English springer spaniel beside tree

Lord, Help Me Be the Person My Dog Thinks I Am

By Jeffrey Pillow on September 11, 2015 — 1 min read

“Lord, help me to be the type of person my dog thinks I am,” read an aged, yellowed plaque that lay atop the counter as I swiped my debit card with my free hand.

Extended from my right hand, a leash. The collar at the other end rang like a bell as brown eyes stared up at me from below, a long pink tongue hanging from the side of her mouth as her backside wiggled, docked tail flicking left and right like a plump, furry worm.

As I opened the door of my car, directing my English Springer Spaniel to jump in the backseat, she paused and licked my hand and then my face. A tongue-wide line of white froth bubbled atop the raised hairs on my right forearm as if a slug had retreated only minutes before.

Despite my protest to stay nestled in the back, she crawled to the front and into the passenger seat, loose hair spiraling through the air, and turned to me, with an expression that could only be described as a smile, as if to say, “I’m so happy to be here with you. Where are we going next?”

On the ride home from the veterinarian’s office, I pondered the yellowed sign.

Lord, help me to be the type of person my dog thinks I am.

As we came to a stop at the light at the end of Georgetown Way, I looked over in my dog’s direction. Panting, a little anxious and excited still from having visited the vet for her annual physical exam and immunizations, she stared back at me with that same silly expression from before.

I couldn’t help but smile back.

Posted in: Nonfiction

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