My dog, when given the choice, will sit at my feet, quite regardless of where I am. His favorite time, as far as I can tell, is the morning time, when I sit at the large dining room table with my coffee and computer and write or think or look at inane things on the internet as soft music plays in the background.
Luckily for me, I have a dog that prefers the same things I do and so, that is what we are doing this morning.
The door to the porch is open and a very pleasant morning breeze wafts in to greet us every once in a while, carrying with it the still gentle warmth of the sun and the occasional dandelion seed saying to us both, “Look at how much life is going on outside!”
These are the times when I believe, quite earnestly, that I could indeed become a morning person. I think to myself, “My G-d! How lovely a thing it is to see the world fresh and new like this,” and I begin to make plans to gently change my daily routine so that I go to sleep and wake up earlier, so that I might feel this way more often- fresh, new and with every fiber of my being dazzled by the earth.
Yes, this morning I am feeling content. My dog, also content, at my feet as we spend our last few moments alone before heading off to work where we will be around people all day long- interacting, sharing ideas, running errands, putting out proverbial fires and the like. I can feel his short, even breaths on my feet and I realize that he is close. As I do so often, I feel fondly towards him and so I begin to pet him with my foot gently, stroking in one direction and he grunts in what sounds like appreciation.
It is a few moments before I realize that something is awry with his long, soft fur. The fur that I am petting is not long. Rather short, in fact, with the occasional bristly piece. I look underneath the table. I can’t help but laugh and feel a little badly.
I am, after all, petting his face with my foot.
He doesn’t seem to mind, though. Love is all the same to him, I suppose. I stop, still watching him to see what he’ll do. He opens one eye, as he has had them closed, lifts his head and looks at me as if to ask, “Why’d you stop the face rub, man?”
I am wondering now if I ought to make some kind of a statement with this short essay. The nation has, after all, been thinking a lot about love recently. What it means, who is in it and what benefits they ought to have because of it. All that I can say, all I really want to say, is that I hope that I’m a big enough person to love like my dog does- to accept love in all its forms, both those I prefer (long, quiet and lazy mornings) and those I might not at first, but eventually come around to (the occasional face rub).
We are all looking for the same things, we humans. Happiness, individuality, the ability to pursue our various and sundry goals, aspirations and leisures. Certainly, we are all looking for someone to love who will love us back. Someone we can love at their worst and someone who will love us at our own. Someone with whom we can write the story of our lives. I would ask that those against same-sex marriage (please, please, please can we stop using the word “gay”?) to consider that this is not, in fact, a political issue. It is a human issue. It’s very easy to shoot down a bill, a document, a political device, and rhetoric but much less so to look in to the face of a person in love and tell them that they, their partner and the feelings they feel are wrong.
I am, if nothing else, a proponent of individual and state’s rights and if states indeed choose to not allow civil unions or same-sex marriage, that is their right and one that I respect. I would only ask that we remember that this is an issue that affects people on a deeply personal level, regardless of religious or political party affiliation, regardless of race or gender. This is about people. Well, and a little bit about my dog.
After all, love is all the same to him.