Sometimes a book comes along that you fills your heart with happiness and joy. “The Radical Practice of Loving Everyone: A four-legged approach to enlightenment” by Michael J. Chase is one of those books.
I smiled from the first paragraph until the end as the author begins his personal journey to love everyone led by a master teacher: his dog Mollie.
I must admit that I hadn’t really thought about learning everything I need to know about loving others from a dog, but Michael puts Mollie’s case forward quite strongly and I believe she is quite the expert in loving people.
We are all acutely aware of a dog’s capacity for loyalty to his owner. Loyalty comes as naturally to a dog as loving anyone who crosses his (or her) path.
I felt Michael’s pain as he feared that he couldn’t learn to love others. He writes bravely about his failures. He talks about the people he struggles to love. I found solace in knowing that I am not alone in this struggle.
Mollie showed Michael (and the world) that even those we would normally walk past on the street (or take steps to avoid) are worth greeting and spending time with. Mollie had decided that life is there to be lived and she dragged (sometimes literally) Michael along for the ride.
Louise Hay writes that she believes animals are on the planet so that we can know love and compassion. I would hesitate to agree with this statement based on the knowledge of my Diva and her finicky ways however she is a cat. Maybe I am being slightly bigoted, but I think a cat is a whole different kettle of fish to a dog!
Remembering our old dog Bundy, I recall the times we would come home after a day at work and he would race around us and get under our feet. He even learned to say ‘hello’. He was so excited so be around us and the excitement flowed through his whole body. He loved us without prejudice (okay maybe a little where The Son was concerned. But in his defense, the Son used to tease him). I remember taking the Son to the local hospital one day to get a bite on his face checked out. The hospital staff were especially concerned until I told them “He deserved it. He was warned that if he continued to tease the dog, it would retaliate”.
This incident aside, Bundy loved everyone (even the Son after he had learned his lesson). His little stumpy tail would wag furiously whenever someone came to the door.
If we were out walking, he would pull at his lead to check out any person walking past. If you had two legs, you were alright!
Michael J. Chase’s book covers the same premise. Mollie is a gifted teacher.
If you want some light reading (with a dose of teaching thrown in), then I highly recommend this book. It lightened my spirit and brought a smile to my face and showed me that learning to love someone is really as simple as watching how our four-legged friends go about it.