My 7 year-old granddaughter was upset with her little brother this week, because he tore the tag off the ear of one of her stuffed animals. In place of the tag were now two tiny holes. I took this opportunity to teach a life lesson. We discussed why she was upset about the holes, and she explained how it made the ear look funny and was no longer perfect. I asked her if she loved my dog, Jovi, and she said “yes”. I then asked her if she thought Jovi was beautiful and she again said “yes”. I then took her by the hand and led her out to the living room to Jovi to show my granddaughter the blemish in this pooch’s ear.

You see, when I bought my Mastidane, it was in the winter and the puppies were three hours away. We had heavy snow, and we couldn’t make the drive a couple of weeks in a row. On the third reschedule, there was only one puppy left – my sweet Jovi. I loved her from the moment I saw her, and I understood why she was the last one left. She had a blemish in one ear in the form of a half-moon shaped notch, and it was slightly shorter than the other ear. Out of nine puppies, she had been passed over eight times. I explained to my granddaughter that Jovi’s imperfection made her unique and special. In no way did it take away from her beauty and her loving, cuddly nature. We talked about how everyone has some imperfection, or blemish. Some are physical and some are not so evident. Regardless, it is those imperfections that make us who we are.

Before I found Jovi, I had been praying about the dog we would add to our home and make part of our family. When dogs come to our home, it is their forever home, and it’s important to have the right fit with other pets in the home, as well as family members and especially grandchildren. Jovi, with her sweet nature and beautiful imperfection, is the perfect companion for me. I have a permanently damaged knee from a staph infection years ago, and I often have pain and discomfort. Jovi likes to lay with her head against a muscle on the top of my knee that is constantly tight. The warmth and pressure from that gives me some relief. She follows me as I move from room to room, constantly seeking my companionship and bringing me great joy.

When we are building relationships with others, we often focus on imperfections in others and use that for determining factors in whether, or not we continue the relationship. I’m sharing this story about Jovi to illustrate that, often in life when we look past the imperfections, we find some of our greatest, most joyful relationships.

“There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.”
― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience