When I grow up, I hope I’m as mature as my dog, Phineas. His resilience never fails to amaze me. As a dog who was mistreated and abandoned as a puppy, he still found a way to love and trust people without hesitation. Two weeks ago, he was bit on the ear by another dog in the park. After some veterinary TLC, he marched outside for his walk the next morning with gusto to greet his neighbors, human and canine alike, in that same park without a trace of fear nor anxiety. Yesterday, we saw the dog who bit him and though he didn’t go bounding over to say hello, he also didn’t let that dog phase him one bit.
I think of all the times I stopped trusting people and held onto fear because of past hurt and betrayal. Despite the size and complexity of the human brain, dogs have us beat in matters of the heart. They figure out, in very short order, how to heal, forgive, and love again. They don’t admonish others nor themselves for mistakes and injustices. They recognize that something happened, they learn, and then they move on without the malice, anger, and disappointment that often emotionally cripples people for years. If we could follow their lead, this world would be a happier, healthier place.