Watching Lemmy and Snoopy charging down the hall always brings a smile to my face. They chase, pant, and chew on each other. They bounce, roll, and run. They go faster and faster until their legs tangle and they end up in a pile of fur at the foot of the couch. I delight so much in the joy they bring. They remind me that the greatest happiness comes from a playful spirit and a loving heart. They remind me too that fur-filled carpets and teeth marked shoes are a small price to pay for a laughing soul.
The theologian Karl Barth once said that "Laughter is the closest thing to the grace of God." I thank God then for giving me so many four-legged comedians to grace my life. My house may be small and crowded but I always have a lot of furry heads to pet on. My furniture may be worn and fur covered but I can get a warm snuggle or slurp on the chin whenever I need one. My home may not be the neatest place but it is full of playful puppies and lots of laughter.
I think God knew what He was doing when He brought dogs into the lives of people. Dogs help us to see that life is meant for joy. They help us to see that play can be just as important as work. They help us to see that happiness comes from within. And they help us to see that love and laughter are the greatest gifts of all. May you share them always with dogs and people alike.