I've never been an animal person. Never. Now I don't want to see them suffering or hurt on the side of the road. But I'm just not an animal person. I'm just not a dog person. At least I wasn't. Until two years ago. The year Maggie came into our lives.
Maggie is a beautiful Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who has broken the cold and callous heart of this self-professed non-animal person. She has turned me into one of those crazy, freaky dog people. You know who I'm talking about. Those people who buy little fleece sweaters so their princesses won't get cold outside. Those people who search the aisles of the local health food store for the best organic, non-filler dog food and treats. Those who have their dog sleep in the bed with them. I have become one of those.
But it's ok. Because I now understand the gift she shares with me. The gift that makes me love holding her for around two to three minutes the moment I walk in the door every. single. day. Maggie runs up to me, jumps in my arms and practically licks my face off. Maggie possesses that love we wish we received every day: unconditional and all encompassing love. The kind of love we crave, yet don't deserve. The kind that fulfills us and is also needed to live richly and fully.
Why don't we love that way? Oh, I love my husband and sons. Always. But do I like them all the time? Heavens no. They make me crazy, sometimes disappoint me, and every now and then, really irritate the hell out of me. (And I know I do the same to them.) But Maggie does - over and over and over. She doesn't remember the times I've messed up, or when I've fussed at her for getting in the recycling, or when I've accidentally left her outside (not for too long, I promise!). She still craves me. She still loves me completely.
So now I get it. I get why others are in love with their pups. These four legged friends are quite possibly the closest embodiment of Christian agape. I feel we could all learn a thing or two from my sweet Maggie.