Attitude of Gratitude #29: Pets. Our extended family got a new pet today, and I am thankful. She is beautiful. A “mix”-match of perfect dogs all rolled into one package. The Grands had a hard time keeping their excitment in check. Then again – they get it naturally. I’m a sucker for any pet as well. Goats, various assorted farm animals,bunnies, Guinea pigs ( had three of them in college), cats (had too many to count – except for Mitten-Kitten who stole my heart for close to 20 years), and an assortment of wonderful dogs – beautiful mutts to purebred labs…tiny to large….silly to opinionated …but mostly – just lovable.
“Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,a and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” Gen 1:26
God mentions that man is to “rule” over “…fish in the sea…birds in the sky…livestock…wild animals…all the creatures that move along the ground…” He didn’t mention love. “Rule” in our society has a more negative connotation attached to it than the word “love”. But animals are lovable especially when you “name” them – with the exception of ticks (a personal bias after this past summer) and other irritating bugs or snakes. Just go to a petting zoo and see the baby animals. Every one there melts with lots of “AWWWW’s”. Which maybe is the whole point of this one verse.
If “ruling” over the animals, mean naming them and loving them…just who else does that? If we hadn’t followed the evil one down that dirty path a few eons ago, you have to wonder what this world would look like. Instead of using their skins for cloths and eating them, we would just be naming all of them and loving them. Oh – wait – we are doing just that more and more. Let me think – who else does that? Caring for the sick – the weak – the young – the elderly -.providing food and water. Hmmmmm….who else does that?
We tend to think we are being “humane” when we care for animals. Maybe that is a misnomer. Maybe we are being like Someone else. Just maybe – maybe – there is an object lesson in Genesis that we were just a little slow on picking up on. Perhaps Christ gave us a hint in the book of Matthew. “…’I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these, my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'” Matt 25:40 How better to learn the nature of God than to imitate His actions. Love – name – feed – water – heal – Who else does that? Pets have taught me so much and I am so thankful for every pet in my life – past and present and future.