Has a dog ever asked, “Why does God let me suffer?”

Dogs have suffered horribly at the hands of humans. They’ve been trained for dog fights to kill and maim, and bred for human vanity without concern for the problems pedigree dogs suffer, like weak hips, spinal pressure, squashed nasal passages, cancerous skin, and epilepsy.

Dogs are also smooched on and pampered like little girly dolls, making them fat, ugly and obnoxious. They are locked up for hours in empty homes with nothing to do, making them bored, listless and arthritic. Or they’ve been so badly treated they turn savage and attack without warning. What humans have done to dogs is disgusting.

But dogs, amazingly, take it. They react badly when life becomes unbearable, yes, but it’s not done in revenge, or because they’re thinking, “I’ve had enough of this idiot, and it’s time he got a taste of his own medicine.”

Dogs, instead, take life as it comes. If they spend all day in the garage with a blanket and a bowl of water while the family are at work and school, so be it. And if they get bopped on the nose for chewing the carpet, they get the point and adapt to their owner’s requirements. They may whine if left alone or they can’t join in with the kids playing, but they don’t bear grudges or wonder why they’re being ignored or mistreated when they don’t deserve it. A dog doesn’t take pain personally; and has a dog ever asked, “Why does God let me suffer?”

But humans do. When life doesn’t turn out the way we like, we take it personally, and look for someone to blame and vent our anger on. And who better than God, who holds the reins of the universe and could make every life turn out right if he wanted to? So we pretend he doesn’t love us, to excuse ourselves acting like bratty children who can’t get their way.

But dogs never do that. They never seek excuse to turn on their owners with weird notions that their owners don’t love them, or their owners like punishing them. It makes me wonder, therefore, if God created dogs to become our best friends so we can learn from them, because we cannot escape the fact that here is a creature that accepts whatever we throw at it, and it keeps on trusting no matter what.

And it’s so obviously the way to be, because dogs are the happiest creatures on earth. They are easily content in whatever situation they find themselves in, and accept life as it comes without complaint. I wonder how many humans have asked, then, “How can I be more like a dog?”

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