Advertisement

Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Could You Give Away the Family Pet?

I was sitting in church not too long ago when a guest speaker was talking about his family’s decision to give away their two small eight-year-old dogs. I could hardly listen to the story and the somewhat buried spiritual point because I couldn’t wrap my brain around giving away our family pet.
When Teddy, our beloved miniature poodle, died at 16 years of age, the loss hit me hard. As the speaker continued to unfold the story of pet inconvenience, children going to college, and the lack of attention his pets were getting, I was trying hard not to judge, because I could relate.

 

Advertisement

After Teddy died, I vowed not to get another family dog. Our family was too busy and often out of the house for long periods of the day. Having teenagers, I knew I would become the default caregiver despite my teens’ intentions to do their part. Against my better judgment, I conceded to getting a puppy. A few days in to it, I realized this was not a good idea and gave our dog, Zoe, to friends who had two of her siblings. The give-away lasted only a few days. I couldn’t do it. Feeling like Judas to that sweet little creature, we retrieved our dog. No matter the inconvenience, we were committed for life.

So I get this speaker who is trying to convince us all why his family wanted to give away their pets. But I couldn’t do it after a few days, and this family had their pets for eight years. It would be like giving away a child (two in this case)! OK, maybe not that intense. Struggling to understand and wondering where this story was going, the speaker paused and said, “We couldn’t do it. We cried, lost sleep, and rescinded the offer.”

Advertisement

Some of you may be thinking, we are talking animals here, what’s the big deal? The big deal is this: Attachment and commitment seem to be missing in our relationships (with pets or people). We find easy excuses as to why we want out or don’t want to commit.

The sermon made me think of how disposable relationships are in our culture.

When inconvenience and struggle are involved in any relationship, are we too ready to cut the person off, get out of the marriage, or ditch our commitment? Working through the tough times of attachment and commitment are what lasting relationships require, pets or people.

The next time you are completely frustrated with someone you would like to cut off, divorce or give away, think about all creatures big and small who need your unconditional love, patience, mercy, and grace to grow in intimacy and stay committed.

Honestly, could you give away the family pet?

And Yes, pictured is ZOE!

 

 

 

 

Previous Posts

Bullying More Harmful Than Child Abuse
Jerry struggled with not wanting to go to school. His parents noticed how anxious he was and finally learned that a bully was making Jerry's life miserable. When Jerry reported this behavior to one of his teachers, the teacher downplayed the ...

posted 7:00:35am Aug. 04, 2015 | read full post »

5 Nonverbal Behaviors to Influence Others
Robert is at an  office party. He's been working hard and wants to win over his colleagues and make a good impression. He's wondering if there is anything he can do right now to win people over. Actually, there is, especially when it comes to ...

posted 7:00:50am Jul. 31, 2015 | read full post »

4 Strategies to Minimize Relationship Conflict
Five years ago, there was no conflict. Renee and Jerry decided to have children. At the time, both felt it was best for Renee to stay home with the children while Jerry worked outside the home. Recently, Renee was having a tough day, ...

posted 7:00:38am Jul. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Can You Think Away Chronic Pain?
Susan's leg injury was healed more than two months ago, so why is she still having chronic pain? Her family thinks it is all in her head, but is it? Her doctor can't find a reason for the pain and questioned her about stress in her life. Susan ...

posted 7:00:43am Jul. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Abortive Body Parts Only About Politics?
Like most of you, I was horrified to see the video of the Planned Parenthood women having wine and food  while discussing abortive body parts for sale. The lack of a moral compass should outrage all of us, but yesterday, as I  listened to ...

posted 7:51:16am Jul. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.