My dad is in love. Every time he sees the object of his affection he lights up, gets a big grin on his face, laughs. He baby-talks to it, loves on it, gives it treats, plays with it, cuddles it, makes excuses for it, and generally enjoys it. What is the object of his affection? A dog.
When they say that a dog is man's best friend, they aren't kidding. Dad adores Hank, the smelly little mutt with floppy ears and (I swear) the ability to smile. Sometimes Aaron and I are actually a little jealous. We are his children, after all, and this is an animal. Some days he talks more to Hank than he does to us!
So what is the secret? Why this mutual love affair? Perhaps the answer lies in the not-so-old saying: to find out who loves you more, your wife or your dog, lock both of them in the trunk of your car and open it five hours later. Which one is happy to see you? In short--dogs don't ask for much. Even the most high-maintenance ones are probably worlds easier to deal with than a young child or rebellious teen. What is the importance of this?
One thing that I've learned about men: they thrive on gratitude. All you have to do is give them credit, appreciate them, tell them how wonderful they are, and they glow. They may be humble, they may be selfless, but it's no secret that a guy likes to think he's something special.
So how does Hank make Dad feel? Like he hung the moon. In that little mutt's eyes Dad is his provider, his friend, his comforter, the one who lets him sleep by the fire on cold nights. He is so easy to please that whenever Dad speaks the smallest kind word there goes Hank's tail, wagging like he just got a juicy bone the size of Texas.
So how do I make Dad feel? Probably not nearly as good as Hank. It's something to think about. How are you making the men in your life feel? Like a million bucks? Or do you have the tendency to nag, the tendency to tell them what they're doing wrong instead of what they've done right? Could you call yourself a man's best friend?