we are as stewards of God’s creatures is revealed in our lives together.

What would it look like to be the person your dog thinks you are? First of all, one would be totally trustworthy, reliable and patient. Love would always be the common bond and the best interest of the other would be primary.

Fathers know what it is to care for those who are totally dependent upon them. They put the needs of their children up at the top, guarding their safety and well-being even if it means making sacrifices. Being a good dad, whether to a child or one’s dog, means setting healthy boundaries and saying no sometimes. But for every no, there will be a yes to time spent together, teaching, playing and exploring the world.

Today is a day of gratitude; for our Fathers, both living and those who’ve passed, and for the animals in our lives that have taught us how to love unconditionally. They’ve also taught us responsibility, time management, patience, and what works best to get stains out of carpets.

To all the fathers here today we say, “Be the man your dog thinks you are.”

To all of us here today we say, be the human being God designed and calls you to be and live up to the challenge of being a good steward of creation, caring for all living creatures, and remembering that God created it, blessed it, and called it “supremely good.” Amen.