What My Dog Taught Me About Love

Love, Heartbreak

How Karen Palmer's book Dogs Are Gifts From God put me on the path to real love

Imagine for a moment an adorable puppy who only wants to give affection. The little dog snuggles, gives kisses, and tries to cuddle on your lap. If you're like me you pick up the baby dog and give it a hug, pet, belly rub, and a treat. When Bode came home on Valentine's Day 2012 he was all of 9 weeks old. His ears were still floppy and he was a little ball of fur. Who could resist that? Not I! From that day on Bode has become the most spoiled dog or at least one of them. He was that puppy. Demanding of mutual affection and boy did he ever receive back. Still does. Heck, I'm back at the Geothe Institute learning German ... just for him!

Now, imagine that same scenario of a puppy reaching out for affection. Except the poor dog receives nothing but rejection and neglect. Worse, his attempts for a cuddle are met with a shove and push to the wall. Ever determined, the baby dog keeps trying to show that unconditional love that dogs do, yet is met with equal force in continual rejection. Eventually the puppy gives up. Some dogs are numbed out from all that love starvation. Others acquire an aggressive response to those who do show kindness. After all, I'm going to reject you before you reject me, so I'm not let down anymore. Then there are those lucky dogs who are rescued and adopted by the person who should have been the rightful owner in the first place. Rescues call them second chance hounds. I call them the patience rewarded pups. When they heal, learn to trust, and form a secure attachment with the guardian who deserves their loyalty and love these dogs are restored to their natural state. Dogs are capable for far more forgiveness than most humans sometimes.

So what is the lesson here? Simple. When it comes to dating be the first puppy. The moment a person is shoving you away like the puppy in the second scenario, run from them as fast as you can. Beyond just being a waste of time that person simply doesn't deserve what you have to offer. However, it is a two-way street, because you have to be able to take no for an answer in the first place. If not, repeated attempts to win them over will result in being the pushed away puppy, when there is no need to be. Somewhere out there is the right guardian or soul mate for you too.