Once more, it’s Max! I think this may be my last thought for a while though before Patrick takes over again…
And it is pretty simple – Patrick wears too much clothes!
I mean, I get that he doesn’t have a lush, beautiful coat of fur like me, so he’s got to do something to keep from being ashamed, but does he really need so many clothes and to care about what they look like?
I wouldn’t complain so much, but the clothes do get in the way of things. For instance, I am ready to go outside and have a lot of fun and then here comes Patrick, who has to go get some of those extra layers of foot fur and then sit down and put on some kind of artificial hoof before we can go out. It takes so long. Every time.
And sometimes he changes his whole outfit just to go outside! It’s so silly. Believe me, if you really needed less on you, I would know.
I don’t think it is just that I am envious of his ability to choose clothing to keep him cooler (though if I could take off some of my fur at will I would). Rather, there seems to be some weird obsession with masking true feelings and not preparing the inward appearance as much as the outward.
I do find Patrick and many other humans to be authentic much of the time. But I also notice the times when they try to cover up how they really feel about their situations or about other people. Patrick has taught me that people do not only spend a lot of time layering on actual clothing. Often they also layer on a bunch of excess mental/emotional masks to keep their true feelings from being known.
I see people acting nice when I can tell they really just want to bark. Or barking when they really just want to cry.
I even see people clothing themselves in busyness instead of vulnerably facing the difficult and sometimes troubling realities of life. And none of it really makes sense, because that kind of clothing doesn’t protect or fix problems. Rather it just hides them like a big ugly sweater. (And, by the way, Patrick better never make me wear a big ugly sweater. Or any sweater.)
I guess I understand that sometimes there is a need to keep the peace or be sympathetic, but it makes more sense to me to be honest and authentic, as long as you do so in loving ways. And to do that, there doesn’t need to be more preparation and clothing of an outward appearance, but rather a clothing of the heart.
Patrick has taught me the importance of looking decent, but he has also taught me that humans tend to place too much concern on external appearances, when what matters most is how our hearts are clothed. Patrick has taught me that when a heart is clothed in bitterness and self-centeredness, things can get tense and driven by anger. But when a heart is clothed with love and concern for another, things are much more harmonious.
I guess I’m at an advantage with not having much control of my outward appearance, but I just don’t understand why people would spend so much time on their outward state and so much less time on the inward.
So thank you, Patrick, for the times when you spend more effort clothing your heart with love than your appearance with self-importance. And thank you for the times when you haven’t hidden under layers of false feelings and instead have been authentic with me.