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Posts Tagged ‘dog’

Stray Dogs

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I saw him by the side of the road, in a gas station/truck stop parking lot.  I hadn’t planned on stopping, but he pulled at my heartstrings.  I turned the car in and tried to get him to come to me, but he wouldn’t.  For every step I took toward him, he took two back.

A minute away from giving up, I struck up a conversation with a fellow traveler about the stray she picked up one day.  She said if I would keep trying, she would go in and get something for me to feed him.  She came back with a chicken nugget plate.  The dog would eat good today.

He had gotten out of my sight, so I hunted up the long haired black lab-looking dog, and threw a couple of pieces of chicken towards him.  I sauntered back to my car. The black dog followed, and brought a friend with him, a brown mutt- looking dog.

While tearing the chicken into pieces and tossing it to them, I soothingly spoke about how they could come home with me and I would find them somewhere to call home.  They could have someone to love them, play with them; they could have a safe yard, and maybe a couch to lie on.

All to no avail.  They approached me as close as the chicken lay, but they always retreated.  Once the chicken was gone, they were too.

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Sitting in church the next day, I realized that people are like stray dogs.  Some of us see Jesus as a different species, one to be wary of.  We look at him with skepticism, perhaps thinking he may be laying a trap for us.  Not letting ourselves believe the great mercy that awaits, we turn aside before he can capture us with a sly move.

My heart wants to say, come, where you will be loved.  Where you will have peace, comfort and a place to call home.  There is no trick, no gimmick.  Just a sincere unfailing love waiting for you to accept it,  accept him.

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Once upon a time I adopted (sorta, cough, cough) a dog.  This dog, Bandit was his name, came from across the street from the home of an uncle in failing health. He was a big dog, a mix of golden retriever, maybe lab, maybe chow.   Bandit became our dog Nick’s best friend.  They roamed the neighborhood, visiting everyone they could.  They hung out with the construction crews from the neighborhood next door.  I’m sure they received their fair share of treats.

The thing about Bandit was his fur was all matted and he looked  poorly .  After he spent some time with us, I took him to the vet.  He had heartworms, which my vet treated by starting him on heartworm medication.  He explained that the old heartworms would die off naturally and pass through his system, and then new ones would not form.  That advice turned out great, because Bandit lived a long time after.

The main thing the vet told me, after seeing poor Bandit’s matted fur, was that he needed a do-over.  Shave him down to nothing and let his hair grow back.  So I did.  And it did wonders for that dog.  His beautiful blond fur came back long and silky like a golden retriever.  Because the summers are so hot where I live, I would shave him in the summer and he would look like a lab.

Did I mention this dog had the best disposition and nature on the planet?  He yearned to obey.  He was protective when necessary – I felt safe for many years in my house in the woods, off the beaten path.  He could also discern people’s personalities, whether they were good or bad.  You know how some dogs do that?  Bandit was spot on every time.  He was just a good dog.

A do-over was the best thing that ever happened to that dog.  And to me, a life lesson learned.

Sometimes we just can’t continue where we are in life.  Sometimes it takes a do-over.  Recovering alcoholics know what I’m talking about.  And Christians who have accepted Christ as their Savior, die to self, only to live a new life?  Yeah, they know.  Marriage issues?  Need a do-over?  Could save a divorce.

Not to mention clearing clutter from a  room, getting new furniture, or doing household renovations.  Getting your surroundings in order seems to get your mind in order as well.

Has there or is there anything in your life that needs a do-over?

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Molly

She came to me when I needed her.

I came to her when she needed me.

Sitting at the animal shelter, waiting for my daughter to pick out a kitten, there she was.

Nervously pacing from one part of the room to the other.  Carrying a toy.  Put the toy down, go to the other side of the room.  Look anxious, go back, get the toy, take it to the other side of the room.  Do it over and over again.

I felt like that.  Restless.  No calm, no peace.  No place safe to put my stuff.   My feelings.

My mother was having chemo every so often for breast cancer.  I would make the 2  1/2 hour journey to Columbia to go with her and my dad to the cancer center.  Then, my dad died.   All through this grieving time, a spirit unsettled about marriage.

And Molly became my touchstone.  And I became hers.

Run like the devil she will if given a chance!  But always comes back.  Like me.  Always comes back.

Through the dark times of my life.  There when I needed her.  There when she needed me.  Like Jesus.

Now we are both healed, she of her nervous looking, me of my depression.  Praise the LORD!

This post is dedicated to Winston, my friend Shelley’s good dog who recently passed away.
 
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Linking with Ann Voskamp @ http://www.aholyexperience.com/category/1000gifts/

She is the author of  One Thousand Gifts, and the blog A Holy Experience.  She promotes gratitude journals, and has challenged her readership to count 1000 gifts in 2012 with THE JOY DARE.

1.  This picture:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. A husband who has chicken parmigiana fixed when I get home from work and riding lesson.

3.  Riding lesson.

4.  Horse.

5.  Being able to exercise.

6.  My pretty blue beta to look at in the mornings when I have breakfast and coffee.

7.  Coffee.

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