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Monday, April 28, 2014

Love & Loyalty: A Tribute to Speck

Perhaps you’ve seen the poster: “Work like you don’t need the money. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody’s watching.” A lot of wisdom here. Three messages worthy of exploring. Today I will focus on the second one: Love like you’ve never been hurt.

On Easter Sunday I made the dreaded decision to end my dog’s life. Her name was Speck. She was 16 years and 4 months old —a long life for this Dalmatian mix. In the last year or so, caring for her became quite a labor. At the very end, her hips were so weak she could barely walk. Her hearing was significantly impaired and cataracts were setting in. There’s more, but I’ll spare you.

Speck was a dog, yes, but she qualified as a true friend. Not everyone understands the deep connection we humans have with our pets. I saved a wonderful blog by Dr. Paige Patterson from a few years back when he lost his beloved Noche. I’m providing the link for any dog lovers to read. Or those who want a glimpse of a devoted canine relationship.

Some say dogs don’t really have emotions like humans. An article from Dr. Stanley Coren in Psychology Today in 2013 disputes that. He writes, “…we now understand that dogs have all of the same brain structures that produce emotions in humans. Dogs also have the same hormones and undergo the same chemical changes that humans do during emotional states. Dogs even have the hormone oxytocin, which, in humans, is involved with feeling love and affection for others.”

But do dogs have a full range of emotions? Dr. Coren believes it so, saying “…a dog will have all of the basic emotions: joy, fear, anger, disgust, and even love. However based on current research it seems likely that your dog will not have those more complex emotions like guilt, pride, and shame.” \

It’s that love emotion that gets tricky. And what about those intangibles to which all dog owners can testify: the relational prizes of loyalty and devotion. I can’t be sure dogs know how to forgive, but it certainly seems so. Either that, or they are blessed with short term memory for our faults.

Readers of my blog know that I write to connect ways to improve the workplace. I can hardly think of four more powerful words that would radically improve our business relationships than love, forgiveness, loyalty, and devotion. And consider this: We often fail to give these gifts even though WE are the advanced species!

The oft quoted “love chapter” from the Bible comes to mind to guide us: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.“ (I Corinthians 13:4-8a ESV)

Want to make a serious impact on others? Read those words daily. The “hound of heaven” has His eye on you!

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1 comment:

  1. Hello Mark!
    Great tribute and I recall you talking at various times on WMBI about your dog Speck. I am sorry to read of her passing. Our little Shi-Tzu- Maltese mix dog Cuddles passed away last November, right around the time you went off the air! I was so sad, first to find out that you, Mitch and Monte were "leaving" WMBI, then a few days later our dog died in her sleep. She was 13. I hope we see our pets again, and I believe you are correct that they are so loving and loyal. We miss her so, and miss hearing you on the radio. Hope you and your family are well,
    Mrs. Monica Lindner


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