"The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line[a] has gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, And rejoices like a strong man to run its race. Its rising is from one end of heaven, And its circuit to the other end; And there is nothing hidden from its heat." (Ps 19:1-6)

I was lying in bed trying to work my way through a new book that I’d recently bought. The wording was difficult to read. The plot was incomprehensible. The meaning was struggling to say in two hundred pages what could easily have been said it two. After yet another difficult page I shut the book and closed my eyes. Suddenly, I felt the book being gently pushed down. I opened my eyes and saw a white, furry nose on top of it. It was Fluffy, our new puppy who had grown from four to forty pounds in the last four months.

"Can I help you?”, I asked. My answer was a quick face licking that soaked my chin to my nose. I laughed, threw the book aside, and petted my newest, furry friend. He had reminded me again that the true wisdom of life is to be found in simple love rather than in complex words.

I have gained a lot of wisdom from my different dogs over the years. I have learned to always take pleasure in a simple snack. I have learned that a nap in the middle of the afternoon is good for the soul. I have learned that it doesn’t matter if you catch the ball as long as you have fun  chasing it. I have learned that a smiling face like a wagging tail is something you should always be happy to share. I have learned that couches are for cuddling. I have learned that there is always room on the lap for one more. I have learned that it is ok to growl once in a while as long as you don’t bite. I have learned that running in the sunshine and fresh air is pure pleasure. I have learned as well to always shake off the rain. Most of all I have learned that every problem in this world can be solved with just a little more love.

I think God must have given us dogs to remind us of things like these. For thousands of years they have walked by our sides, napped by our fires, and blessed us with their friendship. They are and will remain one of our greatest teachers of love. May we always follow their example.

By: Joseph J. Mazzella