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.

Do you have a hard time letting go? I am offering a Prayer for Letting Go and cut number 5 from my Let it Go – 10 Meditative Affirmations to Let Go and Let God, called Letting Go to download for free. Hope it helps.