The Eternal Hope of Dogs

This week’s reflection comes from Office Manager Mariah Pepper:


If you’re been by the office in the past six months, then you’ve met my dog, Tilly. She’s a pretty good office dog, except when she gets startled by the door and starts barking at you. But we’re working on “go lie down,” and “stay.” Tilly is my first dog, and I am constantly amazed by what my mom has termed “the eternal hope of dogs.” Tilly will sit on the carpet outside my kitchen, staring up at the food I’m preparing, hoping that I’ll drop something and that she’ll be faster than me to pick it up. It’s why training with dog treats works, of course – even when there isn’t a treat in my hand, she’ll do what I ask just in case one materializes.

And maybe it’s just this reflective time of year, but I see something profound in this. Sure, she’s just following her canine opportunist nature, but I still think there’s something to be learned from it. What if we waited and watched for the things we want most, the things that will satisfy our deepest desires, with the eternal hope of dogs? What if we didn’t give up, just because what’s in front of our eyes doesn’t look very promising? What if we expected what we long for, even without a shred of proof that it’s coming? Tilly certainly does. She’s never once gotten people food from me, and yet she waits, just in case I decide that today is the day I decide to finally give her that whole chicken wing she’s been eyeing. Do I hope and wait for anything with that much certainty and attention? Do you?

What would our world look like if we let hope drive us, instead of despair? What if we never gave up on the things we long for? I think we might be less quick to hate, and more willing to love if hope was behind everything we do. What do you hope for today? This year? And how will you hold onto that hope, even when it looks hopeless?

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