"I wish I was the person that my dog thinks I am."
I don't remember where I saw that. It was probably scrawled across a t-shirt. I thought it was true when I read it. A dog tends to be fiercely devoted, loving us at our worst. It seems that my dogs are always by my side. I don't think it is because they attribute greatness to my character. Dogs are not dumb. They, as a species, have done amazing things: can sniff out cancers, find people hurried under tons of snow, comfort the broken hearted, guard, herd, shepherd, catch Frisbees in mid flight, love man. Maybe the shirt should have said, "I wish I loved as well as my dog." My dog know exactly who I am, at my worst. It isn't very pretty. If that is all I aspire to, then the world is in trouble.
I think it might be better to be the person that I get credit for being. In general, people are much easier to impress than a dog. We leap to conclusions about another's character based on the clothes they are wearing, or the company that they keep. I have loved in response to an act of kindness delivered in my moment of need. Whose to say that that act was typical, or genuine? I don't mean to suggest that my friends actions were less than they seemed, rather, my dogs judgement of character might be better founded than my own. People are easily manipulated by the way things appear. I would like to be a person who is who they are, 100%, all of the time, what you see is what you get. That, I think, is something to aspire to.