Here was a dog that was happy to be alive and carefree, but people wanted this dog to be physically perfect. Instead of appreciating her uniqueness, the initial reaction from young to old was one of pity.
Everyone questioned if she was hurt at that moment, or how she was hurt and how she could be fixed. On one dreadful occasion a lady commented, "that is so cruel!" What was she saying? That death was better than life for this crippled dog? Happygirl didn't notice she was "different."
While she mostly hopped on her three viable legs, she could run swiftly if she got away from me! One time I was so annoyed, after a ten-year-old boy kept asking me, "what happened to her," I reacted rather comically. We were in Florida, so I replied with, "she got into a fight with an alligator!" His eyes got big, his jaw dropped and nothing else was said.
Why are we humans negative and judgmental when we first look upon another being? When we look on the outside at what clothes someone is wearing, and judge them accordingly, is that really an accurate account of their character? Is it fair to make our first observation wholly our final judgment about that person and thus to determine their worth by our value system? We tend to decide at first glance how we will try to fix someone or we build a wall to avoid them altogether.
In the Bible we are told that seven sons of Jesse were presented to Samuel, each as a candidate to be king. God said of one of Jesse's sons who Samuel thought would be chosen, "Don't judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn't see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 NLT. Jesse's son David had been disregarded because of his youth and inexperience, but God ultimately chose him.
On our journey through "never-mind" land, we probably miss meeting a prospective friend -- someone who we might need one day and that one person who could look at us and accept us where we are, with all our faults and limitations. Happygirl was my faithful companion through new journeys of triumph and in valleys filled with dark shadows of death and heartbreak. I accepted her and she accepted me with unconditional love.
We humans could learn a lot from a dog -- whether four or three-legged.
Elmendorf may be contacted at carmenvictoriaelmend...@yahoo.com