“Bucket of love” was one of the nicknames Jim had for Detroit.
Since Jim died and she has become my dog, I have been getting to know her better, and I can see why he called her that. She is full of love. She is very affectionate and loves to be in close proximity, a true lap dog. Every morning, she showers me with kisses.
When we are out walking, she is especially fond of greeting little children and giving them kisses (ok, she is really licking any residual food from their fingers, but they think she is kissing them).
A friend who is a professed non-animal-lover tried to ignore her the first time he met her, but she sensed a tender core under that crusty exterior and jumped into his lap. “Your dog is on me,” he said. “She sees through you,” I suggested. Although he could not be persuaded to pet her (at least not in my presence), she leaned into him and made herself comfortable—and he let her.
My niece stayed with Detroit while I was on retreat recently. Detroit had been a bit under the weather before I left, and I was worried about her while I was away. “They bonded,” my sister reported when I got home. “And I have lots of pictures to prove it. Detroit on her lap, Detroit kissing her, Detroit playing with her toys.” I worried for naught.
I used to think the song “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with” was a rationalization for bad behavior, but Detroit is helping me to see it differently. She was made to love, and she pours out that love on whomever she happens to be with.
She reminds me of St. Paul’s claim, “I am already being poured out like a libation.” (2 Timothy 4:6)
Her love is not diminished by sharing, but rather the bucket just keeps getting refilled each time she pours herself out.
She offers her love freely to anyone who will accept it and even with those who claim they don’t want it, she will still try.
She was born to love—but weren’t we all.