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Should We Treat The People We Love Like Dogs?

My best friend can drive me bonkers talking in circles around me, but when my dog goes ape sh*t crazy at the front window when a poodle walks by, I’m unfazed.

My ex would leave me livid when he showed up the door 30 minutes late for dinner, yet my cat could throw up repeatedly and I’d patiently clean it up.

Where’s the disconnect?  Do we love our pets more than the people in our life?

Of course not.

I’m convinced the incredible love we feel for our dogs, cats, horses, and in fact all of our pets, comes from the knowing that we won’t have them forever.  It’s a very limited time that our paths are actually joined together – if we’re lucky a dog can live to be 14, a cat maybe 20, and because of this, every single day, every moment, is a gift.

They eat our shoes, mess up our homes and monopolize our time when we’re pulled in other directions, yet we love them anyways and instantly forgive them despite their many imperfections.

So why are there different rules between species?

There’s no doubt our pets love us unconditionally, while family and friends often play human games with love — they seem to love us when we’re good and in turn we love them when we deem their treatment of us kind.

Yet what if today, we decided to love the people in our life the way we love our pets?  What if we remembered that one day, they too will no longer be here with us?

Perhaps we could keep in mind that everything that drives us nuts about them will one day be a distant memory, and we might even find ourselves longing to hear them talk circles around us one last time, or experience ourselves opening the door to their tardy face once again, no matter how late they arrive.

Yes, I’m pretty sure that’s the way to do it.  Listen to your parent’s lecture as if it is the last one you’ll ever hear from them in this lifetime, clean up your partner’s dishes as though it’s the last dish they will eat from, and when family arguments ensue, remember that one day believe it or not, you will miss the sound of their voices.

The secret to love?  Let’s treat them all like dogs.

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