Sunday, December 09, 2007

Christmas Lessons from Labs: #1 - Gifts

1. The best gifts are free. Time, attention, affection, companionship -- these are the things every Lab (and human) longs for.

2. It's far more fun to give than receive. Think about it: Would your Lab prefer to lick your face or have his faced licked by you? Case rested.

3. It's the heart, not the thing, that counts. Tennis balls peel, booda bones shred, and kongs disintegrate. Yet our faithful friends bring these "gifts" to our feet day after day after day (along with dead birds, grass clumps, and giant tree limbs -- see #1 above) with the same enthusiasm and hope-filled expectation they had the day we removed their new toys' packagings. The truth is, things break. Gadgets wear out. But gifts of the heart last forever.

4. Authenticity rules; Norman Rockwell drools. Holidays can (and will at some point) depress us. People let us down. Gifts disappoint. It's just the way of it. No Lab (or human) lives in a Norman Rockwell print or Currier & Ives painting. But that doesn't stop our faithful friends from living with gusto, embracing hope, and loving us with abandon.

5. The time for giving is... now (and everyday, of course)! Imagine if our canine companions decided that giving was something they should reserve for once or twice a year. How dreadful life would be! Labs are wired to give of themselves all the time, every day, in all kinds of circumstances -- even if they're feeling blue. They are other-centered creatures (not self-centered like their humans). They think of gift-giving as the joyful norm. Sure, their gifts may be things like affection, companionship, help or aid, service, saliva-coated kisses, limp mice, or dirty socks taken from the laundry pile, but they give these things with whole-hearted devotion and unconditional love.

Wouldn't it be something if humans were more like them?

To be continued...

'Til next time,


Anonymous said...

Wonderful observations! I will keep them in mind during this hectic time of year. Trish & LW

Mary said...

As I was reading your blog, my wonderful little lab puppy was crawling around my feet and bringing me her squeeky retrieve. They are wonderful animals and they truly love unconditionally. Thanks for the observations!

L^2 said...

Awww... I love all of these. Wonderful and so true!

JuliaR said...

I love the way their attention is fixed on DH. They are rapt!