Dega and the 7 Deadly Sins

It's no secret that I think my dog is, like, really awesome. 

He's the only dog I know of who can turn on and off lights, and he instantly loves everyone he meets. (Sooo kind of a terrible guard dog, but not the point I'm trying to make here.)
I've tried to keep it a secret from all of you, but it's time the truth came out: he is far from perfect. In fact, as I thought it over, I realized Dega encapsulates every one of the 7 deadly sins. A wild claim to make, I know, but I'll prove it.
Excessive belief in one's own abilities
Sometimes, being around Dega is like being around a celebrity. I once had to run in the grocery store and decided he'd be ok in the car alone for a minute or two. When I came back out, there were people standing around the car just staring at him. We've taken him on walks and had people stop their cars and yell, "What a beautiful dog!" If we go to a drive through, the people always ooh and ahh over him and completely ignore us. What's worse, is the manager at Arby's once gave him some roast beef, so now he thinks every drive through window is there to serve him.
Yes, Dega is awesome, but all the attention has really gone to his head. Nobody ever really liked the kid in school that walked around like they were the coolest thing ever. (Sorry to shatter your illusions, kids that did that.)

The desire for others traits, status, abilities, or situation

It doesn't matter what you're doing, Dega wants to be doing it too. You're washing the dishes? Well Dega wants to lick up all the water. You're laying on the left side of the couch? Ooh, this is awkward, but that's exactly where Dega was going to lay. You're eating a tuna sandwich? Dega's never had one, but he definitely wants one now. He is always envious of us because I'm pretty sure he has yet to realize he's not a human.
What's worse is his obsession with sticks. Give him a stick and he will be completely content, which is fine until you try planting a rose bush (which, as a start, is basically a big stick) and he rips it right out of the ground and runs away with it. THREE. DIFFERENT. TIMES. 

an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires

The other day, we got Dega a new kind of dog food. We thought he was having an allergic reaction to his old one, so we found a new kind and were slowly mixing it in to his old food. Dega was intrigued and fascinated by the new food. I don't know if it really tasted that much better or if he could honestly even tell a difference, but for some reason he couldn't leave the food alone. He's always left the old food alone and only eaten what we've given him, although he lets us know that he thinks we're starving him to death.
Well, the other night, he got his revenge. When we weren't looking, he snuck away and buried his face in that giant, full bag of dog food. He ate to his heart's content. I imagine at some point he started to feel a little full and thought hmm, this is still great! Then it really started to hit him, but he didn't stop there.
I will spare you the gory details of exactly how much he threw up that night. Let's just say he's gluttonous and leave it at that.

a craving for the pleasures of the body

People warn you that having a baby will change your life. Your life isn't your own any more, and instead revolves completely around the wants and needs of that child.
Why oh why do we not warn prospective dog owners that when you get a dog, your free time is no longer your own? Your dog may not be able to speak, but they absolutely know when you have the time and ability to be petting them and are failing to do so. Dega doesn't just want you to pet him, he demands it. 

opting for fury rather than love

Dega isn't much of a barker. If someone comes to the door, he doesn't bark at it, he just sits there all excited and ready to maul them. However, if you make him mad, you will get an earful. Sometimes he'll jump up on the couch and stand right in the way of the TV, and when you finally push him off he'll stand there and bark at you forever. You don't mess with him.
(as a side note, I was going to do something here about how he opts for furry rather than love, but then I realized how serious this is and I stopped messing around.)

the desire for material wealth or gain
Not only does Dega need every toy on the planet, but he also destroys them in two seconds flat. It didn't matter how expensive the toy or how thick the material, it was gone in a matter of minutes. Then, he'd look at us really sadly, like it was our fault he destroyed it. The nerve.
He used to get squeaky toys until we realized how obnoxious they were, so now he has exactly 2 toys, both of which live their lives under the couches because they roll under there within minutes of retrieving them. If we watch an old video of him playing with toys that have long since passed on, he sits and watches it and cries. It's heartbreaking but seriously... the nerve.

the avoidance of physical or spiritual work
Finally, not only does Dega take frequent naps and show troubling signs of laziness, he also gets very upset when we put him in his kennel every Sunday so we can go to church. I think that speaks for itself.

I wish every day that I had the patience the Dega has. I wish I could be even half as loving or selfless as he is, and even he clearly possesses the worst traits each of us can have. If you've been feeling down, go easy on yourself. Even the best among us aren't perfect, but that doesn't mean we aren't completely wonderful and lovable. 


I hate to admit this, but it's been awhile, so I'm going to...
Growing up, I had two imaginary friends.
I don't know how everyone elses imaginary friends start, because the name imaginary sort of implies you built them from scratch in your own mind. But mine began with a tragic story. Queue flashback...
I am the youngest of 4 kids, the only girl, with the closest sibling still being 5 years older than me. It was a lonely life. I remember begging my mom to play dollhouse with me, and whenever she was too busy, I'd run to my room yelling, "You're going to regret this one day when I grow up!" And you know what? She did.

One day I had been dragged along to one of my brothers Junior Jazz basketball games. As if sports weren't boring enough, I was supposed to sit on those bleachers and patiently watch ten year old boys chase a ball around. No thanks. If my 23 year old self can't handle that, you best bet my 5 year old self wasn't all over it.
Then, like angels appearing from heaven itself, I saw them: two little girls, about my age, playing just a few rows above us in the bleachers. And they were having so much fun together. Oh, what joy it must have been to have a sister! I made my decision then and there: I WAS going to be friends with those girls.
Unfortunately, I was a pretty shy little girl (when I wasn't threatening my mom for her neglect) so I knew I couldn't just go up there by myself. The obvious answer was to be escorted by my mom. Sadly, she wasn't having it.
"Please go with me so I can play with those girls!"
"You can play with their mom!"
"No." (Because SHE had sisters. SHE didn't need any more friends.)
"Please! I'll eat tacos and not even cry!"
"No you won't. Sit down and watch the game." Game? Was this supposed to be entertaining?
I'd like to say I summoned all my 5 year old courage, walked up to those girls, and we became lifelong friends. But sadly, that is not the case. Instead, I spent the rest of the game whining in my mother's ear to no avail.
However, there is an upside to the story, (sorta?) because those two girls became my new imaginary friends. The younger one, the brunette with the short pigtails, was named Noel, because that is what all my dolls were named and I'm pretty sure I didn't know any other names. Her big sister, with the long blond pigtails (I think I only knew one hairstyle too) was, obviously, named Biggie.
Biggie and Noel went everywhere with me. When my mom didn't want to play dollhouse with me, no problem! I no longer felt the need to guilt trip her, because I had two best friends to play with me! They were fun, they always wanted to do what I wanted to do, and they went home the second I was tired of them. It was a dream.
Finally, I grew up and got more friends. My cousin Allie moved closer, and she didn't have a sister either so we'd pretend to be each others sisters while we made perfume out of rose petals (doesn't work, by the way) and gave each other gel pen tattoos. I started school and made even more friends, and even though they weren't perfect, we had a lot of fun times together.

Now, flash forward a few years, and I meet my husband Caleb. Caleb has a lot of good friends, but he has 3 best friends in particular, and they have been friends since Elementary School. They are what everyone wants but what, for some reason, boys only ever seem to find.

What is with us girls? Why can't we form lifelong friendships too? Is it just me? Did Biggie and Noel give me unrealistic expectations for my friendships?
Throughout school, it seemed like most of my friendships changed on a yearly basis, depending on who was in my class and who liked the same things I liked.
But the worst part was I never seemed to deal with it very well.
I was always the friend who tried desperately to keep in touch with all my old friends. I'd send them a text with a little inside joke to remind them of the good old days. I'd do everything I could to stay friends with them, and then I'd get frustrated when the courtesy wasn't returned. I always stuck dutifully to the mantra Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other Gold.
Isn't that beautiful? Sniff, sniff.

There's a flaw with that mantra, and it's this: we are human. We are imperfect, and we change. Sometimes, more often than not, we grow in separate directions. And when that happens, it's ok to let go. It's ok to drop that small thread of friendship you've been clinging to for reasons you forgot years ago. It doesn't mean you have to ignore each other if you ever happen to bump into each other, it just means you don't have to force something that isn't there anymore.

I finally realized I was really getting myself down about friendships that had deteriorated over the years, so much so that I wasn't appreciating the wonderful friendships I have in my life today. Friendships with people who I have things in common with, people who I can see all the time and who make an effort to keep up our friendship on their end too.
We can't all have friendships like Caleb did, although if I'm honest, I do have friends I've had since Elementary school that I hope I'll always be in touch with, even if we go years in between seeing each other. The important thing is that you're honest with yourself about what you want, and what you deserve in your friendships. If I had never let go of Biggie and Noel, I would be the weirdo walking around talking to her two invisible friends, still bitter about not having a sister.
Ok, I'm still a little bitter about the sister thing. 
But the friends? I can safely say where I stand today... I've won the jackpot.