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  • Alaric Lewis

On Elections and Dogs

Updated: Oct 21, 2022

Last week - Tuesday to be exact - I skipped an entire night of sleep as I, anxiously glued to my iPad, watched the American election returns on a variety of news networks. To say that the outcome of the election was not what I expected would be an understatement, and I now have to eat my words of a few weeks ago in which I assured people the right woman would be elected. Someone said to me “This is your BREXIT,” and there are certainly some similarities between the two votes, but, as there may be supporters on all sides reading this, perhaps I should leave the politics out of it.

Suffice it to say that election night was not a good night for me, and, in addition to not sleeping at all, I was also physically ill. I was in that strange place where I knew I should just turn it off and go to bed, but seemed unable to do so. I paced, I drank copious amounts of tea, I shouted, I cried, I pounded my fist on the table: it was not a pretty sight.

Sitting ever by my side, trying unsuccessfully to sleep through it all, was my trusted dog Linus. Now although I think I know how Linus would have voted had he been able, he, naturally remained mute about the whole campaign. Which is not to say, of course, that he wasn’t supportive of me, for he clearly was. When my face would turn red each time another state went red on the map in front of me, Linus would calmly lick my hand or roll over and offer his belly to be scratched. It’s awfully hard to stay upset too long if you’re scratching a puppy dog’s belly, I’ve found. As the evening wore on and Linus absolutely refused to get involved in my ranting, I began thinking there were certainly things I could learn from my four-footed companion.

Firstly, Linus never makes his life more complicated than it should be. He knows what is important to him and pretty much just sticks with that. How much better would my life be if I only focused on that which is important, and didn’t allow more trivial matters to affect me?

Secondly, Linus tends to get over things pretty well. If ever I leave him for too long, he can get a bit shirty upon my return, but it never lasts too long. How much better would my life be if I forgave more easily?

Thirdly, Linus loves playing, preferring to chase a ball that’s been thrown to just about anything else. How much better would my life be if I took more time out to enjoy life?

Fourthly, Linus is trusting. He knows that no matter what, his food dish is going to be filled and he’ll be taken care of. How much better would my life be if I trusted more?

And finally, Linus doesn’t care too much what people look like, how much money they have, what colour their skin, or what style of life they may have. If they’re good to him and to me, he’s fine with them. How much better would my life be if I tried more and more to see the goodness in all people?

Sometimes insight can come from the most unlikely of sources. I seek to follow a God who wants me to know what is important in life, who desires that I forgive, who created the world and its wonders for my enjoyment, who asks me to trust in him, and who would want me to see goodness in all of His people. Who ever would have thought that one way He’d help me understand it all is through a miniature dachshund. I really must pay a little more attention to His world and the creatures in it.

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