The other night I checked out the much heralded movie "Marley and Me" . I have heard great things about this film, mainly that it tugs on the heart and causes the tears to flow...like a river. Not wanting to be in the middle of an ugly cry without tissues, I made sure that I had the trusty kleenex box perched next to me before I got too comfy and before I hit the play button. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the film as it was easy going, family oriented, void of foul language ( a rarity in today's films ) and also touching. I have to admit though that while my eyes welled up a tad, I was not convulsing with sobs like many others who have seen the movie. I was sort of puzzed with myself as to why this might be because I am usually one of the most emotional , snivelling , sobbing saps at just about anything that I see...my kids have teased me for years that I am one of the few people that they know that cries at McDonalds commercials. On top of that, my daughter and I just went through an identical experience about  two months ago in which we were there in the animal hospital, holding on to Lucky's paws, talking to her little face as she was being injected with the needle that would send her to puppy heaven in  a matter of seconds. I was honestly wondering why my heart had somehow morphed into a chunk of stone without me ever realizing it. Then it dawned on me....I was fairly composed because I had first one reaction, then a second . My first thought was that the movie  was sort of unrealistic. I mean , think about it...this dog was not just a bad dog for most of it's life , it was the dog from  well...you know.  This dog   relieved itself on the livingroom carpet, devoured whole couches, ate expensive jewelry , and caused several catastrophes out in public. Yet, the family just winked and laughed...oh , they acted exasperated and a little annoyed but the viewer was definitley made to feel that the frustration that Owen and Jennifer felt was really not genuine at all...just a temporary lapse because nothing mattered more than Marley's freedom, Marley's happiness, Marley expressing himself .So my first reaction was that the movie was just downright unrealistic because who in the world really, truly would ever put up with that kind of behavior from a dog for years...and hang in there? I mean, good grief, my father-in-law sent my husband's boyhood dog to the vet with a one way ticket just for knawing on the bottom three inches of a door frame - I myself have sent a dog or two packing for depositing lakes the size of Lake Superior on my dining room carpet, so while this film was somewhat entertaining, it just was not (at least for me),  believable enough to elicit the ugly cry from me or even for that matter for a tear to roll out of my eye. But then I had a second reaction...perhaps this story struck such a chord in the minds and hearts of folks today not just because of our love for our pets, but because of the elevated status that we have raised the revered canine to. Think about it..do you ever remember a time in which dogs were ever viewed as sacred as they are today?  We now have doggie life insurance, doggie health insurance, doggie clothing stores, doggie parks, doggie bedroom suites being sold complete with furniture and dressers and vanity tables, and I have even heard of plans of doggie restaurants opening up....humans not allowed of course...unless perhaps the canines tie up their owners outside while they are dining inside. Do I sound a bit facetious?  I guess I am ..because while I too, love dogs, have had them as pets all of my life , I am just getting a bit weary of the worship status that we as human beings have elevated them to. Even as I write this, I have a twinge inside of me telling me to tread carefully because I am now writing about one of the most untouchable, taboo, emotionally charged , and yes, sacred topics of today when I talk about dogs. Folks, I am completey against what Michael Vick did - his crime was cruel, it was wrong and dogs should never be treated or abused in that way. However, I have heard countless people describe what he did as "unspeakable" , "unforgiveable" "vile and heinous"  yet some of these same folks are the pro-choice crowd who support a woman's choice to mutilate and destroy her human baby growing inside of her. I had a conversation   with one of the animal rights folks who described in their own blog how heinous and vile Michael Vick's crime was and I asked her what her stance was on the pro-choice, pro-life issue and was not at all surprised to hear that she is adamantly pro-choice. I asked her if I threw out a challenge to her to view something that was truly "unspeakable" truly "heinous" would she be willing to view it? She said that she would be and so I simply said "okay, go home , sit down in front of your computer and google in  PHOTOS OF ABORTED BABIES-" She seemed a bit stunned by my suggestion but she said that she would. I have not heard back from her. I challenge you reader to do the same....and after you do, would you please look within yourself and ask yourself a question?  Ask yourself how we have become so mixed up and tangled up in our minds that we have come to revere creatures that God gave us dominion over and yet we so carelessly destroy and discard what is so precious to God that he patterned that creation after his own image? We often wonder how the people in the Bible would bow down and worship images and statues of cows etc. yet we have become a society who kneels and worships  baby seals, whales, and dogs and whatever the next animal idol we might elevate in the future. We need to pause and reflect on how we have lost our focus, our common sense and most importantly God's perpsective on his creation. The bright side however is that the next time you find yourself in a bit of trouble and someone says " You're in the dog house" - take heart, because that might mean you are headed to an airconditioned mini-mansion next door instead of the dirty smelly wooden dog house in the back yard of years gone by. Now, that's a bone to chew on, don't you think?