Forgiveness: For Giving

The world of dog rescue is all about second chances.

Dogs who are abused, neglected, abandoned, and left to death roe—all given the opportunity for a new beginning and a fresh start. Dogs who chew our favorite shoes or cost us thousands of dollars in medical bills—still receive that light pat on the couch each evening inviting them up for snuggles. Said dog who ate my very favorite shoes, gets yelled at or sprayed with a water bottle, and you’d think was just declared the world’s worst dog—walks slowly forward, head hung low, and apologizes.

My pack is specialized in rehabilitation and I enjoy watching the dynamics between dogs each time a new foster is integrated. It’s not always easy and sometimes it takes awhile for everyone to get along. I’ve seen dogs go from biting necks and tearing ears one minute, to licking wounds and awkwardly sharing a dog bed the next.

Here’s what I find interesting: how easily we people reopen our hearts for the furcreatures, how nearly instinctual it is for them to do for each other or for us, and yet, how difficult it is for us to do the same with humans.

It’s because dogs deserve it more than people, right? They are innocent creatures, full of unconditional love. I wonder though, if they’re full of so much love because they offer so much forgiveness. And maybe, just maybe, our fellow humans deserve it just as much.

By offering forgiveness, you patch up the sorest parts of your heart so you can give love again. Just like with the dogs, however, it takes time; if you aren’t careful, starting over too quickly can be dangerous. When you are ready, and when they deserve it, take a lesson from the dawgs and forgive someone. Or better yet, forgive yourself; because whatever you’re so upset with yourself for is not worth holding on to, and chances are, you really had good intentions for whatever it was that you did.

So how do we do it? Here too, I look to the dawgs. Help someone by licking her wounds clean or find a friend and snuggle awkwardly, just because you know he needs you there; wrestle for a fun time outside or help him get a hamburger off the counter—whatever it is, just give them your love in the best way you know how.

Give love, it’s for giving.