It is written that on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, we cannot be forgiven for our sins unless we physically apologize to those whom we have wronged. We are also urged, on this holy day, to forgive those who have hurt us.
Having more daily contact with my dog than with people, I decided to include her in my yearly ritual of forgiveness. "Mango," I said to her this morning, "I forgive you for all the bad things you have done to me." With one tilt of her head, she answered:
"I forgive you. And. . .
I am sorry for taking half empty water bottles, chewing off the top, and emptying them out onto beds and couches.
I am sorry for jumping on the kids' friends when they run around the backyard, and for sometimes humping them.
I am sorry for finding the green stuffed frog hidden in the closet and ripping out its eyes and all the stuffing.
I am sorry for vomiting on the wool rug in the living room a week after you had it professionally cleaned from my diarreah attack.
I am sorry for slinking out of my collar on the flag football field and tackling that boy.
I am sorry for getting tapeworm last spring, and for giving it to you guys.
I am sorry for my bad breath.
I am sorry for snatching bagels and slices of pizza out of your hands.
I am sorry for barking so loudly everytime a squirrel, rabbit, delivery person, or gardener comes near the house.
And most of all, I am so, so sorry for eating Annie's gold hoop earring (yup--that's where it went)."