Dec 152018

Well, after three months, we have one puppy left, and it’s getting harder and harder to let him go.  Just this morning, I already had to clean up poop and pee, and there is still a mess in the garage to deal with, but the puppy is still here.  I haven’t killed him yet.  In fact, I want to keep him around more today than I did when he was first born.  I’ve been thinking about why that is.

Buster Brown sleeping on his stuffed dog

Love is the key to all this.  When dealing with all the hardship caused by puppies, the poop, pee, chewing, waking in the middle of the night, etc. there are really only two emotional responses that can happen.  Either you decide to love them anyway, using that force which is always patient, always kind, always bears all things and never fails, or you can decide to move in the other direction.  You can let resentment build, let frustration grow, embrace anger, set your jaw and determine to get rid of the troublesome vermin as soon as possible. 

Option B is what causes little puppies to be dropped off in the middle of nowhere to starve.  Option A, an even stronger force, has the unfortunate side affect of puppies sticking around longer than they should on occasion.  Sometimes it even causes a lifetime of hardship.  But it’s a lifetime of hardship that is chosen because of a decision to love.  For me, I’d rather have the troubles of option A than the heart of option B any day. 

So, the puppy is still here.  And if it turns out that he is still here a year from now, don’t judge me too harshly just because I chose option A.  I learned it from my Father who, from the beginning of time, chose option A for me.

Sep 182018
Joy with her puppies

Our dog Joy had puppies this week-end.  Now she has nine squirmy, noisy, pooping, peeing, totally self-absorbed little fur balls causing her enormous amounts of grief and uncomfort.  Even so, she lays still for hours on end, bearing their constant grunts and squeals as thy crawl all over her, biting, sucking, and pulling in places they should, and shouldn’t.

I guess it is instinct that makes her tolerate their torture.  Somehow she knows that only she can provide what they really need.  Somehow she knows she must patiently watch over and deal with them as only a mother can.  Somehow she manages to deny her own needs so that she can tend to theirs.  For dogs, we call it instinct.  When people do it, we call it love.  But you know, the Bible says God is love.  So, should we really be surprised to find it reflected all throughout his creation?

Aug 092010

My dog stares at my while I eat.  She has no manners, no pride, and no sense of shame.  She unabashedly stares and begs, watching my every move, hoping I might, by some act of particular mercy or grace, offer her a small tidbit for her eternally empty stomach.  It’s very annoying.

Annie watches us eat

Why does she do it?  Because she is a dog and that’s what dogs do.  She knows that any food worth anything comes from the master’s table, so she waits and stares.  Why does it annoy me?  I guess because it makes me feel a little obligated to share.  What I fail to realize is that she is just a dog.  She does not think I am obligated to share.  She just hopes I will.  And so this morning she sat and waited patiently for the crust of my toast, with or without jelly.

The whole episode reminds me of the story in the Bible where the Canaanite woman comes to Jesus for help.  I’ve always thought it sounded like He basically calls her a dog and says it’s not His place to help her.  Consider this scripture:  Continue reading »