My human was reading a book of quotes by Elbert Hubbard, an American writer and philosopher who lived from 1856 to 1915. He was an interesting man who began his career as a salesman selling soap products. He then went on to live an extraordinary life, one that is hard for me to articulate, since I'm a dog. But the highlights include writing lots of books, criticizing the human World War I, incarceration and being granted a presidential pardon, and finally death on a sinking ship in the arms of his wife. Learning about all of this made my head spin, and that made it difficult to wag my tail. But even so, I liked hearing about him, and his life journey filled with so many twists and turns. Perhaps you would like it too, and might want to check him out.

I mention Elbert Hubbard because my human read a thought-provoking quote of his to me. "God will not look you over for medals, diplomas, or degrees – but for scars." I like this quote a great deal. Especially since, like most dogs, I have no medals or diplomas or degrees. But I do have some scars. I like the idea that it's not our material accomplishments that matter — but rather what we survive, the scars we carry, and how we conduct ourselves going forward.

When I was in that awful municipal kill shelter as a puppy, there were lots of other dogs in there with me. Some of us would make it out alive, while others of us would not. We all knew this, because we would see the uniformed humans coming for some of us on those awful days, and we could smell the death in the air when some of our kennel-mates were put down. It was terrifying and we felt helpless and scared. And I bet most of us had some scars from that. But we all still wagged our tails, since that was the only way we had any hope of getting out of there. Humans don't go into shelters and pick the dog who is sitting there, scared and shaking. Humans pick the dog who is wagging his or her tail. We all hoped for a brighter future, and it was the supreme tail-waggers who had the best shot.

Anyway, I really like this quote and the idea that God will look you over for scars and not care so much about human-constructed degrees or jobs or money. God will ask what you have overcome, what scars do you have and how did you heal them. I like that a lot, because it gives me hope. So that all of us — no matter how long we live  — can be bigger than any hardship and look at our healed wounds and scars as badges of honor. Those scars can be places of strength, since you healed and overcame it. Most rescue dogs have scars, and I would bet that most humans do, too. And that is A-OK, since it is in the mindful healing of those wounds that the real accomplishment lies.

I wish for you all a great, healing day and as always, I send all my love to you. Benny H.