Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sin and forgiveness

When I got home, Rocky and Stella greeted me at the door with their usual overjoyed reception despite the fact that I was several hours late with their dinner and their evening walk. How many people would still be even the least bit hospitable to someone three hours late? I sure wouldn't be. In fact, three hours late without a death in the family excuse generally means the person's contact info gets deleted from my address book.

But in dogs, we get a warm reception no matter what the time, no matter what the excuse. Over the past 10000 or so years, we've molded their personalities to adore us. We are their life and their salvation. To the core of their being, dogs need us and want to be with us and will often go out of their way to please us. They will even risk their physical well-being for us. No other species would ever do such a thing for us, certainly not with such consistency.

So then why do we so consistently abandon them, abuse them, kill them?

Sammy was brought into Toronto Animal Services after her previous owner scalded her with boiling water.

In the grand scheme of things, some scalded flesh on an animal is no big deal. They are for us to do as we please and the evil humans do is boundless. Here's the thing, though. With any other animal, including most human ones I'm sure, the wounds from such experiences would create the deepest psychological trauma making it almost impossible to trust again but on Sammy, the wounds went not much deeper than the flesh. After who knows how many years of severe abuse, Sammy still trusts and puts her faith in people. She is a little reticent with strangers at first but she quickly warms to them and gives herself over to them. Not all dogs recover to such a degree but the vast majority do. The vast majority are ultimately forgiving.

Sammy has been adopted out to a woman who will look after her and I am sure she will love Sammy and Sammy will forget her past woes and love the woman back. Hers is a happy ending.

The evil humans do is boundless but the forgiveness in dogs is equal to the task.

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