Monday, May 25, 2015

It's Bittersweet

This is Bugs (hi Bugs!)
Bugs was adopted after he was rescued from neglect.  When he was first boarded at the kennel, he had a learning curve as he got used to the new routine but he quickly figured it out.  He's come to the kennel for well over a decade and he's now a senior canine citizen.

As I go through the last few days of watching dogs (for the summer, maybe forever), I'm saying goodbye to wonderful dogs and owners, many of whom I will not see again.  But I'm immensely thankful to have understanding people who have even affirmed this decision.  It is indeed bittersweet to put something behind me that has been so meaningful.

And yet, it is the right decision, and the "sweet" part has offered glimmers of what is to come.

Trusting God with the unknown is hard in every area of our lives.  Yet that is what we are called to - setting out on the adventure He has for us, great and small.

It's Memorial Day, and one can't say enough about the brave men and women who set out on an unknown adventure for a cause greater than themselves.  Your sacrifice has my greatest admiration.

Monday, May 18, 2015

It's All Relative - But No, It Isn't

Look - it's Tilly.  In my car.  With deadly poinsettias.
Amazingly, she lived to tell about it.  She's lived to tell about many car adventures because - when the weather is right - she loves to go places with me and hang out in the car.

Yet this rather simple activity has recently been the subject of hot debate on local social media.  To spare you, kind reader, the details, suffice it to say that when you see a picture of a dog in a vehicle when it's hot outside, you assume the dog is suffering and may expire at any moment.  If you see the post on a cold day, you may think it's perfectly fine.

This post was taken on a day that started with frost on the yard and the highest the temperature got was in the low 60s.  However, this was enough to put the poster on the war path, as she posted the picture and wrote rather nasty things about the person who'd imprisoned the poor dog in the boiling hot car that - this poster believed - would easily sail to an internal temperature of 100 degrees.  Perhaps if the temperature had been a low of 60 and on its way up to 80, the person would have cause for concern.

I made the terrible mistake of saying that was not the case in this situation.  What happened?  Two people wanted to imprison me in a hot vehicle.  I so wanted to explain that I absolutely love the sensation of the interior of a car on a sunny cool day.  Despite the original poster advocating violence to free said pup, my rebuttal of facts seemed to confuse many.  Someone even accused me of being incompetent to care for animals when I mentioned my professional experience not only with a local humane organization, but with my kennel business of 17 years.  At one point, I wanted to list further credentials, but it seemed this wasn't good enough.  No, no.  It's better to believe the random person in the super store parking lot who took the picture, who commented that if she didn't have a felony record, she would have put a brick through the window of the vehicle.

On a sixty degree day.

There's just nothing like the anonymity of social media to make people brave and live out their adrenalin.  When I finally tried to refer to SCIENCE as the reason the dog was safe, I got no more arguments.

We can have opinions, but having them influenced with science over emotion is how a person has an INFORMED OPINION.

But what is the spiritual parallel?  I know  you're wondering.  There are a myriad of social issues that are influenced by emotion.  And while that is a factor, God's word tells us the Truth.  We can disagree all day, but that's not going to change what God says about a matter.  And because God is wonderful and full of grace, He allows us to disagree. He still loves us.  He knows what's best for us, but we can make our choices because He is no tyrant.

I appreciate a thoughtful discussion on a variety of matters.  I don't think God minds one bit when we ask questions and wrestle with complicated issues.  The important thing is to seek Truth.  And if a disagreement erupts, it's always best to keep the emotion out of it and part friends.  Sure, that isn't the easiest thing to do, particularly on social media.  Just remember who you belong to and make Him proud with words and demeanor.  That's how He treats us, but only so much better.

Monday, May 4, 2015

My House, My Rules

This weekend, Riley came for a visit.

At home, Riley is allowed on the couch.  When Riley comes to stay, he doesn't understand that the rules may be different.  Since my furniture isn't known for its high quality (or cleanliness), I let Riley on the couch. 

Tilly, is NOT allowed on the furniture.  However, when Riley comes to visit, I let her on the couch too, because the moment Riley leapt onto the couch, she did the same thing.  It irks her enough that the cats are allowed and she is not, but definitely if another dog gets up there and she can't.  With Riley back to his owner, it's back on the floor (littered with dog bed options) for Tilly.

Left to her own devices, Tilly's decisions on what is allowed for house living would be very different from mine.  The same goes for the cats, though their sneaky ways means they break the rules when I'm not looking.

Have you ever looked at life and wondered, "how am I supposed to do this?"  "Is there a better way?"  There are times when I veer off course, and I can sense it.  But how do I know what is "on" course?  God's word was valued as a gift when it was first given to the Israelites because they thought, "FINALLY, we know how to live!"  Maybe we think the Bible is a list of rules, but it is far from it.  It's an Owners Manual for life.  God has our safety in mind, and wants us to live happily and freely.  And those "rules" keep us safe.  If we choose not to keep them, it doesn't mean God hates us as much as it means, He allows us to make choices that may cause us harm (and others). 

The Good News is there is forgiveness that lasts eternally.  To get it, we have to run to God.  His arms are open to us, assuring us that his Son took the punishment, and when we trust this truth, a whole new world is available to us.  That world means our present life is better, but our everlasting one is even better.