On the day we heard of a second beheading of a journalist by ISIS, we had to put down one of our pugs, Tootie.
Tootie came to us as a puppy mill rescue. We were told she was 7 when we adopted her, but we were never sure of her exact age. We were sure however that Tootie had never walked the aisles of the Westminster Kennel Club, her tongue was two sizes to big for her mouth, her proportions were not even close to breed standard and her belly showed the effects having born litter after litter to feed the puppy mill machine.
While her body showed the signs of neglect and misuse her attitude and outlook on life were undamaged and pure.
Everything was a new experience to Tootie, walks provided the opportunity to smell new smells, dig in dirt that had long been denied her in the cage she was confined in, and nothing was better than walking out into new fallen snow where she would prance and gobble the wet white stuff as she went along.
If kids approached us while we were walking the pugs, wanting to pet the “puppies”, it was always Tootie that we let them approach, knowing she would be docile and tolerant of any poking or prodding.
I’ll admit I have been guilty of saying that, “Tootie has the brains of a caterpillar, but she is sweet” … on reflection that may have been more of a compliment than a put-down.
Perhaps an abundance of kindness is to be valued above intelligence or cunning.
Perhaps Andy Rooney was correct when he said, “the average dog is nicer than the average person.”
Perhaps God gave us dogs as a barometer of kindness, a reminder that no matter what depths of cruelty we plumb as humans, a lesser creation is there to show the path of gentleness, loyalty and kindness.