What Dogs Teach Us About Being Present - iBelieve Truth - May 22, 2024

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“God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:25

We can learn a lot from our dogs, such as how to be present for those we love. They know how to be there for us in our lives through thick and thick, good times and bad times, even making us feel every minute of the day that there is no other place on earth they would rather be than with us.

No matter the place or condition, dogs are eager to share our space. They also keep watch over us by letting us know when someone’s coming near. Various statistics also indicate that dogs benefit our lives, helping us to be calmer, happier, and even live longer.

The American Kennel Club states that a comprehensive review of studies taken between 1950 and 2019 discovered that dog owners have a lower risk of death, lower blood pressure, and improved responses to stress.

Dogs seem thrilled to be present in our lives every waking hour of the day and all night long, like they don’t want to miss spending a second with us, giving us unconditional love, which is a pretty wonderful feeling. They also offer us companionship, which helps us not feel alone. No wonder they are often referred to as "man’s best friend."

But isn’t that kind of sad in a way? Shouldn’t man be man’s best friend? Yet, as humans, we have things to do and places to go with no extra time to just be present.

In countless social media posts, individuals write about how their dog is their best friend. They share stories of how heartbroken they feel when losing their beloved dog. It’s pretty heartbreaking to hear of their sorrow, with many expressing feelings of devastation, hopelessness, and not knowing how they’ll make it through another day.

It’s beautiful, though, how God has enabled us to love and care for our pets. It pleases Him, too, as Proverbs 12:10 explains, “The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.”

To care for our animals is to be like God. Jesus tells us in Matthew 10:29, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.”

Our sweet little dog always makes a big deal whenever my husband returns home from work. Tail wagging, barking with glee, and a tongue ready to lick, she’s his biggest fan as he walks into the house, filled with joy at his homecoming. I started asking myself, “Why don’t I greet him with the same kind of enthusiasm she does?”

Like 2 Corinthians 13:12 encourages, she knows how to “Greet one another with a holy kiss.”

Silly, we might think. But a dog’s enthusiasm causes us to feel welcomed home, loved, and like we were truly missed. Sometimes our comings and goings can seem to go unnoticed by family members, but dogs don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate us.

Dog owners know what a joy it is to be loved by a dog because they don’t seem to tire of us. Whatever condition we’re in, it doesn’t seem to keep them away; whether we’re healthy or under the weather, they want to be right by our side. They’re not worried about catching the flu or a cold; they just want to be with us, comforting us, and keeping us company.

God, who created them and gave them life, put these wonderful qualities within them. Genesis 2:19 tells us where our treasured animals come from: “Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.”

As the God of all comfort, He knew what qualities to put into dogs that would bring us comfort. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3).

Dogs seem to have the gift of being present in our lives. We can learn from them.

Let’s Pray:

Dear Father,

Thank you for the wonderful animals You created for us. As they offer us, help me to be present in the lives of those around me, offering unconditional love, comfort, and companionship.

In Jesus’ name,


Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/barkernotbaker

Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, StartMarriageRight.com, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.

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Originally published Wednesday, 22 May 2024.