Recently, my neighbor asked me to housesit and dogsit for a week. I said yes, of course, because who doesn't like the money and doggos? However, never having a dog, I didn't realize how special a dog is and how much they resemble God and His amazing and reckless love for us.
For one thing, dogs are loyal to the core. If you move to a different room, they will move with you. If you go outside, they will more likely than not follow you out there. Their instinct is to protect you. This is so much like our heavenly Father. We may stray away and leave Him. But, He is always there to follow us like a loyal doge. He will come to find you wherever you are hiding to remind you how much He loves you. He won't force you to love Him back, but He will always be there for you. Just like a dog.
Another great thing about dogs is that they are happy just in your presence there with them. Often, I would come and visit my neighbor's dog and he would immediately smile and wag his tail as soon as I walked into the room. He was just happy to see me. Just like this dog, the Lord is happy just with our presence. If we just take the moment to sit with Him, He beams down on us from heaven. Simply taking the time to sit with Him at church or in the Blessed Sacrament makes Him so happy. Just like a friend, all the Lord asks is that we spend some time with Him. He doesn't care what we talk to Him about. It can be about our day, our worries, our fears, our joys. Literally anything. All He wants is to spend time with us. Just like the dog that so many of us have!
Finally, like the dogs that we all love so dearly, we depend on the Lord just as He depends on us. He depends on us to show His love to others. He often uses others to show His love to our earthly world. Likewise, we depend on Him for His reckless love and mercy. I honestly don't know where I would be without His love and mercy; I would feel empty. Similarly, we need our dogs for their love, support, loyalty and company. Our dogs need us so that they can be fed, walked and all-around happy. It's a similar symbiotic relationship to the one we have with the Lord.
I truly believe that God put dog's on this earth to mirror his love to us. Dogs are an almost perfect mirror of Him and how He feels when we add Him to our daily lives. I may not have a dog of my own, but I have plenty to go around in my neighborhood. Dogs are a special gift that we are so lucky to have!