Everyone needs some affirmation sometimes. Sassy is just the dog to supply it. She loves everyone. It doesn't matter if you live with her full-time, or if she's just met you. She loves you. She shows this by sitting next you, laying her head on your shoulder or chest, and looking up at you with her big brown eyes. Those eyes say it all. "I love you. You are wonderful. You make my life worth living. You are special." The pictures above illustrate this. Sassy had just met my friend Ed, yet she's sitting next to him, loving him.
I know this trait isn't unique to Sassy. She is a dog, after all. Did you see the recent movie "Up"? There's a scene where a dog, who can talk due to a collar designed by his owner, says to one of the characters - who isn't all that nice to the dog at the beginning - "I slept under the porch because I love you." The scenes with that dog are brilliant in the way they capture the attitude of the dog toward the grumpy old man. Dogs are devoted, loving creatures that adore their loving masters. (even those of us who don't deserve it all the time).
I'm reminded of my college days. Those of you who went to UT Martin and hung out at the Interfaith Center in the mid to late '80s may remember the affirmations we did as a group. We'd get together with one of the campus ministers and take turns telling one person what we liked about them. Sounds corny, I know, but it was very - well - affirming! I try to remember to do that once in a while with my kids and my friends. Especially with kids I think we parents are so busy correcting (or nagging, maybe) that we forget to be affirming. I mean sincerely affirming, not just telling them what great artistic talent they have after they've shown you their latest masterpiece. Or agreeing with a six-year-old that yes, he is as steady as a ninja since he can balance his spoon on one finger (Truth is stranger than fiction. As I wrote the masterpiece sentence my six-year-old said "Look Mom." I asked him what I was supposed to be looking at. He said, "My spoon. I'm as steady as a ninja!")
Anyway, thank God for Sassy. She reminds me that I am, despite my doubt sometimes, someone worth loving. And, more importantly, she reminds me how important it is to affirm my family and friends. So to my friends, remember the words of Stuart Smalley and repeat after me "I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!"