• Lara Flanagan

Just a dog

I was waxing lyrical about my dogs this week, Kevin in particular as he is getting a bit doddery and the person I was talking to scoffed at me and said, “well he’s going to die one day, he’s just a dog you know.”

I love expressions like that. They are up there with “sorry, but I am just being honest…….”, “……. just saying….” and “no offence but…….”

Those expressions all say to me one big thing. That that person saying them lost the ability to listen a long time ago. The person who says, “sorry, but I am just being honest” can’t hear the fact that honesty is often an excuse for an inability to be kind. If you must preface anything with, “no offence but….” then you simply don’t want to listen.

To me, listening is up there with kindness. Listening is everything. If we could all say a little less and listen a lot more, then can you imagine, oh my.

To that person I was speaking to this week, Kevin might just be a dog, but to me he is family, but this person couldn’t hear that. I however could hear that they had never been on the receiving end of the love of a dog, and hearing that made me a little sad, so I didn’t need to say anything at all.

Dogs are the best listeners of them all. Never just a dog, but so much more than that.

Just a dog they say.

My dog is like my shadow,

connected at my feet,

a shadow with a wagging tail,

who can hear my own heart beat.

Just a dog he says.

My dog is my most loyal friend,

a wet nose upon my knee,

I may be up, I may be down,

but my dog, can see inside of me.

Just a dog she says.

My dog awakens every morn,

and treats each day as if its new,

with leaps of joy my dog reminds me,

that life is precious, he knows that to be true.

Not just a dog, much more than that,

a constant, loyal friend,

a heart beating at your heels,

a love that stays with you until the end.

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