“Is he a good dog?’ My daughter pointed at a nearby mixed breed, unsure of its disposition. “All dogs are good dogs” , I said. And I believe it. A few are scared. A few are angry. But beneath any exterior signs to the contrary every dog is lovable. And it’s the same with human beings.
I realized only recently that dogs are metaphors for us. Those of us who love dogs don’t judge them because they might be feeble, or mangy, or long in the tooth. If you’re a dog lover, you love all dogs pretty much on sight. Why isn’t it that way with people too? But that’s a bigger essay.
I guess you love what you can. There’s a woman in the park I go to who is nasty, cruel, and mean. She yells at everyone. She judges us all. But she has a dog. So she can’t be rotten to the core. She loves something and something loves her. There’s hope in that. She once told me I was going to hell. But I won’t hate her. I won’t fight her. I won’t dispute her claims. She’s just scared, or angry, or hurt, so she growls and barks and strains on her leash. But that’s okay. Somewhere beneath she is a mother, a sister, a wife. Or if nothing else the owner of a dog.