Sunday, October 14, 2012

Below the surface - Before & After dog story

Spike. Before.
Ugly. Desperately ugly! That's what Spike looked like in his pet adoption photos.

I looked at the photos many times, thinking what direct and honest eyes this dog had. Could a haircut save him from perpetual "awfulness?" Could visual-me stand to have him around? I was in the throes of deep depression and thought walking outside would help. I was completely unmotivated by myself. Maybe a dog could get me moving. I started to browse Petfinder and SPCA websides.

Ugly and strange-looking.
Spike's second photo (right) nearly put me off. If the first shot looked questionable, the second was creepy. In the end, I capitulated to my gut feeling. W and I drove 100 miles to pick up 3-yr.-old Spikester from the animal shelter.

Turns out that he was black, not brown. The white patch looked smaller when his hair grew out. And since I clipped him once a month, he looked like a perpetual lab puppy. He never shed, loved all people, and was great with kids or adults.

After. What a difference a haircut makes!
Spike was so cute that people stopped us on the street, outside Starbucks, and in the park, asking how old our pup was.

Under Spike's calm exterior lurked a terrier, not a poodle as advertised. After two years of trying to adjust to his constant pacing (during my dissertation work), I had to rehome him. Friends who are mad walkers mercifully adopted him. He happily found his forever home!

Faithful Spike in his
car seat, ready to hit the road
Our family was sorry to see him go. Some days I still miss Spike, who "started it all" re: dog ownership at this stage of life.

I often think about how God cares for creatures and provides them good homes. Spike had a good life with us and found a great home with our friends. He helped get me out the door when I could hardly get out of bed in the mornings. I'd groan to myself, "Spike has to go outside. Let's for his walk!" and clip the leash on him, shrug on a raincoat, and stagger out the door. Spike was God's gift to me at the right time, as I was to him.

Ever had a special pet? Do you remember an animal fondly because it reminded you about God's faithfulness or lovingkindness? How did your care make a difference for one of God's creatures? I'd love to hear about it.

Read more:
*The earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord. Psalm 33:5 

*Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you." Jeremiah 32:17 NIV

*You know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9 

Moravian Prayer: How unshakeable are your ways of love and truth, O God. The earth abounds with your goodness and grace. As beggars we come, as kings we depart; richly blessed and filled with all good things from your hand. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. My cat Wiley is definitely God's gift to me during a stressful time. She gets me going in the morning too, when I am feeling low. I could not have asked for a more perfect gift.

    I am currently attempting to rehome another cat who does not get along with Wiley - I am looking forward to seeing God's provision for her, as she is such a sweetheart.