The whole country is in love with “Bo”, the Obama family’s new dog. And why not? Americans are so hungry for good news, we’ll take it in furry form. And besides, dogs make the world a better place.
The best thing about dogs is that dogs love you back. A dog loves unconditionally. Dogs know that of faith, hope and love, the greatest of these is love. (Though I will say that dogs are also very good at hope. My dogs hope continually for treats and w-a-l-k-s; right now I have three dogs looking at me expectantly, hoping that when I finish typing this we will go outside. And maybe have a treat too.)
Who doesn’t love a news story about a puppy? I know if I click on a story about Bo, it’s not going to be about what to do about Afghanistan. I know that its not going to be a story that will break my heart once again because another teenager has died from gun violence here in Chicago. I know it won’t be a story about the failed state of Somalia and pirates (pirates!) threatening ships and passengers.
I’m tired of worrying about our world. There just doesn’t seem to be much of anything in the news that isn’t downright alarming, from more giant chunks of ice falling off of the poles to more people losing their jobs. Even the wonderful news last week about marriage equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people from several states made me worry when the next attack on their equal rights would come.
No wonder I want to read about Bo. No wonder other people want to read about Bo. He has no reactionary legislative agenda. He just makes us smile, this puppy with the curly hair and the big white paws.
I think the whole country has emotional fatigue, and if we’re emotionally fatigued by all these crises, imagine how President Obama feels.
I looked at the picture of Bo happily running down the hallway alongside President Obama, looking up and plainly enjoying this cool chase game. The President was smiling, looking down at Bo.I hoped the President was having fun too. I hoped playing with the puppy gave him a little relief from stress. Dogs are good for that.
I believe dogs are a gift of grace. Welcome, Bo. Keep up the good work.