We hear people talk about unconditional love all the time. What does it mean and how does it feel?
As much as I love Julie and as much as I know she loves me, we haven’t been put in a position yet to test if our love truly is “unconditional”
So how do I know it exists? Easy. I have a dog!
Riley loves me, unconditionally. And I love him, in return.
He has never cared if I played with another dog. He doesn’t feel insecure if I have to go out of town for work. He doesn’t care when I get a little fat or if I trim down and get fit.
He wasn’t phased when we moved from a large 3 bedroom house into a modest 1 bedroom apartment. He didn’t even care when I was out of work for all those months.
When I’m sad, he notices and acts. Licking my hand or arm, climbing up to lay his head in my lap. His way of saying, “you’ve still got me!”
When I was single and alone, he was my companion. My reason to be responsible for someone besides myself.
He misses me when I’m gone and shows that by his excitement when I come home. Even if it’s just a trip to the store.
He appreciates the little things. An extra treat because I’m feeling generous or a quick ride in the truck to grab coffee.
He asks for nothing in return except to be cared for and loved.
He protected me from violence once. Risking his own safety to ensure I wouldn’t be harmed.
He has his own way of “talking” to me.
If I forget to bring his bed into the room where I’m sitting, he looks at me and whimpers until I get it together.
When he wants to go outside to play, he paces and occasionally nudges my leg until I oblige.
He loves me. He looks to me to lead and direct him and I am grateful for his company. Even when I’m not the best company to be around.
Knowing that no matter how bad things get and no matter how good things become, he loves me just the same and is always at the ready to follow me anywhere.
That, is unconditional love.