God looked down on his creation and said, “I need someone who will bring comfort to every human being, someone who will emanate joy at all times. I need someone to befriend the humans.”

So God gave us dogs.

He said, “I need someone whose only purpose is to love. Someone who delights solely in people. Someone to stave off loneliness and lick up tears. I need someone with an uncanny ability to produce smiles even under the most discouraging of circumstances. Someone who will console troubled children and adults alike.”

So God gave us dogs.

He said, “I need someone who will make people laugh, even on their hardest days. Someone who will fill empty hearts and heal broken ones. I need someone with a keen awareness of sadness and grief, who will never be afraid to acknowledge it. Someone who will never be afraid to approach crying and broken people.”

So God gave us dogs.

He said, “I need someone whose wet nose will gently rouse weary souls out of bed in the morning, who will follow them to the kitchen and warm their feet as they sip coffee. I need someone who will clean crumbs off the floor and lap up spilled milk. Someone who will lick dirty dishes until they sparkle and be a calming presence when settling in for a snooze after a job well-done.”

So God gave us dogs.

He said, “I need someone to give humans gentle reminders throughout the day to take care of themselves. Someone who will kindly nudge them out the door for soothing walks and deep breaths of fresh air. I need someone who will help people enjoy my creation to the fullest. Someone who will provide priceless entertainment by chasing birds and belly flopping into the lake.”

So God gave us dogs.

He said, “I need someone to play with all the children. Someone who will never be too busy to play catch or frisbee. Someone who loves to chase balls and always has time for an ice cream cone on the back porch. I need someone who isn’t afraid to barrel into piles of crunchy leaves or make a playground out of mud holes. Someone who isn’t afraid to get messy.”

So God gave us dogs.

He said, “I need someone to protect the humans, someone to alert them of danger and guide them out of harm’s way. I need someone who loves people so much that he harbors no fear over the possibility of losing his life in order to save theirs. Someone who always puts human well-being above his own.”

So God gave us dogs.

He said, “I need someone who will be a keeper of secrets. Someone who isn’t afraid to look into the eyes of hurting people, someone who will always listen intently. I need someone who will mediate household disputes, who will listen calmly to each point of view before distracting everyone with adorable antics, making them forget all about their disagreement.”

So God gave us dogs.

He said, “I need someone who will comfort the sick and dying. Someone who will be a continuous source of friendship for those who have been forgotten. I need someone to ensure that human beings experience a peaceful farewell as they fade from one life and move into the next.”

So God gave us dogs.

He knew that humans would experience suffering and broken bonds, that their lives would be complicated and messy. He knew they would need a pure example of loyalty, and compassion. And he knew they would need someone to love them unconditionally and always welcome them home.

So God gave us dogs.

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Jenny Albers

Jenny Albers is a wife, mother, and writer.  She is the author of Courageously Expecting, a book that empathizes with and empowers women who are pregnant after loss. You can find Jenny on her blog, where she writes about pregnancy loss, motherhood, and faith. She never pretends to know it all, but rather seeks to encourage others with real (and not always pretty) stories of the hard, heart, and humorous parts of life. She's a work in progress, and while never all-knowing, she's (by the grace of God) always growing. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

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