Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Human Color

Dogs, like people, come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. And dogs, like people, have their preferences. I for one prefer being around dogs my size, especially Chihuahuas. Maybe we feel a kinship because we look alike or share some of the same DNA. Maybe it’s because we can see eye to eye, or should I say, sniff butt to butt. 

I know someone who loves Corgis and falls into a swoon whenever she sees a Corgi. Someone else goes crazy for blue-eyed Huskies. I ain’t mad at them for liking other dogs more than they like me. My mother loves all dogs but she specifically wanted a small one for therapy work. Don’t get me wrong. Dogs of all sizes can be therapy dogs, but the big ones can’t hop up on patients’ laps without squishing them or jump on beds without breaking them. 

Would you believe some people actually dislike or even hate certain types of dogs? Some people can’t stand little dogs, because they are “yippy” and “annoying,” or dislike pit bulls because they think they look “scary”? It’s one thing to have preferences but I don’t understand why there has to be any hate or dislike involved. After all, we can’t help how we look. I was born looking like soft homemade caramel with a chocolate drop for a nose. But that doesn’t make me good or bad. (Seriously, how can caramel and chocolate ever be bad though?) How can one type of dog be better than another? Aren’t we all alike underneath our fur? 

Which reminds me of a story. (You saw this coming, right?) One day a patient asked my Mom to sit down and talk with him a while. The nice man was very large and had an equally large voice to match. He used to be a boxer, and lived a tough kind of life. Now he has lost much of his memory, but he remembers some important things, which he wanted to share with my Mom. She sat down on the chair next to him, while I snuggled on his lap. 

Nice man: Do you know what my color is? 

My Mom wanted to be sensitive, so she asked if he could clarify what he meant. 

Nice man: Just tell me what color you think my skin is. 

Mom: Brown-ish? 

Nice man: (laughing) No! Try again. 

He held out his bare forearm, closer to my Mom’s face, so she could get a better look. 

Mom: Dark brown? 

Nice man: (laughing louder) NOPE! . .. Ok, what color is your skin? 

Mom: Umm…. Kind of beige-ish? 

Nice man: NOOOPE! 

He whooped in delight. My Mom laughed with him, because he seemed to be so tickled by this exchange with her. It was like when a child tells a riddle, and he giggles in delight because he KNOWS no one will ever guess the answer! 

Nice man: Do you give up? 

Mom: Yes! I give up. What color IS your skin? 

Nice man: HUMAN COLOR! My skin is HUMAN color, and so is yours. All of us are the same. We are Human color. 

Laughing even harder, and shaking his head, he said, “People are so dumb! They don’t get that!” 

The nice man is right. The color of our skin or our fur doesn’t matter. Underneath, we are all the same. Humans are humans, dogs are dogs, and so on. We are all the same spirit inside of different appearing bodies. 

I don’t know how any of us ended up here, but we are here, and we need to live with each other. So let’s be cool. Let’s be kind. I love all of you, no matter who you are or what you look like or what you’ve done. 

Pass that love on.