Tail Waging!

With a New Year comes new beginnings and realities of time marching on! Each day something must die that we might have new life! We don’t think about that! This time of year reality can catch us off guard.

We have our sixth dog that is not our dog. It is the neighbors dog who has had the run of the neighborhood and has acquired multiple eating places. Things changed on an intense stormy day when this dog joined our fourth and fifth dogs, that also were not our dogs, in our garage to escape the heavy rain. Some weeks later our fourth dog that is not our dog passed and the fifth was hit by a car.

Then one evening when my wife was out of town a sudden storm with heavy rain rushed over the neighborhood. To my surprise I heard the neighbor dog knocking at the back porch door. I let her in and intended to let her back out when the storm relented. When it got late, the storm wasn’t running out of gas, so I let the dog spend the night. No good deed done in secret escapes my wife.
Well if I could do that! – magically a dog bed showed up in front of the TV. To my surprise another sprang forth in the bedroom. The sixth dog – not our dog – was crowned queen without my consent! Her 1st thrown was in front of the TV so she could over see us and another in the bedroom to watch us during the night. It must have been magic because overnight this dog – not our dog, began to model my wife’s pattern of shepherding. She would search the house until she found us and then attempted to guide us to where we were supposed to be. She would lay and wait and not go to her thrown/bed until we were in the right places.

Long ago our neighbor who is very busy with small children learned by watching the dog leaving the yard and the kids running after my wife’s car or mine when we came home. It was not a walk or a slow trot – it was a I can’t wait to see you run. The dog is 14 and the children made her nervous and my wife and I are slow.

Well the chill and cold of the New Year brought to light those 14 year old hind legs don’t want to work like they should. And during a recent long cold night her struggles intensified. Getting up has become a mighty effort but her desire to search for us just as intense! Her trips outside now require assistance and careful monitoring after. The time for traveling the neighborhood – not so much – it is obvious to our neighbor as well mother time is running short.

So many memories and pets! I have to ask! Who knows someone who is struggling, is broken in some way, lost in the neighborhood, looking to get out of the storm and the rain, just hoping someone will notice they exist, isolated in a crowd of busy people, praying someone will search for them and ask whats up and invite them in? How many have I am mad at you relative? A dog will receive us with boundless joy and eagerness all over if only our body makes a slight welcome motion – come and enter my safe space. Forgiveness is a dogs nature! How come we humans are so slow to reach out to humans beyond ourselves?

The dogs of my life – even those that are not my dogs have taught me much time and again – they never ever give up even to the end. Imagine we each have been gifted with scars, struggles, rejection, loss, failures and sin. Yea I mean you too – the one who thinks they have nothing to offer! Far far far greater is the potential of those willing to risk reaching way into the depths of their soul and setting free the breath of new life that can be carried on the wind to a soul wondering? Just say “hey I am thinking of you and hope all is well”! Amen – and then why is my tail waging?

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