This face is our dog Dennis. He’s quite a smarty, or so it seems.
The mornings that Scott and I get up and get ready for work, he stays on his bed, doesn’t stir much. When we come around to the kitchen to make coffee, our lunches, etc., and we get closer to leaving the house, he hides. Usually upstairs somewhere. This is his avoidance routine for going outside for the day.
But, if we get up in the morning and put on different clothing (not normal “Work” clothes) but rather sweats and tennis shoes, he perks up, gets to prancing and skipping around the house. He seems to know that tennis shoes give him a better than 75% chance that he can go for a walk. How does he know?
Nicole has been fairly consistent in coming home from school (she teaches first graders) around 4 pm in the afternoon. She usually runs when she gets home or she’ll take Dennis to the dog park so he can run. We have found that on the weekends, if Nicole gets her keys out around 3 or 4 in the afternoon and Dennis hears them, he starts to get all excited – heads for the door as if it’s his “time” to go somewhere. Earlier in the day, the sound of her keys does not get him riled.
I believe God gives us all things to enjoy. Pets (especially dogs) are in that category in my opinion. This one in particular has given us much joy. He was a rescued stray. He’s a happy little guy and perhaps more intelligent than we think.
Able to tell time? You be the judge.
As you know, we have a puppy — Dennis turned 1 year old on January 10th. He makes us smile every day and I hope these pictures make you smile too.
The one on the left is an actual photograph – no editing or photoshopping or anything…. it’s just Dennis.
Animals are cool. Some of them were created for our enjoyment. Dennis is one of those in our family – One cool animal.
Have a great day!
Meet Dennis. He’s been a member of our family since this past June, and we adopted this “street-puppy” when he was about 5 months old. The vet thinks he’s a terrier/lab mix of some ratio, and we watch him and try to decide which personality has come to the surface at that moment. The lab in him wants to please us, but the terrier in him only wants to please us when it’s his idea and on his terms.
He’s a smart little guy: Likes to watch TV on occasion, knows to look at the back door when he hears somebody’s “home.” When the word “walk” is used, he goes right to where his leash is kept. And yet, in all his puppy brilliance, Dennis is still just that — quite a puppy. He has chewed the garden hose in half; he has eaten about 3 laptop cords (endured sparks and all) but kept eating; and he has destroyed his fair share of slippers. He’s pretty quick and has caught a few lizards, almost got a butterfly or two, and has been just inches from getting his first squirrel. He plays hard and then sleeps hard — he snores and makes goofy sounds while he’s sleeping.
And yet as frustrating as this little dog can be, he’s a perfect reminder to me of grace, love and forgiveness. He’s quick to forget any trouble he’s been in previously — responding to his name like it’s a brand new day. He never acts guilty for long; he bounces back from a scolding or discipline fast; and he always looks at me like I have some wonderful something to give to him — expecting the best (treat, snack, toy) all the time. Everything is a surprise – a wonderful, happy surprise.
Isn’t that how God wants us to respond to him — every moment? He wants us to respond like we’ve been forgiven (instantly). He wants us to bounce back quickly from discipline (by repenting and turning quickly away from the trouble). God wants us to expect the best gifts from Him too. He’s good and is always looking out for our good — turning things our way. Always.
Years ago I heard T.L. Osborne say, “God’s not mad at you. He’s happy. He’s always happy.”
Grace. Your license to enjoy our happy God.
“Animals who receive and give love will be with us in heaven.”
This is a statement I choose to believe today. It’s actually a quote from a great Christian lady that I trust very much. I think she really knows.
When we decided to obey the Lord to move to Texas 14 years ago, we told our kids – who were then 6 and 4 that we could get a puppy because our new house would have a fenced back yard. That’s all they needed to hear to put their faith to work for that new pet. Christmas of 1998 we gave the kids a “How to Care for Your Golden Retriever Puppy” book. Good pastor friends of ours in Alabama told us they wanted to give us one of their puppies as a gift … an AKC registered Golden Retriever puppy.
In January of 1999, “Allie” came home — Named after her home state of Alabama. She was 8 weeks old and a cute, fuzzy, little ball of energy! Our kids’ faith had produced this new family member and oh my gosh …. She was a handful! Smart …. Too smart many days. Fast … She would find ink pens and run around the house … the more we chased her, the better she ran and the better the game! I had visions of her biting down on them… ink everywhere. (Fortunately, that never happened) She developed quite a personality.
This dog took over … as a Golden, she always had to lead, be in the way, and help you get to where you should go! She wore bandanas around her neck and loved them! She loved to carry around empty water bottles, chew q-tips from the trash (yeah, yuck!) and could squeak a toy better than any dog I have ever heard. She stayed near, at our feet, at our side and just needed a few good touches. Faithful. Happy. Funny. Sweet. Family – every day. She had a way of “Counting” us to be sure we were all home. She knew when someone was missing… watched the doors for them to come in. I do think she knew how to love.
This week, Allie transitioned from this life. Over a two week period, an aggressive cancer changed our home and our daily lives. We miss her. She made us smile every day. She paid attention to us every day. She looked us straight in the eyes when we talked to her and would cock her head back and forth as if to say “I understand everything you are telling me.” (Did I mention she made us smile every day?)
I am wise enough to know that in the big picture of our lives, with all the events that happen, this may seem like a small thing. It may seem even insignificant to some. To me, enjoying every gift from God, every moment that life and joy presents itself, every person, animal, flower, kind word, gesture, wagging tail …. Take time to enjoy them. Cherish them. Take notice. Be grateful.
Allie grew up with our kids … transitioned them from elementary school children to adults.. Ten years … It has been a wonderful, wonderful season! I told my husband … some changes require tears to walk through them. This is one of those.
Allie had a favorite corner of the yard where she would trample my flower beds chasing the cats, squirrels, birds, possum walking on her fence. In her honor, I have planted some day lilies there. One is almost her color.
God gave us all things … richly to enjoy.