The Presence of God in Your Dog

Jackie Trottmann With Her Golden Retriever Duffy

I believe the biggest tangible example of God’s presence and pure unconditional love manifested to us can be seen through our dogs. Granted, just like people, not all dogs are alike. But if you’ve experienced the love of that special dog, you know what I’m talking about.

What does this love look like in action? A great example is from my special dog, Duffy the golden retriever pictured here.

My mother had open heart surgery and was staying at a care facility. She was in her mid-80s, so the people in the facility were all her age or older. Visiting her, there would be people sitting in the hallways, slumped over in their wheelchairs looking completely lifeless. If there was any eye contact, there wasn’t any recognition. It was really sad.

I brought Duffy in to visit her. It was like the switches were turned on with every person in the hallway. As soon as Duffy walked in and they saw him, they all sprang to life.  They held out their arms to receive him. They smiled. They talked. It was truly a miracle. He was extremely happy to provide love and affection.

It didn’t matter who we met, Duffy wanted to meet each and every person. It didn’t matter if it was a two-year-old or 100-year-old. It didn’t matter about the color of your skin. It didn’t matter how tall or short you were. It didn’t matter what you did for a living. Duffy just wanted to give his unconditional love and attention.

God’s love is like Duffy’s love. We don’t have to do anything to earn it. Nothing we can do will make us lose it.

We get caught up in our shortcomings, mistakes, doubts, fears, and allow all of this to swirl within our minds and spirits. Deep down we don’t feel very lovable. But the truth of the matter is, we are lovable. We are God’s beloved. God created us to love us. God is not the great scorekeeper in the sky keeping track of every little mistake that we’ve made.

Someone pointed out to me that the word dog is God spelled backwards. Duffy is gone now. It was a tremendous loss. But I know that his spirit lives in my heart. His spirit was so strong that I have to believe I will see him again someday.

If dogs can love us so much, imagine how much God loves us.

Postscript: This was my favorite picture of Duffy. Loading this post was the first time I had looked at this picture in a long time. He died on All Saints Day, November 1, 2008. This picture, taken in his prime, brought tears to my eyes. His life made such an impact on my life. There is still a huge, gaping hole in my heart. It is such a great honor to share his life here with you.

Did you, or do you have a special dog? Share in the comments below.

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6 Responses to The Presence of God in Your Dog

  • Hi Michael,
    Thank you for sharing your lovely story. Yes, indeed. God works in mysterious ways.
    Peace to you,
    Jackie

  • Before my beloved wife died she insisted on finally getting the puppy she had wanted for some years. She was not getting Mary for herself but for me. I had not wanted a dog yet alone a sharp toothed handful, but with my wife so poorly I could not deny her anything and anyway if she made her mind up about something then it would happen.
    A year on from my wife’s death life is still hard but each morning I must get out of bed and go downstairs to see to Mary’s needs and also receive the unconditional waggy tailed welcome to the day. This makes life easier and I’m sure it is right that God works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform.

  • Hi Janet,
    Thank you for reading and for writing. Yes, I do have another dog. His name is Wilson. He’s a lab. We were the 4th owners in 2 years. “He” needed us and our love and attention. It took a while for him to make eye contact. I used to call him our J.D. juvenile delinquent because he was quite a handful. But he’s turned into a real sweetheart. It is a testament to what unconditional love can do in reverse. :)
    Blessings,
    Jackie

  • I love your blog about Duffy. Too bad he is now gone. I believe dogs are the greatest example of God’s unconditional love. It seems like many Christians do not get the connection, nor do the dog lovers
    I think a ministry promoting Man’s Best Friend as a manifestation of God’s love in his creation should be created. I hope you have another dog sharing your life now.

  • Hi Juliana,
    Thank you for your comment. My best friend asked me, “If anything happened to Robert, would you get married again?” I told her, “No, I would get three dogs.” :) That’s because I’ve been blessed to have Robert as the great love in my life (although, Duffy comes really close!) and I truly believe that I would turn to dogs for earthly companions. So, I hope that you DO feel peace and soak up God’s love through your animals. I know that loneliness is very hard and I will keep you in my prayers. If you haven’t read these posts yet, here is a Prayer for Loneliness and how loneliness can be a spiritual experience – How to Turn the Pain of Loneliness Into Peace and Solitude of the Heart. I hope these help you.
    Sending you love and peace,
    Jackie

  • Thank you. This lifted my heart. I have rescued dogs all my life and each and everyone has brought something special to my life and my heart. Whenever I am lonely which is often I turn to my dogs. I feed the birds, the swans, ducks and foxes when I walk with the dogs and you’ve reminded me to be at peace and to soak up Gods love when I am alone with his creatures. May God bless you for the inspirational work and words you give to others. Pray for me as I am at a very lonely desolate place in my life right now. And I pray for all you people out there that are suffering too.

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