I have a confession to make, and it’s kind of embarrassing. Are you ready for it? It has to do with my wife Debbie, and my dog Solomon.
I’m jealous of my dog.
Yep. I’m not kidding. He’s a 12 year old (human years) golden retriever named Solomon. He’s ALL golden retriever, if you know what I mean. He’s great around kids. He loves to play and roughhouse. And he loves people. In fact, he’s never met anyone he didn’t love. But there’s nobody he loves more than Debbie.
Which brings me to my point. He seems to have a special relationship with her that, to me anyway, is one-part endearing and one-part annoying.
For example, when Debbie calls for him to “come” he darts right for her. When I call for him to “come” he just looks at me funny. Or he and I could be playing tug-of-war with an old towel in the living room. He loves it. But as soon as Debbie walks in the room he drops the towel and makes a bee-line for her.
There’s no doubt about it. He loves her, and she loves him. The first thing Debbie does in the morning is lovingly say good morning (to Solomon), get down on the floor with him, and pet him all over for at least 2 or 3 minutes. Seriously? Sometimes I wonder who the man of the house really is.
He’s definitely reached a place in her heart that’s reserved just for him.
But I’ve decided to have a good attitude about it and and learn from my dear old dog. After all, we named him after King Solomon in the Bible who was known for being incredibly wise. In fact, Solomon wrote the entire book of Song of Songs, which is a lyric poem that extols the virtues of love between a husband and his wife.
So, when it comes to loving Debbie well, he’s the master and I’m the student. Here it is. A few marriage lessons I’ve learned from my dog:
1. He’s never too busy to give her his full attention. It doesn’t matter what he’s doing (taking a nap, licking his paws, playing tug-of-war with me, etc.), when Debbie wants his attention, he gives it. Me? Like most guys, it’s a struggle to listen for more than 30 seconds.
2. He can’t wait to be with her. He thinks about her all day, and he goes nuts when she comes home. In other words, he delights in her and gives her the attention she needs. Yep, I need to grow in this area too.
3. He’s always ready to have a fun adventure. Whether he’s in the middle of dinner, playing with a toy, or fast asleep…when Debbie reaches for his leash he’s ready to go for a walk or head back into the woods. He’s never too busy or in the middle of something more important.
4. He loves to cuddle. What is it with us guys and cuddling? It’s not like it’s difficult. But Solomon loves to be hugged, touched, cuddled, …you name it. And he snuggles up to her as well.
5. He loves her unconditionally. If you’re a dog lover you know what I mean. He doesn’t see her faults. He doesn’t see areas where she could improve. And he certainly doesn’t give a rip about any mistakes she’s made. He just loves her, and delights in her, as she is today. Yeah, I need to get better at that as well.
So as I comb through the book of Song of Songs, here’s the one verse that encapsulates all of this for me:
“I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me.”
-Song of Songs 7:10
Solomon leads a simple life, which allows him to keep his desires simple. Something I need to do.
So here’s to you my furry marriage-mentor and friend. You are wise indeed.