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Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

Sunflower Seeds

Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

Puppy Love

I think one of the cutest things our Creator God ever fashioned was a puppy. To me, all puppies are cute—from baby labs to basset hounds, from St. Bernard’s to dachshunds, from Irish setters to Chihuahuas. Even mongrel puppies are cute. In fact, it is hard to come up with anything cuter than a puppy. Even the word “puppy” is cute. Say it aloud a few times and see how much fun it is to say.

Researchers have done studies to find out why puppies are so cute. One reason is because puppies are furry. Humans seem to like furry things. We enjoy the very feel of fur. Puppies also come in an attractive array of colors. Their puppy voice is cute too—a little yip instead of a ferocious bark. Like human babies, puppies have big heads and big eyes—qualities we tend to view as cute. Even much of puppy behavior is cute—the way they walk and run, the way they are curious about everything, the way they play, the way they can look sad when they have done something “bad.”

Cuteness is not a wimpy quality, say these researchers. Cuteness is one of the most powerful forces in the world since it shapes behavior. Cuteness elicits care-giving—a vital behavior for the preservation of many species of animals in our world. If the young weren’t so cute, it would be more difficult for adults to put up with the not-so-cute things they do—for example, their constant demand for attention and their “uncontrolled pooping.”

Here are seven puppy facts you might not know:

1) Puppies are born blind, deaf, and toothless.

2) Puppies develop the sense of smell at three weeks, hearing at four weeks, and full vision at six weeks.

3) Puppies spend 14 hours a day sleeping.

4) Over 5 million puppies are born in the U.S. every year. Many of these are born to wild dogs.

5) A puppy is a puppy until it is one year old.

6) There is a National Puppy Day. In 2018 it will be celebrated on Friday, March 23. The day was established in 2006 to celebrate puppies and to promote adoptions.

7) The word “puppy” to designate a young dog has been traced back to the 15th Century.

 Puppies are too cute for words. So I’ll finish this reflection with a few pictures of cute puppies:




(All puppy pictures are from Pixabay.)

What do you think about puppies? Have you had any positive or negative experiences with them?

“Cuteness elicits care-giving.” Have you experienced this phenomenon?

What other beings in God’s creation are you especially grateful for?

 It seems appropriate that I conclude today’s post with a short video of puppies playing. Let us thank God today for all the cute things in our world. And may we always remember to make time for care-giving and for play in our life!

Do you wish to share anything with us today?


22 Responses

  1. Wow! That was a cute video.

    I am grateful for puppies. When our Ernie was a puppy, he would stop traffic on our street because he was so cute. God has truly blessed us with our pets.


  2. Equal time for adorable kittens! My kitten will be one year old on Monday, August 7th. She is an Australian Mist, spotted and lilac color. An unusual breed in the USA. Her registered name is Sassy Sassafras. Playful, friendly and, of course, curious.

  3. Sister Svoboda, I totally agree that there’s nothing cuter than a puppy, but I didn’t like your reference to mixed breed dogs as “mongrels” and how “even mongrel puppies are cute”. Just the word “mongrels” make people think mixed breed dogs are not as good as “purebred” dogs, and that’s just not true. This kind of thinking is why people buy “purebred” dogs and don’t go to animal shelters to adopt a dog.

    1. Dear Nora, When I used the word “mongrel,” I meant simply “mixed breed.” That’s the definition in the dictionary I just consulted. But at the end it says: “often used derogatively.” I should have been more sensitive to its negative connotation. Thanks for writing! Sr. Melannie

  4. Some dogs seem to never lose their “puppiness,” always willing to play and explore, no matter their age. I think there is a lesson here for us two-legged carnivores.

  5. Here is my poem from our retreat at the villa in July!
    Bill Collins forget


    1. Dear Carol, Thank you for sending me your poem from retreat. Your words are a consolation for all who struggle with memory loss. Readers: Carol Lee is responding to Billy Collins’ poem called “Forgetfulness” that we listened to on that retreat. Sr. Melannie


    leaping children
    up and down

    dad and son
    playful teasing
    Kites flying

  7. I have a little cockapoo who will be a puppy forever. She has a friend named Maya who is an Australian Shepherd. My Missy runs and Maya chases. And the funniest thing ever is when Maya lies down and Missy takes a flying leap over top of her and then the chase is on all over again. Sometimes I feel God has given me this lovable dog because she is a perfect picture of serenity. She is always at peace with what I do or don’t do. Her demands are so simple and basic yet she gives me so much love and attention. I am blessed beyond words with my little dog. I work in a care center and she brings joy to many of my residences there. She is simply multi-talented.

  8. You forgot their wonderful smell … warm puppy mixed with hints of puppy poo and puppy chow. We loved when they would suck on a finger. Such strong suction and such sharp little puppy teeth!

  9. I ADORE puppies but didn’t miss puppyhood when I adopted an adult 4 years ago. Wasn’t even looking for a dog at the time, but God had other plans. Mazie accompanied me for 3 years as I traveled weekly to stay with my parents & care for my mother. She made a difficult period a little more joyful.

  10. Melannie . . . thanks for this, I love it. Somewhere someone described her kitten as “a heartbeat at my feet.” Of course this goes for dogs too.

    Puppies (and kittens!) are a celebration of LIFE!

    Ruth OSU

  11. Dear sister Melannie,
    I like the word “Mutt” better because like critters we are all mutts as humans and if you don’t believe it. Just look into genealogy. Not very many pure breeds in our world.

  12. I have had kittens and puppies as long as I can remember. My sister and I used to dress the kittens up in doll clothes & push them around in our doll buggies.
    We have never purchased an animal. They have all just “found” us. One mixed breed puppy we had about 40 years ago had a head so large that we said he was so ugly he was cute! (He did grow into it!)
    We currently have two little 6 year old Jack-a-poos (half Poodle & half Jack Russel) that we agreed to watch for 6 mo to a year while our children (a military family) were temporarily relocated. That was 2 years ago and they are now ours and will always be “puppies”. There is nothing more soothing to the soul than stroking a “puppy” or a “kitten”.

  13. Puppies are absolutely adorable, but…5 MILLION every year is far too many. It is so important to have your pet spayed/neutered. Make every
    Puppy a wanted puppy!

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Meet Sr. Melannie

Hi and welcome to my blog! I’m Sister Melannie, a Sister of Notre Dame residing in Chardon, Ohio, USA. I’ve been very lucky! I was raised in a loving family on a small farm in northeast Ohio. I also entered the SNDs right after high school. Over the years, my ministries have included high school and college teaching, novice director, congregational leadership, spiritual direction, retreat facilitating, and writing. I hope you enjoy “Sunflower Seeds” and will consider subscribing below. I’d love to have you in our “sunflower community.” Thank you!

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