The biggest complaint heard among most people regarding fairy tales is that the story stops where married life begins. And, of course, that is where most of the non-fairy tale behaviors and problems begin as well. Most wedding blogs do the same; they tell you all about how to have the fairy tale wedding, but the tips, advice, and ideas end when the final bow is taken at the reception.
I subscribe to “Marriage Gems” blog, and “4 Things Pets Teach Us About Marriage” came in my e-mail box a while ago. I loved it! I noticed, however, that the qualities mentioned are how people treat their pets, not how their pets treat their owners. I must admit to not always treating our dog, Jake, with those 4 relational qualities, but Jake never fails to treat my husband or me in those ways.
The one that caught my eye was the tacit ability of pets to assume the best possible motives in their owner, never automatically believing that their owner intentionally hurt or upset them. This sentiment is heralded in the Bible (1 Corinthians 13) and every marriage book, blog, article, and quotation journal this side of “I do”, and is even the American system of criminal justice: The accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to a moral certainty. This seems to be among the hardest to put into practice in day-in-day-out relationships, but is also among the most essential to the health and happiness of those relationships.
After reading that blog, I started asking my friends what their pets taught them about marriage. Admittedly, there were a few quips: They always eat what you put in front of them; Heiny-scratching on the carpet is a no-no; Don’t hump everything you see; Puppy dog eyes will get you anything.
But I did receive some serious thoughts as well: Dogs are protectors. Protect the ones you love; Go for lots of long walks; Sometimes leashes are necessary, sometimes its best to leave them hung by the door and just trust; Play time is essential; Back scratches make the world a better place; and my personal favorite, Wag more, bark less!