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Friday, June 29, 2012

It's a Cover Up

It happens every now and then. A dog likes to hide his "business." While normally I would appreciate the modesty of the dog, in my work, I sort of need to know where to scoop. If I don't, I step in it. Or someone or something steps in it. It's important to know where the "poop" in your life is. When you do, you can notice it, be offended by it, and get rid of it. If you cover it up all the time, it does not go away. It is there, attracting undesirable flies. It is a hazard to others. Quit trying to cover it up - scoop it out of your life for good. Run to God, ask for forgivenss. He is faithful and just to forgive it.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Beware of Dog

Peaches came with a warning. "Peaches may bite." Always good to know. Fortunately, Peaches was all love and kindness to me while she was here. Often with small dogs, they protect the person they are closest to, which may include biting anyone who gets too close to their "person." It may be flattering to the person being protected, but it's less than charming to everyone else. It's certainly possible for us as people to become overprotective of our "stuff", which may include certain relationships. When we get in that mode, we may snap at anyone or anything that may interfere. This is not how we should behave. Insecurities bring out the worse in us. All we have is given to us through Father God. What we do with them, and how we value them, are up to us. Having no other gods before the One True God, keeps us from idolatry. Keep first things first. It doesn't knock out the quality of our other things. It makes those things more in focus and better. What do you let get in the way of your relationship with God?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hunger Games, Canine Version

This is Bailey. Well, it's Bailey's face. Bailey is a medium sized dog, possibly a Beagle Mix if his bark is any indicator. Bailey has food issues. That's okay, I do too. However, Bailey's are really, really different from mine. If there is food in front of me, I eat it. Somewhat quickly and thoroughly. Bailey lets his sit there. Unless he has company. Then, he's all about the eating. This demands a break in the regular routine of dog care. Instead of putting Bailey in his kennel run to eat (like the REST of the dogs), I need to keep his door open and hang out with Bailey. I also can't look at him expectantly. Apparently Bailey also has performance anxiety issues as well. Instead, I find something to clean (there is never a lack of that) while Bailey goes to his food bowl, grabs a few bites, then walks out and eats them. Repeat. Since I'm meeting a friend for lunch today, I sure can't criticize Baiely. Eating with others is not only more fun, it's important. There's a reason that study upon study cites eating meals together as a family is better for children. I suspect it's better for adults too. And in Bailey's case, having a little company is a necessity for eating. Seriously, he will NOT eat unless we do this! He'd rather go hungry than not eat with someone. God designed us to be social with each other. Bailey understands this.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Meeting Your Match

Guess who was here this weekend....The Drake. Okay, his name is just Drake, but I think of him as "The Drake." He's a high energy, large yellow Lab. He LOVES to play. It's not easy to find a dog that is Drake's equal in terms of playing rough and somewhat aggressively (not in a bad way). Then, he met Jimmy.... It was a barn-burner. Barking, growling, jumping, rolling around. And happy as two peas in a pod. Both dogs went home dirty, but tired and happy. That also makes for happy owners (minus the dirty part). Meeting your match can be a good thing. Facing a challenger of equal merit helps us become ultimately stronger. And stronger is good. Don't shy away from a challenge.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hanging onto Our Youth

Everyone loves a puppy and their playful antics. But once they get old, broken down, and tired, others lose interest. Our culture values youth over old age. The beauty products industry has made a fortune on it. I'd have to admit that I've donated my share as well. Apparently it's easier to gravitate toward vibrancy than valuing what wisdom and experience brings. Yet in Proverbs, "seek Wisdom" is repeated over and over. Wisdom leads to an easier life, freer from the consequences of bad decisions. Of course we all make mistakes, but a fool refuses to learn from them. Wisdom is another word for God, who is the fountain of knowledge and wisdom. Seeking wisdom is seeking God. Get wise today!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Being Social - Canine Style

You've heard the phrase "Life's a Beach." Honestly, what does this really mean? I have no idea. I like the beach, but I don't find life to be squishing sand between my toes and waves lapping my ankles. Life isn't really anything like that. Meeting friends at the beach - now that's fun, and a lot more like life. I mean, you meet friends around in life, wherever you live. This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to stop in and see my friend Jean (hi Jean!), who happens to live at the beach for part of the year. Her dog Shiloh is the handsome Collie on the far right. At the beach, Shiloh is the official greeter-dog to humans and dogs alike. Isn't that a great picture? Peace and harmony in dog-dom. Of course, that's not always the case. Sometimes there's an anti-social human and an anti-social dog (like one of mine, ahem) that drop in to the beach, and harmony is disrupted. Being social is not easy for everyone. People, like dogs, are afraid of being hurt, and prefer to keep others at a safe distance both physically and emotionally. In other words, making friends is a risky proposition. Life and relationships can leave us feeling broken. However, we don't need to be paralyzed and limited in life due to past hurts. Confessing our hearts and deep pain honestly to the Lord is a safe place to be. God understands, heals, and reinstates our relationship with him through faith in Jesus. When we avail ourselves of forgiveness, we can be made whole again. That's not an immediate process, but often it leads to healthier relationships in the future. And even our pain can be redeemed. Don't let fear keep you from life. Take the steps to get you to the beach.

Friday, June 8, 2012

See Me Grow

A year ago, a tiny kitten was dumped off on my property. Since then, the Captain has ruled the roost. Knowing no fear, he has attacked every dog and cat he's encountered, along with several bushes. He's discovered catnip and birdfeeders. As he's grown, not everything he's done or discovered pleases me. The scratch on my finger reminds me that he still has very litttle respect for me as provider of all food, etc. Yet, he still runs to me when he's frightened (which is not often) or uncertain. At night, he still wants to snuggle safely against my side. When I find myself off track, far from God, and in a strange and scary place, I'm so thankful I can run back to the Lord. There, by His side, I can find safety, grace and forgiveness.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Little Dog Syndrome

One of the many fun things about the kennel is watching dogs play together. Sometimes the combinations are very unlikely. For instance, Bo, the Dachshund, is easily the smallest in size among Jimmy and Bolt. But probably the biggest in attitude. It's easy to look around and feel outnumbered. However, that shouldn't stop us from proceeding when we know the right path. The obstacles may be daunting, but with the resolve and strength of the Lord, all things are possible.

Monday, June 4, 2012

It's Hard to Stay Clean

One thing that has irked me over the years is going out to the kennel after I've showered. Even if a dog doesn't jump on me or I don't have to do any cleaning, I leave with that kennel-taint kind of feeling. The same "ick" feeling happens post-shower when Foster licks my knee cap - ugh, dirty again. Then showering, putting on my fancy (non-dog) clothes and going to someone else's house - and the dog jumps on me. Sigh. It seems I can't stay clean for long. Recently, new driveway stones were delivered. It looked so great...until a few weeds began to poke out. Also delivered was new sand on the beach area of the pond. It was pristine. Until Captain found it, a mere seven mintues after the truck dumped it. Once during church I was coming back from communion and had a nasty thought about someone I saw in a pew. I almost got back in line for another dose of bread and wine. Being free from sin is immensely difficult. Actually, it's impossible. There's a saying that goes something like "Christians aren't perfect, they are just forgiven." While I agree that's probably true, it shouldn't be an excuse to willfully sin more. Christ calls us to holiness. He desires us to lay our lives down for Him, submit and admit that without the power of God, we will always mess up. The closer we draw to the Lord, the more we should want to distance ourselves from sin. It should feel more and more icky to be in the midst of sin. It is a process known as sanctification, and we can't do it without God. No one wants to admit their helplessness. We want to be able to rely on our own strength and accomplishments. Yet admitting we can do no good thing apart from God is actually liberating. Being vulnerable is so much better than being awash and enslaved by sin. Today, strive to be all you can...by God's design.

Friday, June 1, 2012

How Big is Your Heart?

Do you remember Harley? Not too soon after I made a big deal about how much I'd love to have a dog like Harely, I found out that Harley's owner is being deployed. For a year. And the owner needs someone to watch Harley for her.
Since my own dog, Foster, is completely blind and losing his hearing (and it seems his sense of smell is not the best either) requires much more work in his old age, I'm reluctant to take on such a "big" challenge. Harley's a great dog - very obedient, loves to play, and has liked everyone she's met (so far). She's spayed and a spry six years old. Please contact me if you can help Harley - and repost and share this all over the place!