Do you remember the movie The Truth about Cats and Dogs? In case you missed it, here’s the plot summary courtesy of Wikipedia followed by a trailer from the movie courtesy of YouTube:
Abby Barnes (Janeane Garofalo) is a veterinarian, who hosts a Los Angeles radio show called “The Truth About Cats and Dogs.” The use of this as the title of the film also suggests the combative nature of male-female romantic relationships. Abby strikes up an unexpected friendship with her neighbor Noelle Sluslarsky (Uma Thurman), a traditionally attractive model who is sweet, but not very sharp. When Abby makes a blind date with a caller to her show (Ben Chaplin), her insecurity with her own appearance leads her to convince Noelle to pretend to be Abby when meeting the date. Unfortunately, both women develop feelings for the man, leading to a comedic series of misunderstandings, as the unintended consequences of their deception grow deeper.
When I saw that the topic for this week’s blog carnival was pets, I did what most people would probably do. I thought about my pets, past and present and attempted to write a story about what they meant to me. And while heartfelt stories about a favorite pet are almost always moving and/or inspirational, I wasn’t really feeling a personal pet story. I’ve got them, but I suppose just about anyone who has ever had a pet has at least one. Probably better than mine. (Although I will go on record here stating that my cat Rudy is 17 years old–119 in human years supposedly, and I also owned male and female litter mates that lived to be 20 and 21 respectively. Cats love my company so much they refuse to die. Which is sort of strange because the feeling is not necessarily mutual.) But I digress…
I agree with what the character Abby says at the beginning of that clip: “You can love your pets, just don’t love your pets.” And no, I’m not talking about a 3 hour tongue bath from your cat, even though I’m pretty sure that would be considered inappropriate under any circumstances.
What I mean is that most pets, and dogs in particular, are easy to love because for the most part they love us unconditionally and without judgement. They lavish us with affection and loyalty and ask very little in return. My dog Buddy Love is a great companion. I don’t recall a single blog post typed from my computer when he wasn’t either sitting in my lap or snuggled up next to me. I do love that dog, but that kind of love and companionship is not the same as loving people.
People are hard to love.
And there’s no such thing as unconditional love when it comes to human beings. We may come close on rare occasions, but our selfish natures prevent us from that kind of love.
Someone once said, “The more people I meet the more I like my dog.”
And while there are days I might wholeheartedly agree with that statement, I simply can’t give up on loving people.
Because the One who really does love me unconditionally commands me to love Him and love people.
And He never mentioned the dog.
This post is part of the One Word at a Time Blog Carnival: Pets, hosted by my friend Peter Pollock. To read more about pets, please visit him at PeterPollock.com